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Cutie Honey

Japan (2001), 94 minutes
Starring: Eriko Sato, Jun Murakami, Mikako Ichikawa, Eisuke Sakai, Mitsuhiro Oikawa, Sie Kohinata, Hairi Katagiri, Mayumi Shintani
Reviewer: Teri Tom
Genre: Action, Comedy, Fantasy
Rating: 5
I could probably only give a film like Cutie Honey a chance at a time like this. Still recovering from the epic melancholia of eternally doomed vampires in Moonchild and the trauma of multiple Million Dollar Baby viewings, I was unusually willing to sit through the pure camp joy of Cutie Honey.
Our heroine with the hot pink tresses is not exactly the brightest bulb in the pack. She spends much time contemplating the wonders of the bubble bath, talks to herself in goo-goo-ga-ga-like Pebbles-speak, and has a severe hypoglycemic condition reminiscent of the same ailment that plagued Ultraman. When will these superheroes ever learn that they must eat at regular intervals?!
For reasons revealed in the story, Honey always seems just one step behind the rest of the world, much to the chagrin of her co-workers. Here’s a super heroine with a more inept alter ego than Christopher Reeve’s Clark Kent. But Honey’s got a good heart. She’s a sweet girl who just happens to kick ass when she says the magic words “Honey Flash!” By the way, she kicks ass to a brilliant theme song: “Bop bop baya. Ba baya bop!”
Accompanying our Cutie as a reluctant ally is a bespectacled-ice-princess-Catholic-schoolgirl police chief. She also gets some help from a mysterious so-called newspaper reporter. And the villains! The most colorful, motley group I’ve ever seen.
And for such light fare, I was truly surprised by how well Honey does – very briefly – despair. Must be that Asian tradition. Even Honey’s not above vengeance. Also surprising for a comedy are the production values. There are some great special effects here and no shortage of things being blown up.
This may very well be the most ridiculous film I’ve ever reviewed, and I’d be completely mortified to admit how much I loved it except that it’s just so darned funny. The folks involved with this project clearly loved their work. It’s the most absurd little details that make all the difference. You’ll find it in the brilliant timing, editing, and camera angles – all executed to yield maximum comedic effect. Hard for me to explain here. You’ll have to see those details for yourself. I just can’t remember the last time I had so much fun at the movies.