Another Great Fantasia Movie: “Robbery,” a Hong Kong Black Comedy

Robbery, 2015. Fantasia Internatonal Film Festival Robbery, 2015. Fantasia Internatonal Film Festival

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Scissors, guns, and boobs, all twisted in some sort of violent storm locked up in a convenient storm is hardly enough to describe Robbery. We meet Richard Lee dreaming of luxury and overabundance, or mainly a hotel room filled with Asian chicks. Within a single short scene, the tone of the movie is set as raw, dark humor. As the title of the movie scrolls, we get “the wolf of…” — pauses — and we are brought back to reality, to a ghetto-looking house, with Mother and Father fighting, brother fucking, and Richard repeating Bruce Lee’s speech about water. “You put someone in the ghetto he becomes the ghetto.”

A movie that promises only one location is very daring, and Fire Lee (director and co-writer) not only delivers but goes above and beyond with this movie. Every moment keeps topping the next. In am ill turn of events, Richard begins working in a convenience store. It is first hijacked by an old man before the most notorious Big Boss comes in, only for the whole place to be turned over to a corrupt cop, a grudging neighbor. They are basically all psychopaths. It’s hard not to believe everyone in Hong Kong is a trained serial killer.

Fire Lee clearly made very intersting artistic choices to create a movie that is colorful and yet dark. He colours every shot in a unique way. He drains all colour, pushing just one tone at times, as a deliberate choice to amplify a mood or emotion. It is rare that these things are so strikingly well done as they are here.

This movie is fun, delightful and unexpected. It is a rare gem that Fantasia was gracefully given the opportunity of viewing, four months prior to the first screening in Hong Kong.

Robbery played at Fantasia.

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