Boogie (2009)

[original title: Boogie, el aceitoso]

 

Boogie is a psychopathic Vietnam War veteran, who works as a mercenary and as a hired assassin. More often, however, he seems to kill people just for fun. He is a chain-smoking racist. And he treats women like shit – which is precisely the reason why they are drawn to him like moths to the light.
So, all is well in Boogie’s world. But it is too good to last. Because Boogie is not getting any younger, and there is a new hitman in town trying to snatch up Boogie’s territory. That young killer is ruthless, fast, and efficient. And Boogie is faced with two rather unappealing options. Either to retire, or to work for the people who betrayed him.

 

Boogie is the brainchild of the late Roberto Fontanarrosa, who created this macho-man satire in the early ‘70s. In his native Argentina, “Boogie, el aceitoso” has appeared in comic strips for more than two decades.

 

This animated film was made by Argentina’s Illusion Studios in 2009. Lacking the budget of Hollywood projects, the animation in Boogie does not look all that great. A lot of it looks like a 1990s video game. But the film kind of owns these deficiencies and incorporates them into its own peculiar style. Still, if you are looking for beautiful animation, you will not find it here.

Telling a pulp story, Boogie satirises cinema’s action and hitman genres, as well as countless Hollywood tropes. But it is also a social satire, although that satire is weakened a bit by the fact that you are never entirely sure if the film tries to satirise the social ills of Argentina or that of the United States (where the film seems to be set) – probably it does both.

Because of Boogie’s personality and profession, this animated film is graphically brutal (in a non-realistic, comical sort of way) and full of racist and sexist remarks. And since this film is making fun of film genre tropes, the plot is, by necessity, very “run-of-the-mill”. But the film is very entertaining, and that is something which many similar satires fail to achieve.

 

I would rate Boogie at 6.5 to 7.5 out of 10. But it is difficult to find a specific handle by which to recommend it. The truth is that you will either like this film, or you won’t – and it is hard to predict how any one viewer will react to it.

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