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KICK-ASS 2 post-release - Printable Version

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KICK-ASS 2 post-release - hammerhead - 08-17-2013

Fine, I'll be that guy and start the thread. Spoilers ahoy.

Pro:

Practically the entire (surviving) cast of the original returns, and they all seem enthusiastic to be doing so.

The story picks up more or less in real time, a couple of years later, and acknowledges that everyone's a little older and a little more damaged.

Jim Carrey does some of his strongest character work in years, and doesn't strain for laughs.

Leguizamo!

Con:

The plotline is thin and unfocused, with a major sidetrack.

The fights are heavy on quick cuts and stunt-doubling, which obscures how well they may have been staged and performed.

The music is unremarkable and the visual style is unadventurous.

Hit-Girl's new wig is hideous.

I'm not a fan of the first comic and haven't read the second, but I'm told this is a more direct adaptation. There's one appalling rape joke that I understand is actually toned down from the original, but the way the film handles it-- "Hurt her a lot" and then no follow-up until we see the character in the hospital-- leaves too much to the imagination.

Moretz spends a good deal of screentime in what is basically a self-contained spinoff movie depicting Mindy's honest attempts to fit in at school as a normal person. She's very good, but the audience is put in the odd position of wanting her to fail and give up so that we can see more Hit-Girl.

The killing of Colonel Stars & Stripes, and the (not much) later killing of Dave's dad, serve essentially the same narrative point. Having them play out consecutively slows the movie down.




- duke fleed - 08-17-2013

AHammerhead, I wanted to see...The EEEEVIL Army of MF take out...Marcus instead. Too...Little, Hit Girl is clearly a negative. I...Loved the final fight.


- hammerhead - 08-17-2013

One thing I do like, a carryover from the first film, is Mintz-Plasse's portrayal of Chris as a budding sociopath who decides to be a villain just because he doesn't know what else to do and has no guidance. His wavering commitment to Evil makes him scarier than, say, his completely evil uncle.




- martin blank - 08-17-2013

A[quote name="Hammerhead" url="/community/t/148791/kick-ass-2-post-release#post_3565161"]I'm not a fan of the first comic and haven't read the second, but I'm told this is a more direct adaptation. [/quote]

It takes elements of the comic sequels Hit Girl (from which the Mindy-at-school material comes) and Kick-Ass 2 (which ends with Hit Girl in jail, and then Kick-Ass 3 opens with Kick-Ass and his crew trying to bust her out but chickening out).

The first series and first movie were fun, but I think I'm over it now. The concept exists to be shocking, as Millar loves to do, and if an R-rated movie can't even have the balls to be as shocking as a comic-book, there's little point to it. In addition to the rape (which happened to Katie Deuxma, not Night Bitch) there was also the Mother Fucker gunning down four little kids, and the Colonel's dog was killed and its severed head placed onto the Colonel's corpse. I'm not saying the movie would have been awesome if it included all this. But the structure of the comics is all about increasing levels of wrongness, something the first film sort of had but the second movie doesn't.

I'll say Mother Russia was more fun in the movie than in the comic, and the way she took out the cops in the movie was way more imaginative. The bit with Mindy doing her ninja fighting dance wasn't in the comics and was nicely done.

Kinda felt nothing was done with, or about, Ass-Kicker betraying Kick-Ass and then switching back. The movie, in taking bits from two six-issue series and adding other stuff like Leguizamo's character, tried to spin too many plates.

Basically you take that red-band trailer for the first film showcasing Hit Girl saying "cunts" and splattering everyone, and that's pretty much all the franchise has to offer. The second movie doesn't have much else to offer besides Carrey having a good time. I very much doubt there will be a cinematic Kick-Ass 3, not least because Moretz isn't getting any younger and is almost too old now as it is for Hit Girl still to be a transgressive character.


- hammerhead - 08-18-2013

I was wondering what happened to the dog. I'm guessing they filmed the scene and then cut it.

Mother Russia was imposing when standing still, but the actress's fighting moves were distractingly awkward.

I don't mind Moretz aging in the role. It's not like the movie was trying to pretend that she was still 10. But there's no way we get a Part 3.




- duke fleed - 08-18-2013

Hammerhead, Maybe...Hit Girl gets her...Own film.  Chloe Moretz adds alot of...Grace to her role, that could be an interesting solo film set in NYC.  Maybe Matthew Vaughn returns to...Direct.




