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

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

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.