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Loves reading, writing, and everything film. Will be posting about lesser-known movies with a focus on indie production and Asian cinema.

What better way to deal with all the unreasonable inexplicable uncalled-for ridiculous ironies in life than to laugh them off with a good movie? Here are 5 dark humor movies to help you with a gleeful 2017!

5. In Bruges

This is a fun movie to watch despite the dismal Bruges weather, constant whining of Colin Ferrell and a cheerless plot of two hitmen in hiding after a failed assassination in which a child was accidentally killed. Driven by the motive and contemplation of death, In Bruges, in an irony that should be no surprise from Martin McDonagh, is all about living. It’s about the struggles, absurdity and principles in life, driven not by death but the sheer will to live. It’s also about finding a way to cope with the loss of innocence, if there was ever such a thing at all. But don’t get me wrong, In Bruges certainly isn’t a didactic study of any of this; in fact, it may just be a darkly humorous movie about

“what hell is; the entire rest of eternity spent in fucking Bruges.”

A funny and political scene all at once:

4. The Continent

Full of witty dialogue from intriguing characters and the signature angst of a road movie, The Continent’s Chinese name means “not knowing when we’ll meet again”, a word play on the original idiom that spells “we’ll meet again someday”. Trailing the journey of three childhood friends as they drive across the country in preparation for a parting that will leave them at different corners of the continent, writer and rookie director Han Han slips the theme of leaving places and people behind in chase of a nameless dream into ridiculous yet heart-warming encounters, just enough to make that vague sense of helplessness bearable.

3. Let the Bullets Fly

Let the Bullets Fly is overt political ridicule, clever wordplays and a Chinese Western all seamlessly merged together, guaranteeing some good laughs that endure contemplation should you ponder why it’s so funny yet so dark at the same time. Telling of how a plot and setting exotic to even the native Chinese can resonate so well with the modern audience, the local mobster boss and main antagonist played by Chow Yun-fat exclaims,

“You live, and you’ll die one day; you die, and you’ll live forever!”

2. New World

Your typical undercover cop stuck in gang life story with a satirical twist and underlying socio-political commentary on corporate Korea, New World is perhaps the least cheerful entry on this list. What it lacks in more conventional dark humor, New World makes up with good action and meticulous sets that emanates a desperate sense of sarcasm that is only matched by its unprecedented number of nicely-suited men fighting on screen (surpassed perhaps only by Agent Smith in The Matrix Reloaded). Like Let the Bullets Fly, New World will make you wonder how true its plot really is especially in the wake of the country’s corruption scandals, both in real facts and in essence.

Check out this trailer that shows only a fraction of the suited men fight scenes:

1. Fight Club

Fight Club is simply a classic and no contemporary dark humor list can be complete without this gruesome jab at modern capitalism and everything it encompasses, even its most radical critics. Inheriting its distinctively wry tone from Chuck Palahnuik’s novel and brought to life by David Fincher’s sly play of camera and color tones, Fight Club is a true gem with added shine by Edward Norton, whose face and voice are the definition of uninspired boredom. Simply put, this is a must-watch because

“how much can you know about yourself if you’ve never been in a Fight?”

This scene of how the two protagonists met will give you a good sense of the lovely cynicism in Fight Club:

Entertaining but not deprived of depth, a well-made black comedy can stir some meaningful thoughts without using an overly serious plot. More importantly, it touches the nature of what makes up our existence, yet scratching it only so lightly without ever unveiling the truly dark things that lie underneath.

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