With its anarchic attitude plastered across every delightfully detailed frame, Mutafukaz proves a French-Japanese animation treat: a winking, nodding blend of everything from Men in Black and The Matrix to Sin City and the Grand Theft Auto video games that’s never merely the sum of its many parts. Touching upon everything from economic uncertainty to terrorism to multiculturalism to global warming, the sci-fi-loving B-movie mash-up is also an intelligent take on the disarray and existential unease of contemporary urban life.
Set in the fictional, Los Angeles-esque dystopia of Dark Meat City – or “desperate, miserable, crap,” as 22-year-old misfit Angelino (voiced by French rapper Orelsan) glumly dubs it – Mutafukaz finds its unlikely hero depressed after losing another job thanks to a scooter accident, and doubtful that things will ever improve.
[Guillaume] Renard and [Shoujirou] Nishimi build their grittily vibrant effort from […] frenetic visuals. Distinctive 2D animation mixes graffiti-strewn, street-level realism with playful stylisation – a Pacman-style chase scene is a highlight, while setting mid-shootout Shakespeare quotes to a dubstep soundtrack also stands out – for an aesthetically striking, instantly immersive and highly memorable end result.
Sarah Ward, Screen Daily