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Executive Koala (2005)

Koara kachô (original title)
Tamura is an average divorced salary-man in Japan - and also a man-sized, suit-and-tie wearing, bipedal koala bear.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Lee Ho
Eiichi Kikuchi
Arthur Kuroda
Shôko Nakagawa ...
Client in frog store
Hironobu Nomura ...
Detective
Hideki Saijô
Hitomi Takashima ...
Hiromi
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Tamura is an average divorced salary-man in Japan - and also a man-sized, suit-and-tie wearing, bipedal koala bear. Though not a human, he's a successful business-man with ventures over-seas who refuses to play official politics. And what more could you possibly demand from cinema?. Tamura's corporate life-style is severely cramped when his humane sweet-heart Yoko is mysteriously murdered and he finds himself a suspect with the police. Even worse, he learns the he is their only suspect. Tamura sets out on a mission to prove his innocence but is haunted by disturbing lapses in his memory. Does the Executive Koala truly know himself? Written by Anonymous

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14 January 2006 (Japan)  »

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Executive Koala  »

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DePalma for furries
19 May 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm sure I missed some of the nation-specific satirical barbs in this off the wall Japanese comedy about cutthroat corporate culture and an anthropomorphic koala who may or may not be a killer. To this Western viewer, "Executive Koala" played like an Adult Swim entry with its unfailing, straight faced commitment to the absurd. Trying to cope with the disappearance of his wife, businessman and man-sized koala Tamura attempts to lose himself in corporate negotiations. He increasingly finds himself haunted by memories of violence and develops a tendency to fly into fits of unbridled rage accompanied by blinking, glowing eyes.

I don't want to spoil any of the film's surprises and would advise renters to avert their eyes from the DVD label as it gives away one of the film's best visual gags. Those viewers who complain about the cheap special effects--for instance, the zipper being visible on the Koala's costume--have failed to realize that these are both budget and style choices. Director Kawasaki, who previously brought us "Rug Cop" and "Calamari Wrestler," has developed a cheapo aesthetic and this is an undeniable part of the film's charm. Troma fans are sure to be delighted by Kawasaki, but will find a sweeter, more gentle film in "Koala" than those produced by Kaufman.

But a little of this goes a long way and the film's story is too flimsy to be compelling. The film works to a degree as it continually amps up the absurdity, but the plot is a tired retread of Hithcock themes with more concern about style than storytelling. It's DePalma for furries.


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