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Saturday, September 12, 2020

[TIFF Review] ‘Get the Hell Out’ Mixes ‘Kung Fu Hustle’ and ‘Scott Pilgrim’ to Delirious Effect!

From its very first scene, director I-Fan Wang’s debut feature crackles with slapstick energy. The Taiwanese zombie comedy opens on a parliamentary session in complete chaos: men and women attack and bite each other, blood spraying everywhere as bystanders panic in the stands above.

Among them is Hsiung (Megan Lai), who recounts a quick bit of back story that leads to these developments, which includes a plant that causes rabies and the displacement of her childhood home in order to build a chemical plant.

The two plants – flora and chemical – are what drove Hsiung to pursue a political career: she became an MP to prevent the creation of the chemical plant in order to ensure the safety of the population from the poisonous flora. This goal is quickly undone by her duplicitous MP rival, Li (Chung-wang Wang), who orchestrated a PR debacle in order to force her to resign. Enter security guard-turned-politician Wang (Bruce Ho), a lovable goof who winds up being a pawn in Hsiung and Li’s game. Their political machinations come to a head at the opening parliamentary session, which just so happens to be when the Taiwan President, infected with the plant rabies, begins attacking and killing people.

At this point, Get the Hell Out more or less drops the plot. What follows is a fairly traditional narrative that revolves around a ragtag band of survivors, including Hsiung’s father (Tsung-Hua To) and Feng-sua (Francesca Kao), the Dragon lady from HR, who move from set piece to set piece, trying to stay alive for the remainder of the film. It’s hardly revelatory, but that’s because the film is less interested in narrative than it is about delivering visceral thrills and hilarious comedy bits.

The fact that this is Wang’s feature debut is hardly surprising: the film seemingly adopts the “everything but the kitchen sink” approach to just about every aspect. Anything goes in the world of Get the Hell Out, including countdown clocks, slow-motion/sped-up motion, video game life bars, animated sequences, character title cards with catchy nicknames (Hsiung is “Spice MP”, while Li is “Gangster MP”). For Get the Hell Out, subtlety is not an option when ostentatious is available.

What sets the film apart from other contemporary zombie films is its speed. Get the Hell Out bursts out of the gate at full speed, and Wang’s script, co-written with Shih-Keng Chien and Wan-Ju Yang, constantly introduces new and exciting visuals and set pieces.

What’s crazy is that the film never slows down. There’s barely a single quiet moment throughout the 96-minute runtime that isn’t immediately broken up by a new calamity or attack. It’s the film equivalent of out of the frying pan, into the fire: an escape from one location inevitably leads to even greater obstacles and bosses to overcome.

In some ways, the propulsive pacing, self-referential commentary and eye-popping interstitials are all admirable, but the film’s constant barrage to the senses becomes a struggle to maintain, particularly as Get the Hell Out barrels towards its climax.

The film is never anything less than entertaining, but after a sustained period of time, it’s also exhausting. When a film is operating at 100% the entire time, the whole movie becomes nothing but a series of climaxes (or rather one film-length climax).

Is it breaking any new ground? Not really, but the reality is that the film is so damn fun, it hardly matters. It’s Kung Fu Hustle meets Scott Pilgrim: a thrill ride that merges videogame progression with Looney Tunes antics (with bonus arterial blood spray, often to the face).

The whole film is so gleefully obsessed with having a good time, being ridiculous and making audiences laugh, you can’t help but watch with a big grin on your face. Get the Hell Out is the cinematic equivalent of cotton candy, but that’s also its single greatest selling feature: if you want an adrenaline shot of gory slapstick entertainment right before a sugar crash, then this is the film for you.



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/reviews/3631590/tiff-review-get-hell-mixes-kung-fu-hustle-scott-pilgrim-delirious-effect/

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