Breaking New Ground In R-Rated Animation: MFKZ Reviewed

by Tito W. James

Angelino is just one of thousands of deadbeats living in Dark Meat City. But an otherwise unremarkable scooter accident caused by a beautiful, mysterious stranger is about to transform his life… into a waking nightmare! He starts seeing monstrous forms prowling around all over the city… Is Angelino losing his mind, or could an alien invasion really be happening this quietly…?

MFKZ (Mutafukaz) is an adaption of the French comic, by Guillaume “Run” Renard inspired by the author’s experience with alien encounters and government cover-ups. MFKZ is an R-rated film animated by Japan’s Studio4°C  (Tekkonkinkreet)and French studio Ankama (Dofus Book 1: Julith). With the combination of so many voices, is the film able to find its own?

The film hints at a larger story that was probably more explored in the comic. Some side characters make important plot decisions but aren’t given much screen time. I hope that if MFKZ does well in the States, that we can receive a full English translation of the graphic novel.

The blend between French and Japanese animation is unlike anything else seen on the big screen. Our protagonists are more cartoonish in proportion but deviate from typical kawaii clichés. The villains have more realistic human proportions so as to emphasize that our heroes are outsiders.
MFKZ makes use of the best from cartoony humor and anime-styled action. The moments where the art style changes for comedic effect were always fun and surprising. There were many moments during my viewing where the audience couldn’t stop laughing. MFKZ is the type of action film that  has a car chase with an ice-cream truck.

MFKZ is a solid collaboration between two foreign studios. I hope that this is only the first of many R-rated animated action films released in the U.S. As a comic adaptation, a fusion of two aesthetics, and as a cartoon for adults, MFKZ is an innovative film.

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