Review: N.U.N.S. with Nunchucks

Written and directed by Lorenzo Gutiérrez, co-written by Vincenzo Nappi, in the distant future, within the city of Los Mutantes, two spies from the National Union of National Spies (N.U.N.S.) seek help bring down the Catholic Association of Quebec (C.A.Q.). Starring: Alan Heillig, Patty Keach, Natasha Perry-Fagant, Picardy Jean-Pierre, Alejandra Jiménez, Jasmine Winter and Denis Moreno.

If you blended Preacher, Dolemite and the 1960s Batman series, you just very well might end up with something that looks like N.U.N.S. with Nunchucks. Granted you could dive into the religious elements of the story and their larger satire if you wanted but the fun here is to just sit back and enjoy it for its entertainment value. It’s packed with a 70s style energy and visual, and a self-awareness that a lot of films miss out on in today’s cinema. It doesn’t get dragged down by taking itself too seriously, it grabs its silliness and extravagance by the horns and goes with it, knowing full well how ridiculous it is so its viewers can enjoy it all the more. There are a couple of issues of oddly chosen angles or fast editing that don’t let the action or choreography land as effectively as it could but it’s fairly minor looking at the short as a whole.

The writing is the classic tongue in cheek style, giving you lots of nods to popular culture. It very much makes it feel like part of a larger puzzle, you’re diving into an existing world with a ‘to be continued tag at the end’. It works as a stand alone but also does make you want to tune in to whatever will happen next. It does have a fair amount of detail to its story to flesh out its world of crazy schemes and organisations, but it’s not so much that you feel you’re getting lost or as if don’t have the time to clue yourself in. The progression and pace almost feel like a homage to Tarantino and Kill Bill which in itself is a huge nod to 70s action cinema, so it’s fully committed to the atmosphere its building. There’s the added bonus of some vintage style effects that are very enjoyable.

It’s undoubtedly an ensemble effort here, there’s a number of different characters at play and it’s less about them than what crazy events they get themselves into. Again, as with the style, they all feel very self-aware of the film’s outlandish themes and embrace them wholly without becoming over the top. They all feel as if they’re having fun and that translates really well onto the screen and helps you to get in the spirit of things too.

N.U.N.S. with Nunchucks is a fun throwback to 70s action flicks, it’s colourful, full of energy and just goes for it. It feels like a nod to a lot of both recent and classic films, while managing to still feel unique and original. It gives off an atmosphere of having a good time, both in making it and watching it, and it genuinely does leave you wanting more.

Verdict: ✯✯✯✯| 8/10

N.U.N.S. with Nunchucks recently celebrated its Canadian premiere at Fantasia Festival and is soon to be playing at Nasty Frames Festival so keep your eyes peeled!

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