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Original Title:

Japan 1995


Takeshi Kitano

Moeko Ezawa
Takeshi Kitano
Susumu Terajima
Tetsuya Yuuki
Gadarukanaru Taka
Akiji Kobayashi

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Getting Any

Story: Asao (Dankan) finally wants to have sex - preferable in a car. Therefore, he is looking for a way to get some money together. He accepts a few jobs, he attacks banks and somehow always ends up in the most unusual situations.

Review: This slapstick-comedy with softpornographic content is really mady by Takeshi Kitano? Are we talking about the same Takeshi Kitano? Yes, of course! Lots of people here in the west don't seem to know, that this is exactly how Kitano started. After all, he was part of one of the most famous comedy duos in Japan, before he build up a reputation with his cool portrayels as a violent gangster in character-driven movies. In "Getting any" you can see that he is still into comedy and pretty good at it, too!

Many of the jokes are played on a slapstick level and thus it's up to your taste if you like it or not. However, the movie mainly does a good job in making fun of Japan's pop culture, and on it's way also parodies some movies pretty well. Nevertheless, this also brings us to the movie's sore point, at least in the eyes of some viewers. If you aren't familiar with Japanese culture you won't get much out of this film. There are featured parodies of flicks like "Zatoichi", "Lone Wolf" or "Godzilla" and there are also several cameo-appearances of prominent actors. Who will laugh about a wounded gangster who every now and then turns up in front of our protagonist, says his last words and dies, if you don't know the face of the actor?

It wasn't easy for me, either, to get every innuendo and hidden joke, and maybe it's also almost impossible to get every one of it, but this only proves that someone who isn't well-versed in Japan's pop culture will most likely feel a bit awkward while watching "Getting Any".
Fortunately, there are also movies like "Ghostbusters", "The Fly" or a Michael Jackson video which get their come-uppance, so that westerners will also get out something funny from some of the scenes. If you don't get any of these scenes either, then there are also enough girls-getting-topless scenes which quite frankly can be appealing, too...

Sadly, there are some more flaws to point out. As a movie "Getting Any" just doesn't work out. While at the beginning the focus lies more on Asao and how he finally can manage to have sex with a woman, the director and script writer somewhere along the way go astray. Asao still remains part of of the movie, but he more and more becomes a thin main thread that merely succeeds in holding the movie together. In fact, the film is very episodic which means that you oftentimes get the feeling to watch a series of different sketches. Moreover, the pacing at the beginning we are presented new jokes with, drops down more and more. After the first hour the movie becomes somewhat sluggish and even worse it starts to seem like the moviemaker's motivation also got completely lost towards the end.
Furthermore, it's annoying that the look of the film is rather cheap and this even though there is shown some keen eye for details at other points.

Besides Dankan, who gives a good performance as the anti-hero, in a way that we already know (or even hope), that he won't get any woman in the end, Takeshi Kitano or "Beat" Takeshi as he calls his comedy-alter-ego, also takes on a small role. His portrayal of a crazy scientist can also convince westerners that Mr. Kitano in fact knows how to do comedy. However, apart from him there are some other well-known faces to be seen, too, and some of the cameo appearances really come as a surprise, but better not to reveal too much at this point.

The humor of "Getting Any" surely isn't everyone's cup of tea. Maybe it's not that wrong to call it the Japanese equivalent to british humor a la "Monthy Python". Some jokes are incredibly funny and others just dumb, but at least entertaining in a way... In some places there is too much slapstick for my taste, on the other side, however, there is still enough subtle humor to be found also. Nonetheless, the movie won't work out for you, if you don't know at least a bit about Japanese culture.

(Author: Manfred Selzer)
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