- hammerhead - 08-18-2013

That could well be the best-case scenario.




- aurora vampiris - 08-18-2013

What is Vaughn doing these days anyway? Prepping Fantastic Four?




- hammerhead - 08-18-2013

Currently producing X-Men DoFP and prepping FF, then re-teaming with Millar and Jane Goldman for The Secret Service.




- eye spyder - 08-18-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by duke fleed View Post

Hammerhead, Maybe...Hit Girl gets her...Own film.

Isn't that we get already? Both films seemed less about Kick-Ass and more about Hit-Girl / Big Daddy, to the detriment of the second film. The meanwhile on the set of Mean Girls segments were pretty terrible.

The super villain bits were fun for the most part, but badly edited. The Night Bitch / Colonel Stars confrontations end abruptly, with confusing implications.  The super friends segments are the best parts of the film, unfortunately the film seems less interested in Justice Forever / Kick-Ass than any other elements of the film. Leguizamo's death seem to garner the biggest reaction of the film (Not counting the ridiculously gross expulsion scene), the audience audibly gasped at his murder. It's an entertaining film, it's just a huge step down from the previous film.




- gamera vs rodan - 08-18-2013

I'm kinda still reeling from the punch to the gut this film was and can't form many coherent thoughts on it besides that I possible love it as much as the first making it one of my favorite films ever pretty much by default. I laughed so hard during it, sat forward in my seat during the explicit violence and was even disturbed a bit by some things that happened. The first film was interesting because it took real people and showed us what it might be like if they attempted to be super heroes and it was scary, brutal, funny and exciting in a way other super hero movies can't be because you really felt like these were normal people who could lose their lives at any given moment. The sequel decides to do the same thing but with Super Villains and the idea of these guys being real people who don't want to do things for money or personal gain but in order to purvey evil was slightly disturbing to me in a way that challenged what I could accept as a viewer and excited me as a result. I mean, so many films have evil villains who are just evil just because but few films explore it the way this one does or humanizes those villains the way this one does. I constantly felt like The Motherfucker was just a kid who was too wrapped up in the world of comic books, he never felt like this menacing threat, he felt misunderstood, disturbed and in need of psychological help. I didn't want him to die and even felt bad for him. It was such a complex and interesting film and it's hard to say where it stands on the idea of real life super heroes still, like TDK it explores the idea that these super villains would never exist had the super heroes not come in in the first place. The idea of escalation has always been fascinating to me, do you really not solve a problem because it might cause a worse one one day?




- raynis - 08-21-2013

AThis film was absolute bullshit. I'm really surprised the general reviews aren't worse. The story couldn't be more unfocused, which I could forgive if the action was decent and fun, but there's zero momentum. The camera just gets shaky while characters hit each other until one side is left standing. The only clearly shot sequence is the Hitgirl car fight that's in the trailers (Though I did appreciate the shots of goons getting plowed into road kill).

The vulgar sexual humor was way too forced and fell flat for everyone in the audience except a group of noisy teens sitting together, who all gut-busting lost it every time someone name-dropped Motherfucker. I feel like Hitgirl's revenge with the sick-stick would've been so much more effective had Vaughn helmed.

I love the idea of Hitgirl's biggest problem being her own hormones, and Carrey was an excellent addition. One of the few that he really disappears into. And any Leguizamo is a good thing.


Out of five stars, I give this film a black hole.


- bradito - 08-21-2013

AAbsolute bullshit? Only a Sith deals in absolutes!


- zatoichix1 - 08-21-2013

Gotta say I was overall disappointed with the sequel.  It just wasn't fun at all.  And the fights were so poorly shot that they just got boring.  Goes to show what happens when you place a weak director in a project... too bad




- raynis - 08-21-2013

ABut an absolute opinion is subjective, not concrete. And you just quoted one of the absolute bullshit prequels. And think about it: The principle of only Sith's dealing in absolutes is an absolute in and of itself.

*Inception noise*


- gamera vs rodan - 08-21-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raynis View Post

This film was absolute bullshit. I'm really surprised the general reviews aren't worse. The story couldn't be more unfocused, which I could forgive if the action was decent and fun, but there's zero momentum. The camera just gets shaky while characters hit each other until one side is left standing. The only clearly shot sequence is the Hitgirl car fight that's in the trailers (Though I did appreciate the shots of goons getting plowed into road kill).

