Starring: Haruka Ayase, Keisuke Koide, Kenta Kiritani
Director: Kwak Jae-yong
Running Time: 120 mins
My Girlfriend Is A Cyborg is a Japanese film about a lonely young man who becomes suddenly acquainted with a beautiful woman who, after a mysterious first encounter, turns out to be a cyborg.
As bad as the title makes it sound, My Girlfriend Is A Cyborg is actually a pretty enjoyable film. Working brilliantly in its sweet and silly first act to make for good laughs and even some interesting character development, furthered by two very entertaining central performances, the movie is a lot of fun to watch from the get go, and although it struggles to replicate that in its second half, it’s light-hearted enough to put a smile on your face throughout.
For me, the best part of this film was definitely the first half, where everything feels fantastically light-hearted and fun-loving, making the preposterous nature of the story all the more fun. With a bright and colourful vibe from the beginning centring around the strange encounter between this young man and a cyborg, all fears of a simply dumb and boring story are swept away by a fun and sufficiently humorous atmosphere from the start.
What’s more is that the relationship that the two characters quickly develop is wonderfully sweet. Above all in the very early stages of the film where they go on their first adventure together, you get a real heartwarming and cosy feeling that gives the film a nice level of depth that, whilst not impeding on the light-hearted and fun-loving nature of the ridiculous story, makes it something a little more than just a silly flick.
Of course, that blend between crazy sci-fi and sweet comedy and drama is thanks to director Kwak Jae-yong, who manages to balance two very differing genres perfectly early on, all the while managing to pull off a premise that you’ll definitely be sceptical about at the beginning.
As well as the director, the two leads, Haruka Ayase and Keisuke Koide deserve great credit for their fantastic on-screen chemistry. While Ayase makes her cyborg character as fun and convincing as possible, Koide impresses with an energetic and likable performance from the very beginning of the film, and with the both of them working brilliantly together on screen, it’s an absolute joy to watch, bringing both fun and silly comedy as well as heartwarming drama to the forefront perfectly.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end at some point, and it’s impossible to avoid the fact that My Girlfriend Is A Cyborg starts to lose its way after a delightful opening half.
Whilst the beginning is full of heart and humour throughout, the second half takes the story to a more dramatic place initially that doesn’t quite have the same fun qualities, nor the same innocent and sweet vibes of the opening half. Following that, the movie goes all out with a loud and action-packed third act that feels completely misplaced in the context of a much lighter movie, something that I was very disappointed to see, and suggested that there wasn’t really enough left in the screenplay to stretch the film two full hours.
That said, the very end of the film represents a return to form, and after calming down from the big action sequences, the movie returns to a pleasant and again sweet atmosphere that’s great fun to watch, all the while adding in some fantastically imaginative sci-fi elements.
On the whole, I enjoyed My Girlfriend Is A Cyborg. Whilst it doesn’t sustain it all the way through, the film shines with some wonderful moments of heart and humour throughout, and with great directing and delightful performances from start to finish, it’s an overall good time that will surely put a smile on your face, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.2.