I Try to Have Fun. Otherwise, What’s the Point?
Today’s movie was way more difficult to see than it should have been, and Friendboss Josh is to blame. We had been trying to see this movie for nearly a month before we could finally find the time. First he couldn’t go because of a “butt thing.” I’m still not sure what he meant by that. Was it a proctologist appointment or a sex thing? Probably both. Then his girlfriend, the Whitney Bird, lit the bathtub on fire. Seems impossible, right? I mean, the thing shoots water. The next week he was abducted by aliens. He called it a family reunion, but when I hear about a collection of Mexicans, I just assume. The last week was my fault because I had a creative writing class to attend where I learned how to make up ridiculous stories to cover for your bad memory about past events and how they kept you from movies. Then Friendboss Josh and I went to see Kick-Ass 2, based on a comic book by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr., written and directed by Jeff Wadlow, and starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloë Grace Moretz, Jim Carrey, Lindy Booth, Clark Duke, Donald Faison, Steven Mackintosh, Monica Dolan, Robert Emms, Augustus Prew, John Leguizamo, Olga Kurkulina, Daniel Kaluuya, Tom Wu, Andy Nyman, Morris Chestnut, Claudia Lee, and Iain Glen.
After the events of the first film, Dave Lizewski has retired from his hero persona Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), but quickly finds that regular life is not to his liking. He decides to take up the mantle of Kick-Ass again, but this time he’s not going to rely on the fact that he can’t feel pain and actually get some training from the younger, but far better trained Mindy Macready, also known as Hit-Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz). Elsewhere, Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) is still sore at Kick-Ass for killing his crime lord father in the first movie. He reacts by dropping his hero persona, Red Mist, and instead becoming the first real-life villain, the Motherfucker. When Hit-Girl’s guardian, Detective Marcus Williams (Morris Chestnut), finds out that she’s still fighting crime, he makes her promise him that she’ll stop, and will stop hanging out with Dave. Lacking the help and training of Hit-Girl, Kick-Ass joins a hero team called Justice Forever, led by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey), and including Night-Bitch (Lindy Booth), Doctor Gravity (Donald Faison), Battle Guy (Clark Duke), Remembering Tommy (Steven Mackintosh and Monica Dolan), and Insect Man (Robert Emms), but continues to try to get Hit-Girl back to her calling while she’s trying to understand how to be a normal girl. Oh yeah, and the Motherfucker is trying to kill them all. They should worry about that too.
I was a really big fan of the first Kick-Ass movie. Going into this one I was made nervous by how poor the reviews were for the sequel, but I found the movie much more enjoyable than the other critics. Not as good as the first, and there were some problems, but it was still worth watching. But I’m fond of the idea of real life heroes since I semi-constantly consider it myself, but soon find that my superpower is extreme laziness. The story was nothing entirely special, but it was interesting. There was the whole revenge plot that drove the movie, but also the real life scenarios of Hit-Girl trying to figure out being a regular kid. Most of that seemed like it would be really insulting if I were a lady. Especially the whole conversation in the bedroom with the other high school girls talking about how hot and bothered they get for some Beiber-esque gay boy (redundant?) they watch on TV. And then it works on our hero, Hit-Girl! I’m not saying this deduction about women isn’t accurate, but it does seem vaguely sexist. And accurate.
The performances in the movie were well-realized. I liked these actors in the first movie; how could I not like them again? The answer: shut up! I’m writing a review here! This is not a discussion! Aaron Taylor-Johnson did a great job as Kick-Ass. He plays it very grounded in reality, as it should be played. But he’s also a bit of an asshole. I understand that Hit-Girl was badass and that you probably weren’t going to get much better or be able to save the day without her, but on another level you’re trying to convince a little girl to continue risking her life. Also, he wasn’t really that bright. You keep hearing stories about this villain the Motherfucker and all the bad things he’s doing, but you don’t even bother to go look at his Twitter feed or his Facebook page to see what he looks like and maybe piece together that he’s that kid you were friends with and then killed his father? It’s been a while since I’ve seen the first movie, but I feel like you might have his street address. Speaking of the Christopher Mintz-Plasse character, this motherfucker’s whining was really getting on my nerves in this movie. Lots of people’s dads are killed by bazookas, but they don’t all need to whine through the whole movie like a petulant teenager … like the one you’re portraying in the movie… It was just annoying, okay?! Chloë Moretz remains quality as Hit-Girl in this movie, but it did bother me that she was not being Hit-Girl through most of the movie. I understand the emotional reason for it, but I also wanted more of her kicking ass. Even though one of her moments of ass-kicking was really gross (the moment with the Sick Stick for instance) and one of them was unrealistic for this type of movie (the “last resort” thing at the end). Jim Carrey was very good in the movie, and I was also very happy to see John Leguizamo again. I feel like I haven’t seen him in years. I had no idea who Olga Kurkulina was before this movie, but she sure was scary in it as Mother Russia. Her scene of laying waste to all those cops was epic. And since we’re on the subject…
One other thing I noticed in this movie is that the cops were the absolute worst. I dislike but understand that they decide to put a stop to all people wearing costumes, but it seemed like they only caught the ones doing good. Worry about them second! Even if you have the opportunity to catch one that’s trying to do good, instead go after the ones that just killed 20 of your guys on a residential street. THEN worry about the good ones. Even when they were trying to do good, the cops sucked at it. Bad guys break into a funeral and lay waste to everyone and the cops (with guns) are so much more useless than the regular people with baseball bats, sticks, and purses filled with bricks.
Kick-Ass 2 might not have measured up to the first movie, but it certainly exceeded the critical response I have seen for it. It’s a solid movie with a story that’s nothing too mind-blowing but is definitely good, some pretty great action when it happens, and some great performances. I’d recommend seeing this movie in theaters, but you wouldn’t be hurting too much if you waited for a rental. Kick-Ass 2 gets “This 15-year-old girl just owned your ass” out of “Robin wishes he was me.”
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