The vulgar sexual humor was way too forced and fell flat for everyone in the audience except a group of noisy teens sitting together, who all gut-busting lost it every time someone name-dropped Motherfucker. I feel like Hitgirl's revenge with the sick-stick would've been so much more effective had Vaughn helmed.

I love the idea of Hitgirl's biggest problem being her own hormones, and Carrey was an excellent addition. One of the few that he really disappears into. And any Leguizamo is a good thing.


Out of five stars, I give this film a black hole.

Man, I know, it's really important how an audience I'm in the theater with feels about a movie. If they don't laugh I won't think a movie is funny, I really need their confirmation bias.




- raynis - 08-21-2013

A[quote name="Gamera vs Rodan" url="/community/t/148791/kick-ass-2-post-release#post_3567099"]
Man, I know, it's really important how an audience I'm in the theater with feels about a movie. If they don't laugh I won't think a movie is funny, I really need their confirmation bias. 
[/quote]

That's what you cling to in my post, huh? Try harder. That statement was more of an extension to why the film has poor reviews instead of awful reviews. Do you really have that much animus toward differing opinions and principles than your own? I understand you we're riveted. I believe and accept it.


- shaun h - 08-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradito View Post

Absolute bullshit? Only a Sith deals in absolutes!

Raynis is behind everything, including Kick-Ass 2's box office performance. Raynis is the Sith Lord the Sequel Trilogy has been searching for!




- bradito - 08-22-2013

ADarth Raynis the Wise.


- gamera vs rodan - 08-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raynis View Post




That's what you cling to in my post, huh? Try harder. That statement was more of an extension to why the film has poor reviews instead of awful reviews. Do you really have that much animus toward differing opinions and principles than your own? I understand you we're riveted. I believe and accept it.

I'm not sure your anecdotal evidence of how you believe your theater felt has anything to do with the film's poor reviews. I've always had a problem with people who use the "my theater felt this way" idea, as though they interviewed each and every person in the theater with them.




- raynis - 08-22-2013

A[quote name="Gamera vs Rodan" url="/community/t/148791/kick-ass-2-post-release#post_3567279"]
I'm not sure your anecdotal evidence of how you believe your theater felt has anything to do with the film's poor reviews. I've always had a problem with people who use the "my theater felt this way" idea, as though they interviewed each and every person in the theater with them.
[/quote]

Oh sorry. I hope someday you'll find a way to overcome you're problem. Just saying for an action/comedy hardly anyone laughed, and the action was completely inferior to the first film. Are you okay, man?

It's a good feeling when you see a total crowdpleaser, a satisfying community experience. When it's all in tune and working like gangbusters it commonly accepted that it raises the spirits when you're all collectively digging the shit out of a film. DRAG ME TO HELL is a good example. This first KICKASS definitely fell into that category for me. The crescendo being whenever one of the goons in the condo at the end decides he's not going to be a dumbass and fight Hitgirl, he's going to get the fucking rocket launcher. Everyone erupted with applause and laughter, and it made it that much more fun for me.


- gamera vs rodan - 08-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raynis View Post


Oh sorry. I hope someday you'll find a way to overcome you're problem. Just saying for an action/comedy hardly anyone laughed, and the action was completely inferior to the first film. Are you okay, man?

Well, in my experience people don't laugh much in theaters. People didn't even laugh at Dumb and Dumber when I saw it in my town. Maybe where I live is just weird and your theaters are normally more animated than mine and therefore you can gauge these things better but for me it just doesn't mean much. I wouldn't call the action inferior so much as smaller scale, the stuff that occurs in it was a bit more grounded and disturbing as opposed to grandiose and silly like jetpacks and rocket launchers that don't obey basic physics.




- cylon baby - 08-22-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamera vs Rodan View Post

Well, in my experience people don't laugh much in theaters. People didn't even laugh at Dumb and Dumber when I saw it in my town. Maybe where I live is just weird and your theaters are normally more animated than mine and therefore you can gauge these things better but for me it just doesn't mean much. I wouldn't call the action inferior so much as smaller scale, the stuff that occurs in it was a bit more grounded and disturbing as opposed to grandiose and silly like jetpacks and rocket launchers that don't obey basic physics.

