The Cromartie High anime series is a very high mark to reach. Admittedly it's a specialized taste but the series worked wonders in it's 10 minute episode format. The decision to make a live-action movie is curious but who knows it might have worked if the writers and director had tried to move away from the 10 minute format.
The first half of the movie is a series of skits and gags which were all done in anime (and I assume in the manga from where this all sprang). The actors are very good but the casting is strange and some of the characters are visually different from the anime. The problem is the lack of a connecting plot to hold it together, anyone unfamiliar with the anime will lose interest pretty quickly. It sort of like watching your friends at a party act out scenes from a favorite comedy show. Some of the scenes work, some don't. The slow pacing doesn't help either.
The second half finally diverges from old Cromartie material but will probably end up confusing people more. That is unless you are familiar with a 1970's sci-fi show, Spectreman. This show was dubbed and released in the US in 1980's on the TBS network. I remember the show and it was fun to have it mixed into the Cromartie universe.
Unfortunately, the whole film never becomes coherent enough or inventive enough to be really interesting or especially funny. Recommended for die-hard Cromartie fans.
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