Starring: Akiko Yajima, Keiji Fujiwara, Miki Narahashi
Director: Yûji Mutô
Running Time: 88 mins
Crayong Shin-chan: The Storm Called: Yakiniku Road Of Honour is a Japanese film and the eleventh film in the Crayon Shin-chan series. After a strange man bursts into their house being pursued by the authorities, the Nohara family find themselves on the run from relentless pursuers, with nobody in their neighbourhood to turn to.
Like all the Crayon Shin-chan movies, this film doesn’t make a lick of sense, but that’s exactly why it’s so much fun. Although it doesn’t quite match the lofty heights of the thrilling The Adult Empire Strikes Back, Yakiniku Road Of Honour is yet another fast-paced, funny and delightfully bizarre edition in the series, complete with all the ridiculous humour that, if you love Crayon Shin-chan, will definitely give you a big laugh.
There’s a lot about this film that makes for a fun watch, but above all, it’s the sheer ridiculousness of its story. While the series has ventured into outer space, travelled in time and more on occasions, there’s something all the more strange about when the Nohara family’s normal life is uprooted by something a little more earthly, in this case a CIA-like authority that ends up labelling them as fugitives and driving them out of town.
Putting it like that, this is actually remarkably similar to The Simpsons Movie in terms of premise, but the lengths to which it goes to in terms of absolute idiocy are far, far greater, and that’s why it’s so much fun to watch. Whether it’s the somewhat unsettling yet still hilarious disguises that the family wear to avoid capture around town, or the fact that a little boy with a big bottom is able to outrun an entire security organisation on a bicycle with training wheels, there’s always something stupid, but absolutely hilarious going on in this movie, meaning that it’s always full of laughs wherever you look.
There’s also the evident self-awareness of this film. Unlike many kids’ TV shows that get a movie, which blow up their normal premise to big, adventure proportions, this film does exactly the same, but still pokes fun at that very concept. In keeping with the whole subversive nature of the Crayon Shin-chan TV show, the film is a bizarre and unconventional watch, but that allows it to separate itself from being just a kids’ movie, and that self-awareness and subversive humour throughout makes it an equally entertaining watch for adults as well.
While the film is clearly made to make you laugh, there are still weaker elements that I just can’t quite ignore. As fun as it is throughout, the plot starts to become less and less engaging as the film goes on. Fortunately, the increase in ridiculousness counterbalances that, but whenever the film does take a slight pause to do some storytelling, it’s nowhere near as entertaining, pointing to the fact that the script just isn’t as exciting as we know it can be, as The Adult Empire Strikes Back proved.
Overall, though, I had a lot of fun with Yakiniku Road Of Honour. A solid entry in the Crayon Shin-chan series, it’s an entertaining watch throughout, complete with the brand’s typically subversive yet gleefully ridiculous humour, and despite some storytelling deficiencies, it’s a whole heap of fun from beginning to end, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.5.