The crowd you see a film with can have a profound effect on your enjoyment of it. The town where I live is pretty boring, so audiences mostly either have no reaction at all to any film, or they talk or text during the film. (Avengers was an exception: that film rocked the crowd both times I saw it).

When I lived in Oakland the genre films I saw (at the beautiful Grand Lake Theater) were attended by hard core Fans: thus I had a good time with Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, despite the fact that both films were pretty awful.

Point being, don't just dismiss the effect of being in a crowd that does or does not react to a film. However, I agree it's not a good idea to extrapolate from one's own viewing experience to general reaction to a film.




- raynis - 08-22-2013

A[quote name="Gamera vs Rodan" url="/community/t/148791/kick-ass-2-post-release#post_3567299"]I wouldn't call the action inferior so much as smaller scale, the stuff that occurs in it was a bit more grounded and disturbing as opposed to grandiose and silly like jetpacks and rocket launchers that don't obey basic physics. 
[/quote]

Not for me, it was poorly shot and lifeless. There was no momentum. Nothing to do with the scale. Obviously these films have pretty minuscule budgets compared to other comic book films, but the first KICKASS' action scenes had a clearer geography, better framed shots, superior editing, and the camera wasn't mounted on a paint-mixer.

The jet pack always seemed lazy to me, but at least it gave the protagonist a much needed crescendo of badassness. I can't recall but did Kickass do much of anything that was cool in the sequel? This film is fading fast for me.


- gamera vs rodan - 08-23-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cylon Baby View Post

The crowd you see a film with can have a profound effect on your enjoyment of it. The town where I live is pretty boring, so audiences mostly either have no reaction at all to any film, or they talk or text during the film. (Avengers was an exception: that film rocked the crowd both times I saw it).

When I lived in Oakland the genre films I saw (at the beautiful Grand Lake Theater) were attended by hard core Fans: thus I had a good time with Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, despite the fact that both films were pretty awful.

Point being, don't just dismiss the effect of being in a crowd that does or does not react to a film. However, I agree it's not a good idea to extrapolate from one's own viewing experience to general reaction to a film.

Well, where I live crowds don't react. Sometimes there might be faint applause at the end of a movie. That's about it, dead serious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raynis View Post


Not for me, it was poorly shot and lifeless. There was no momentum. Nothing to do with the scale. Obviously these films have pretty minuscule budgets compared to other comic book films, but the first KICKASS' action scenes had a clearer geography, better framed shots, superior editing, and the camera wasn't mounted on a paint-mixer.

The jet pack always seemed lazy to me, but at least it gave the protagonist a much needed crescendo of badassness. I can't recall but did Kickass do much of anything that was cool in the sequel? This film is fading fast for me.

Part of following the geography for me could be recently reading the GN and the fact that it follows the GN so well. I will admit Kick-Ass didn't have a jet pack moment but seeing him actually become strong enough to really kick-ass was satisfying in its own way.




- ska oreo - 08-27-2013

Kick-Ass 2? More like Ass-Kicked 2. heh heh heh.

No seriously--what a nothing fucking film. Absolutely inferior to the first film in every single way. For a series that trades on Millar's shock value, it's pretty embarrassing how toned down this film is. If it weren't for the F-bombs and the occasional blood spurt, this could have easily been a pg-13 film and it felt like any other generic super hero film. I might have found the source material absolutely disgusting, but I almost wish that it contained the gang rape or dog killings because at least it would have had some kind of edge. Aside from Jim Carrey, no one brought their A-game to this and the entire film felt like a cheap cash grab.




- gamera vs rodan - 08-27-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ska Oreo View Post

Kick-Ass 2? More like Ass-Kicked 2. heh heh heh.

No seriously--what a nothing fucking film. Absolutely inferior to the first film in every single way. For a series that trades on Millar's shock value, it's pretty embarrassing how toned down this film is. If it weren't for the F-bombs and the occasional blood spurt, this could have easily been a pg-13 film and it felt like any other generic super hero film. I might have found the source material absolutely disgusting, but I almost wish that it contained the gang rape or dog killings because at least it would have had some kind of edge. Aside from Jim Carrey, no one brought their A-game to this and the entire film felt like a cheap cash grab.

Easily been PG-13? Opinions are cool but that one is absolutely ridiculous.




