Review: Getting Any? (1994)

After seeing Takeshi “Beat” Kitano’s Zatoichi reboot, I was interested to learn more about the director.  Getting Any? is his fifth film, originally released in 1995.  While it has its charms, this comedy was sometimes hard to get through.

The film is essentially a series of vignettes that center around Asao, a 35 year old man who lives with his grandfather and dreams of getting laid.  He dreams up scheme after scheme mostly based on the things he sees on television.  While the vignettes are somewhat connected, the movie doesn’t have much of a through-line.  It just goes from gag to gag, most of which are very over the top and not very funny.

The best parts of the movie are the parodies of existing properties.  Possibly a foreshadowing of Kitano’s Zatoichi film, Asao lands the starring role as Ichi in his quest to be a film star to get chicks.  The Zatoichi parody is pretty funny if only for the reason that you’re actually seeing a Zatoichi parody.

The film was obviously made on the cheap.  The bland cinematography and production design certainly don’t help sell the humor.  The horrible DVD transfer (complete with copious amounts of dirt on the print) definitely pushes it over the edge into student film territory.

Comedy is one of the toughest genres to translate so maybe I’m being too hard on the film.  Still, reports are that it got panned by the Japanese when first released.  I see no reason to disagree with them.  Unless you’re a Kitano completist, I’d recommend skipping it.


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