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What can be said about The Calamari Wrestler? It's definitely unique!
Huber weird retake of a trite and abused tale of sport, loss and comeback taking a wild route with calamari, octopi and squilla-men. Sanity always challenged by the sense of utter normality of all of this (and intentional tv stolen soapy style) for an original, delicate and undeniably surreal fable. Aesop gone suplex -skullcrashed.
Only the Japanese could come up with something as bizarre as this! If you enjoy ridiculous giant cephalopods AND pro wrestling, this movie is for you! It's probably NOT for anyone else though! =p
Giant squid wrestler.........you could only get away with that in Japan. I fear the purposeful humour was lost on me, but i laughed heartily in places........mainly at the Squids wrestling matches and the love scenes. Yeah thats right, a squid wrestling and fuckin. You have to keep repeating the premise just to make sure youre not dreaming.
From the director who brought you EXECUTIVE KOALA here comes another gem, this time about wrestling seafood. If you find a man in arubbery squid costume endlessly amusing then this is your kind of film. It's definitely mine. .
Ridiculous; that's the only way to describe this movie. The costumes, the fights, the whole premise- utterly ridiculous. And that's exactly what the filmmakers intended. If the name alone didn't tell you that something is up, then you probably don't speak English. Not that any of the people here do either, because The Calamari Wrestler is from, where else, Japan.
This is the kind of production that only the Japanese could make. The storyline is actually quite familiar. Mysterious outsider with skills like no-one has seen before enters the ring, set on winning the championship and the girl of his. Pretty standard- except that the wrestler is a giant squid! Yes, in the pre title scene, following the championship bout of Japan's premier wrestling league a giant squid appears from nowhere and defeats the new champion.
But this isn't just any old piece of Calamari; this is Kan-ichi Iwata, former champion who was forced to retire with a terminal illness. Now he's returned to claim his title. He also hopes to reconnect with his former girlfriend Miako, who's now dating his rival Koji Taguchi. I don't think I need to tell you how this boy-girl-squid love triangle turns out.
For the first half of the film, everything builds up towards the big rematch to determine who will hold the title belt. The match, when it comes, features a hilarious twist, and it's not over yet. Iwata's spot at the top is now threatened by an even more formidable opponent; the utterly merciless Squilla Boxer. Can the Calamari wrestler keep his title with the help of a former foe? And what's up with his promoter? These and many other questions which you may not have will be answered in the riotously funny ending, which I admit I had not completely anticipated.
Now this may sound like the kind of schlock fest where the writers count on the characters to get laughs because of what they are, rather than what they do. You know, the kind of thing that seems like a high school play, where you'd enjoy it more if you were close friends with the actors. But that's not how this turned out at all. Out of all the approaches the filmmakers could have taken to the humor, they chose to do it completely deadpan. Every scene is played entirely strait, and I can't imagine how the actors kept from cracking up.
Another thing that the filmmakers have done an outstanding job of is parodying the 'sport' of pro wrestling. Every aspect is lampooned here, from the outsize egos of the wrestlers, to the execs' obsession with ratings and merchandising revenue, to the wacky, scripted story lines. Considering some of the matches that the WWE has set up in the past few years, maybe guys fighting each other while dressed as marine life is the next big thing.
The fans don't escape the treatment either. In numerous interviews they come off as hopelessly devoted to their idols in the ring. Especially hilarious is the newscast from the market Iwata frequents, in which the shop owners do everything they can to cash in on the buzz surrounding him. At the same time, the movie's surprisingly honest about the bloodlust that drives many fans. Comparisons with This is Spinal Tap may not be farfetched. The Calamari Wrestler certainly isn't at the same level as that classic mockumentary, but it's a highly entertaining comedy in its own right.
I'm not sure how to rate this, so I gave it a 2.5/5 so as not to sc*w the ratings. This movie is good because it is horrible. To watch on a sofa with friends, popcorn, and alcohol.
Obviously original. Story-line was about par, and it did deliver some unique jokes to people with strange senses of humour. Overall, it was pretty good, and if it wasn't for the follow up "Executive Koala", I think this filmmaker would have a promising career ahead of him.
Apparently, Japanese director Minoru Kawasaki has pretty much patented his own sub-genre: absurdist satires starring animals and crustaceans! In addition to "The Calamari Wrestler", his other credits include titles like "Executive Koala" and "Crab Goalkeeper"! "Calamari Wrestler" may be one of the goofiest movies I've ever seen, but its storyline is really not that much different than a "Rocky" movie; just picture it if Rocky was a giant squid, Apollo Creed was a giant octopus, and Ivan Drago was a boxing shrimp! The film is an hilarious parody of formula sports movies and covers pretty much every cliche of the genre, and it's also a very clever satire of the wrestling industry, providing plenty of inside jokes for those with a knowledge of Japanese wrestling. Kawasaki's approach to the material is to play it absolutely straight as seeing a protagonist in a rubber squid costume follow the "Rocky" formula with complete seriousness is all you really need to garner huge laughs. Overall, "The Calamari Wrestler" is a pretty harmless, good-natured movie, so if you have a goofy sense of humour for this material, it's fun viewing for everyone.
Es una pelicula mal hechota, mal editada y la historia es bastante boba, pero como me hizo reir. Me encanto como ponen a este hombre calamar, no solo luchando, tambien teniendo una vida normal, con sus idas de compras, su novia, su entrenamiento y me parecio genial la parodia de Rocky, es una pelicula absurda, pero bastante divertida.