木曜日, 3月 03, 2005

That's Cunning!

Japanese Comedy Review #2: "That's Cunning! Shijo saidai no sakusen?"
"That's カンニング! 史上最大の作戦?"
Director: Hiroshi Sugawara

    "Cunning" means "cheating" in Japanese. Therefore, the title means something like "That's Cheating! The Greatest Scheme in History?"

    The opening sequence, which shows a lecture hall full of college students using very creative means to cheat on their exam, is hilarious. So is the climactic scene when they execute their "greatest scheme in history". However, the plot and dialogue are weak and cliche. For the most part this movie is not that good, with the exception of an appealing performance by the lovely pop star Amuro Namie.

    The plot, such as it is, involves a group of chemistry students (all of whom live in a notorious dorm called "White Bear") whose only hope of passing organic chemistry is by cheating. Their professor is a manaically strict man who hates cheating. Ironically, he is also a cheater - it comes out later that he is plagiarizing another professor's work. Anyway, the maniac professor hates cheaters and the students of the White Bear dorm, who happen to be one and the same. He hatches an anime-villain-worthy plan to tear down their dorm and build a hotel on that spot --UNLESS the group gets good grades on their finals, WITHOUT cheating.

    The White Bear is a boy's dorm originally, but Yumi (Amuro Namie) decides to move in and, predictably, fight with the boys to preserve the dorm.

    After a brave effort, the group realizes they don't have a hope of doing well on the final without cheating, so they create a new original cheating scheme that their professor will not be able to detect. This turns out to be really funny, and it provides the second highlight of the film, after the first sequence.

    There are a few laughs here, but not much substance. No matter what, don't show it to your students.


  • At 12:35 午後, Blogger Gord said…

    Hey! Cunning means the same in Korean. They must have gotten that from the Japanese!


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