Packed with panty of fun

Ryohei Suzuki plays mild-mannered Kyosuke Shikijo, aka the in-your-face Hentai Kamen.
Ryohei Suzuki plays mild-mannered Kyosuke Shikijo, aka the in-your-face Hentai Kamen.PHOTO: ENCORE FILMS

REVIEW / ACTION COMEDY

HK FORBIDDEN SUPER HERO: THE ABNORMAL CRISIS (R21)

118 minutes/Opens tomorrow /3/5 stars

The story: At the end of HK Forbidden Super Hero (2013), Kyosuke Shikijo (Ryohei Suzuki) - in his alter-ego as Hentai Kamen (literally, Pervert Mask) - has defeated villain Tamao Ogane (Tsuyoshi Muro). His girlfriend Aiko Himeno (Fumika Shimizu) wants him to give up his perverted side and takes back the pair of panties she had gifted him. But when a mysterious force starts to suck up women's underpants, Kyosuke has to train under the Perverted Hermit (Ken Yasuda) to take down foes old and new. Adapted from the cult manga Kyukyoku!! Hentai Kamen (Ultimate!! Pervert Mask, 1992-1993).

Think that Deadpool, with his snarky barbs as he rains violence down on his enemies, is subversive? How about a superhero who wears a mankini, fishnet stockings and a pair of panties over his head, and whose finishing move is to smush the heads of baddies into his crotch?

The tagline for the movie is No Panties, No Justice. Your reaction to it should determine whether you should watch it or skip it.

Returning director Yuichi Fukuda has fun sending up the superhero genre here, including sending the protagonist on a training stint and journey of self-discovery in the mountains - except that the Perverted Hermit is not quite the wise and respectable Yoda.

He is first shown crouched on the floor, waiting for someone to turn on a whipping machine.

The villains, from a dismembered head scuttling around on mechanical legs like a demented spider to a human-crab cuum hybrid monster, are over the top.

The film sags somewhat as it meanders in the middle, but the game cast keeps its energy level up.

Ryohei Suzuki (My Love Story!, 2015) returns in the title role. He is equally convincing as mild- mannered Kyosuke, aka the in-your-face Hentai Kamen. And Tsuyoshi Muro's pigtailed Tamao has to be the most annoying villain ever.

For all the sexual innuendos and fetishising of panties, the film manages to retain a sweetness at its core.

After all, as Kyosuke proclaims: "I'm a pervert for justice."

This is what wholesome smutty fun looks like.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2016, with the headline 'Packed with panty of fun'. Print Edition | Subscribe