When Loaded Weapon 1 came out, I read a review that criticized the movie on the following grounds: The Lethal Weapon movies are already parodies of themselves, so why make fun of something that's already self-lampooning? You can't kid a kidder. And I agree, not just when it comes to Lethal Weapon but just about the whole over-the-top action genre that everyone from Jackie Chan to Chow Yun-Fat rub shoulders in. Unless there is a larger theme at work (as with a movie like Gojoe or even the John Woo loyalty/violence epics), the violence is largely a joke.
I wonder if many people got the joke with Zipang, which sends up and mocks chanbara and Japanese samurai-movie conventions at the same time it invokes them. This is almost the Airplane! of samurai movies — in fact, if you're not familiar with figures like Zatoichi or the Lone Wolf and Cub, you may want to hold off on this one... or at least come back to it again at some other point in time, when you may get more of the gags. Me, I laughed myself silly with Zipang, since there is a point above and beyond just lampooning samurai movies.Read more