11th Oct2018

‘MFKZ’ Review

by Kevin Haldon

Features the voices of: Kenn Michael, RZA, Vince Staples, Danny Trejo, Michael Chiklis, Giancarlo Esposito | Written by Guillaume Renard | Directed by Shoujirou Nishimi, Guillaume Renard

MFKZ-poster

Released under the name “Mutafukaz” in international territories. MFKZ is a collaboration from French comic artist Guillaume “Run” Renard and ultra-hip Japanese animation house Studio 4°C, creators of Tekkonkinkreet, Genius Party and Mind Game. The Tekkonkinkreet dream team of Shoujirou Nishimi and art director Shinji Kimura reunite to bring to life a dark but stunningly animated sci-fi vision that mixes anime, film noir, Lucha Libre, and gang culture in an orgy of first-person shooter mayhem.

I honestly thought I had seen the best this year had to offer by way of animated movies after having seen Teen Titans Go: To The Movies… that was of course till I received a trailer for the MFKZ. Now I have been known to get a little bit excited when it comes to Manga’s cinematic releases. It’s pretty safe to say that it’s in my wheelhouse of movies or shows not to miss. However I had heard nothing of MKFZ till the trailer dropped and gave my eyes some much needed ocular pleasure. This movie looked gorgeous, intriguing, and most of all bat-shit insane. One thing I really look for in these movies is off the wall, intelligent, well-written humour, a stylish sleek visual display and, where possible, a boomingly glorious soundtrack. And MFKZ ticks all those boxes!

MFKZ is the story of Angelino a street wise little punk with a mysterious past, and his skull-and-flame pal Vinny. They live in a seedy tenement in the worst part of a Blade Runner-esque dystopian metropolis; a real burnt-out, gang riddled, cockroach-ridden, urban nightmare – where the trick to survival is “don’t start shit, there won’t be shit”. Following a scooter accident Angelino starts experiencing migraines, strange hallucinations and fits of rage-inspiring superpowers, as he slowly awakens to the truth of his origins: he is half human and half Macho, a supernatural alien race that is bent on taking over the planet. Now on the run from a secret government agency, gang bangers and his hidden past Angelino must try to figure out “Just what the hell is going on”.

From the opening credits to closing you can’t help but be pulled into this world. Visually the city is down-trodden and dirty but looks gorgeous on the eye. The sights and sounds scream to you and really play into how you feel about the characters and their surroundings. You can’t help but instantly fall in love with Angelino, Vinny and there third amigo Willy. This is partly down to some damn fine voice casting for the English dub but mostly because the anime perfectly captures their weird little ticks. Soundtrack-wise we are going for an urban, spaghetti western, hip-hop vibe which is massively in keeping with the themes throughout (I may be wrong here but I feel RZA had a hand in this aspect).

As for the voice cast… What a line-up! Michael Chiklis (The Shield, American Horror Story) as Crocodile, Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad, The Usual Suspects) is Mr.K , Jorge Gutierrez (The Book of Life, Son of Jaguar), Dascha Polanco (Orange is the New Black, Joy), RZA, Vince Staples, and Danny Trejo (Machete, Predators). Meanwhile video game and voice-over royalty Kenn Michael provides the voice of Angelino and to be honest he is perfection in the role, making you really fall for the character. Having said that I was also smitten with RZA as Shakespeare – he really nails the delivery.

If you get the chance to head to the cinema to see MFKZ then I would strongly suggest you do so… I had so much fun watching this flick and guarantee you will too. The story is nuts, full of excitement and doesn’t waste a moment of your time, Guns, Violence, Guts and a whole bunch of glorious shenanigans. Trust me when I say you do not want to miss MFKZ.

MFKZ is on limited release in UK cinemas from October 11th; find a screening near you at mfkzthemovie.com

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