Style is a very important thing when it comes to a movie. It can give it a distinct personality and it can help leave a lasting impression on an audience. It can also help catch the eye of an otherwise uninterested viewer. That’s what happened to me with Muthafukaz (or as it’s known for the American home release, M*F*K*Z ). I saw the trailer sometime last year and the animation and art direction really caught my attention. Unfortunately I never got to see it because it had an EXTREMELY limited release in North America and none of the theaters in my area were playing it, at least to my knowledge. Fast forward to this year and I suddenly see it on a store shelf and I immediately bought it and let me tell you, the movie is still just as striking as the trailers made it out to be. It’s an absolute visual marvel….too bad the story is just the biggest nothing ever.
Mutafukaz is based off of the French comic of the same name (which I have not read) and it feels like they tried to condense the entire comic series into one movie because it is incredibly disjointed and poorly paced. The plot of the movie, I think, is about Angelino (Ken Michael) and his friend Vinz (Vince Staples) being hunted down by a mysterious organization because Angelino started to awaken to new powers after being hit by a truck. After that the film just kind of goes from scene to scene with not really a whole lot happening in it outside of a few, but very infrequent plot pieces. You only really start to learn who Angelino is a little over halfway through the movie and after that the film just goes back to meandering along until the very end. The plot essentially happens in the background while the main characters go about doing whatever they want. It goes into weird places too, with aliens causing global warming to stop cold weather because it would kill them and to use their shape shifting abilities to cause corruption and influence politics and it’s just….it’s weird, man. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it bad but it’s very nonsensical, but not in an interesting way. In my opinion the real strength of this movie is its visual style and animation.
I’m trying to think of a way to describe the visuals of this movie.
Gratuitous is a very good way to describe it.
Mutafukaz is VERY in your face with this fictional version of Los Angles, with the wonderfully detailed backgrounds and characters designs. Every single shot is packed with so much detail and character that it’s really hard to pull your eyes away from it. The wonderful art direction is only amplified by the stellar animation done by Studio 4°C and Ankama Animations. Every characters moves with an amazing amount of fluidity and all of the action sequences have such frantic energy that it really is a sight to behold, the film doesn’t also doesn’t hold back when it comes to the gore but it never gets to the point where it’s uncomfortable as it never lingers on it. I’ll also say that the music that accompanies every scene, performed by French artist “The Toxic Avenger” was also great and really added to the atmosphere of the film. Going off of the sound though my only real complaint about it is that sometimes the sound effects are a bit too subdued and don’t really fit the heaviness of the animation, I thought they could have left more of an impact. But in contrast I thought the voice acting for the English dub was very good and every voice actor played their characters very well. I liked RZA a lot as Shakespeare.
I also just like RZA in general.
Overall I thought the movie was a visual thrill ride and I highly recommend Mutafukaz if you’re a fan of animation and world design, as there’s a lot to love! But if you’re looking for a good narrative or something with a little more substance outside of visuals you really aren’t going to find it here. It’s worth a rental at the very least.
I have never typed the word “Fuck” so many times for a review in my life.