Director: Hideaki Anno
Writer: Hideaki Anno, Rumi Takahashi, Go Nagai
Producer: Morio Amagi, Motoo Kawabata
Cast: Eriko Sato, Mikako Ichikawa, Jun Murakami, Mitsuhiro Oikawa, Hairi Katagiri, Shie Kohinata, Mayumi Shintani, Eisuke Sasai, Toru Tezuka, Ryō Kase, Ryo Iwamatsu, Suzuki Matsuo, Kyusaku Shimada, Ryuhei Matsuda, Masaki Kyomoto, Hideko Yoshida
Running Time: 93 min.
This live-action film is based an anime series about a cyborg girl who changes outfits and weapons to fight crime, the appeal being that she briefly becomes naked when she changes. For some reason, it’s one of the few Go Nagai anime to actually have a fanbase here, possibly because it doesn’t feature as many hairy guys with thick sideburns beating the crap out of monsters and blowing up giant robots as is typical in his work.
In other words, Cutie Honey’s like Wonder Woman meets Benny Hill. So of course the producers of the film did what anyone would do, and hired a director who’s best known for a giant robot series where the pilots bitch and moan and stare into space more than actually fight. And of course he royally screwed it up by focusing on her personal life. Honey’s secret identity as an office lady is given more screen-time than the action. She’s shown trying to adapt as a robot in a human world, which is great if you were expecting A.I., but not if you were expecting Ultraviolet.
Battles are recycled from every Power Rangers episode ever made, but without the actual attention to detail in the special effects, which means you get costumes which look like they were patched together at the last minute, and CG which looks like it was produced by the Sci-Fi Channel. It’s that low-budget!
And what’s worse is that the hack (I mean director) has the audacity to make the bad guys justify the legitimacy of his quest for world domination in a desperate attempt to make them appear “three-dimensional”-disregarding the fact their cardboard outfits are barely two-dimensional. If Godard sold out, I’d imagine he’d be making something like Cutie Honey. Still, if you don’t take it too seriously, it’s enjoyable, albeit too smart for its own good and too stupid to know what the audience wants.
Ningen’s Rating: 6/10 for camp value, 4/10 because of all the pretentious bs, 5.5 total