Delivery of Justice: 8
Overall Fun: 8
If you are not familiar with the legacy of Troma films, then I don’t think that you can truly appreciate this attempt at an action/comedy superhero movie. Troma group loves to dabble in the slightly ridiculous and use over-the-top plots to produce a movie that will never be on the AFI Top 100, but will always hold a special place in my movie collection. Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD is definately a shining star in their library, and I’m pleased that it could be my second review.
Harry Griswald is a cop with the NYPD who always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and oh how things always seem to go wrong! While investigating the death of a woman thrown from a 30 story apartment building, he gets tickets to see a Kabuki performance hosted by the wealthy and obviously evil Reginald Stuart. When the Kabuki players are gunned down on stage, Harry leaps to the rescue, but is unable to protect the guardian of the Kabukiman spirit. The guardian uses his final breath (and kiss) to pass the powers of the Kabukiman onto Harry, who suddenly finds himself dressed in traditional face paint and kimono.
With these new powers that he neither understands nor accepts, Harry becomes the laughing stock of the precinct while creating a name for himself as the mysterious Kabukiman, and this is where the movie really gets fun. His powers seem limited only by his imagination and the props carried by a traditional Kabuki, which seem to include fans, parasols, katanas, and chopsticks (interesting side note: it took me 24 years to finally see a man killed by a barrage of chopsticks.)
I know what your thinking: How could he possibly be defeated with such mighty powers at his disposal? Well, since he was never trained to handle the Kabukiman spirit, he is unable to control his transformations and use his powers to the fullest! He eventually teams up with the daughter of the Kabukiman guardian who agrees to train him in all things Kabuki, and you will be surprised to learn that love blossoms. But the aforementioned evil Reginald Stuart is hatching a sinister plot to rid the city of Kabukiman and become all powerful(eek!). Does Kabukiman have the stuff it takes to master his powers, beat the bad guy, get the girl, and maybe get his job back?
Of course yes, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be a 15 minute sequence where he accidentally transforms into a clown and leads a bunch of gun toting maniacs into a childrens party. All part of the Troma spirit!
If you’d like me to review a bad movie, I’d love to watch it! Give me a title and I’ll give you an honorable mention!
PS. I still have no idea what a Kabuki is.