Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Superhero Media: Maximum Choppage - Season 1

I've always enjoyed Laurence Leung's comedy, so I was pretty keen to check out his new show on ABC2 this year. Drawing on Wuxia, Blacksploitation and even the classic Adam West Batman TV programme, Maximum Choppage tells the story of a reluctant vigilante protecting a Sydney suburb from the machinations of the corrupt mayor. Simon Chan returns from his studies, welcomed as a great warrior, his friends and family thinking he was at Martial Arts School; in reality, Simon was at the Marshall Art School, focusing on gouache. Simon's dad was a great warrior, a defender of the people until his death battling 100 ninjas, and Simon is expected to follow in his footsteps and defeat the local gangs terrorising the shop owners.

Maximum Choppage is a comedy about race relations and family expectations more so than a Superhero adventure, but Simon's struggle to keep peace and negotiate his way out of fights does have the ring of a street-level vigilante preferring to defuse a situation rather than start by cracking heads.The villains Chan faces are no more grandiose than local gangs propped up the corrupt Mayor, but the colour they're given in their loves of Kylie or fish-fighting make for a good laugh. 

Maximum Choppage draws heavily on the Australian racial comedy that has come before it like Akropolis Now and Fear of a Brown Planet, which typically does not translate well into overseas markets, so it'll be interesting to see if it gains a following outside of Australia. If you're looking for inspiration for 7TV or Fistful of Kung Fu games, it's worth checking out.

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