Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Kick Ass Returns To Kick Butt, Too.
Leaving audiences with a strangely satisfying black eye, Kick Ass 2 strong-arms its way into theaters.
ARTH VADER (AV): Teenager-turned-crime fighter Dave Lizewski (played by Aaron Taylor-Thomas) is at it again. Furthering the adventurous R-rated hi jinks of the urban legend/hero Kick Ass, Kick Ass 2 offers an amped-up, laughably twisted continuance of the New York City crime-buster. Ironically, this is what the movie tries to sell us but their a curious twist that is added, fairly early on—that this movie is really about Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) and her plight to become worthy of her psychotic father-turned-martyr, Big Daddy (Nicholas Cage). I enjoyed the first KA and expected more of the same but I think we got something a bit different, wouldn't you say Ponty?
THE PONTIFICATOR (TP): Well Vader, the Kick Ass films have been pretty good at following the comic books they were made from, so I got what I expected. Of course there will always be some changes, but for the most part... many of the changes in this film are very minor and stick pretty close to the source material.
CASTING, DIRECTING AND ACTING
AV: I am going to dedicate my portion of this segment to saying how absolutely remarkable Jim Carrey was as Colonel Star and Stripes. I am going to go on record, right and say, this was one of his best performances. I am not a fan of Carrey's comedy and while the first Ace Ventura movie and the dopey Liar, Liar movie showed promise, I have mostly been disappointed in Jim and his characters of the years (okay, so Lemony Snickets A Series Of Unfortunate Events and Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind were both stellar too, Ponty but I'm making a point here, sir). Carrey was so good int his role that I forgot it was him...when was the last time you heard someone say THAT? About any actor? Colonel Stars and Stripes was so good, I wish he had played a bigger role. P-Man, what were your thoughts?
TP: The usual suspects are back and have delivered as good, if not better, performances than the first film. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is a buffed up Kick-Ass and Chloë Grace Moretz returns as Hit-Girl, assassinator of bad guys in the coolest ways. Also returning is the arch nemesis, Christopher Mintz-Plasse with a new name and costume, but the same plan of destruction and revenge... but with some really cool and deadly new henchmen. With the likes of Donald Faison and Jim Carrey rounding out the cast, this film moved right along Vader.
AV: For me, this movie didn't move the meter at all in the effects department. If there were significant effects shots, they were so well handled, I didn't notice them and those–as we've said time and again in this blog–are the best kind of effects.
TP: Agreed Vader... without the need for excessive CGI and bigger than life explosions, the special effects of this film were tailored to fit the material and bring these characters off the comic page and onto the silver screen. No new ground was broken, but the basic approach to shooting great action scenes refined as supporting story devices was brilliantly done.
TAKING A CLOSER LOOK
AV: This movie kind of did it for me, Pontificator. It was, at it's core, a Hit-Girl movie, all the way through. In my want to see Kick Ass mature, it never occurred to me that I didn't see this coming. Hit-Girl holds way more depth and watching her struggle with being a high school teenager by day as she severed hands and broke limbs by night, gave this movie an edge and a purpose even it's predecessor couldn't touch. This made Kick Ass 2 far more relevant and the loss of those who take up the mantle because of and for him, have that much more character depth and meaning. While I hated the shallow nature of the main villain (Christopher "Red Mist" Mintz-Plasse turned into "The Motherf**ker"), I cherished John Leguizamo's blind allegiance to money and the power of the twisted Dimico family. A solid film, I would say, P-Man.
AV: I must admit after the first movie, based on the highly acclaimed comic by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr., I was not in the mind space to care about a sequel. However, after seeing Kick Ass 2, I found a number of reasons and ways this story has tooth to progress. Make no bones about it, this movie has some SERIOUS flaws, but as a fan, I can overlook them and give it a chance. A sequel might prove… interesting?
TP: The comics have continued with Kick-Ass 3, so it’s conceivable that more films can be on the way. As long as new material is being written, there is always a possibility it could find it’s way to the silver screen.
ARTH VADER rates Kick Ass 2: This movie is a curious piece of cinema to me. It has depth of character but no meaningful content. It makes a point about choosing your own path for the right reasons, while having no clear direction to the screenplay. It almost makes me want to put on a mask and cape while half the time I'm left wondering what the hell I was looking at with listless dialogue and a meandering screenplay. But if you like your heroes gritty (or even bloody) and your action packed, Kick Ass 2 is the movie for you. Better than the first and better than expected, Kick Ass 2 busts six (6) Busted Blocks right in the mouth.
Kick Ass 2 / 6.5 Busted Blocks