- ska oreo - 08-27-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamera vs Rodan View Post

Easily been PG-13? Opinions are cool but that one is absolutely ridiculous.

Considering how relentlessly violent pg-13 superhero films have become, I don't think it's that ridiculous. There is nothing in this film that matches the visceral violence of seeing Hit-Girl clearing out a group of gangbangers or Kick-Ass gunning down a guy with a Bazooka while riding on a jet pack.




- hammerhead - 08-27-2013

PG-13 has always been friendly to bloody violence, going back to Red Dawn.




- agent z - 08-27-2013

Saying that KA 2 has less of a visceral impact with its violence than its predecessor is one thing, but also saying that said sequel could have been rated PG-13 in general is crazy talk.




- hammerhead - 08-27-2013

No argument there.




- gamera vs rodan - 08-27-2013

Red Dawn was the first PG-13 movie. Compare it to the Red Dawn remake which hasn't got a single blood squib in the entire thing, PG-13 has come a long way from the original Red Dawn, it generally means you don't see people's hands get chopped off or lawn mowers wrecking people's shit.




- agent z - 08-27-2013

Or, well, shit in general......




- bartleby_scriven - 08-28-2013

Went into this with low expectations, considering the lukewarm reaction around these parts, and came away relatively pleased. I have a lot of goodwill toward the first one, mostly for its likable characters, clever stylization, and effective utilization of already existing music (both score and popular). The second one doesn't have a lot of new things to say, it's lost much of the clever style and production value as everything looks cheap this time around, and mostly coasts on the aforementioned goodwill. Still, Chloe Grace Moretz and Jim Carrey manage to instill real pathos in their characters and Aaron Taylor-Johnson continues to be an amiable audience surrogate, but what's somewhat pleasing but mostly wrongheaded about this movie and its spiritual predecessors Mystery Men and Watchmen is how it plays upon and subverts comic book tropes but not necessarily comic book MOVIE tropes.

What it comes down to is Millar's dialogue, and it's clear that this movie borrowed much more heavily from the books than the first did, only works on the page and there only just barely. The nature of comic book dialogue is that punchy one liners and operatic proclamations aren't accompanied by the dead air of characters reacting but the next panel having already moved on. Moments like "I'm gonna go Saudi Arabia on your ass and cut your hand off" feel like when actors pause after a punchline on sitcoms to let the laugh track kick in, but without that benefit the movie just lumbers along boldly hiding its own embarrassment. What Scott McCloud calls "closure" in his amazing Understanding Comics is the readers' ability to fill in the space between those panels, and something we've been trained to do since discovering floppy books is make this nonsense work in our heads. We soften the blow, we even out the rough patches, but Kick-ass 2 (much like other unfortunate stagnant motion comics like Daredevil and Watchmen) struggles to literalize the comic's page and loses cinematic energy in the process.

One problem is a matter of tone, because like many have already discussed this movie can't decide whether or not it's a spoof or a grim & gritty version of the classic street level superhero archetype. The weird thing is that the street level vigilante doesn't really exist on film. What I mean is the hero that handles muggers and bank robbers in back alleys and on rooftops. Spider-Man and Daredevil are the closest, but both have super powers. Batman is the obvious answer, but aside from the opening of Batman (1989) those movies have stuck almost exclusively with wacky, gimmicky super villains and their thugs, possibly due to the questionable iconography of a white super hero beating up on the visibly impoverished, especially minorities. No, Kick-Ass with his twin batons and his compatriots more resemble the likes of Nightwing or earlier Golden Age heroes that ran around in simplistic tights beating up hooligans with fisticuffs. That's something that, oddly enough, has only existed in the spoof form (Mystery Men) or the deconstruction (Watchmen) on film, but spoofs and deconstructions of concepts that don't really exist on film.

Concepts like patrolling, sidekicks, the "team-up" (when two unrelated heroes meet under strange circumstances and work together, a la The Brave & The Bold and Marvel Team-Up), and the superhero team are rare or non-existent in film. The X-Men and the Fantastic Four don't count because they don't fight crime in the traditional sense, certainly not on the street level, and form teams out of common themes and goals (prejudice, family). The Avengers, of course, is maybe the closest to Watchmen's Minutemen and Kick-Ass 2's Justice Forever, but there it's disparate "cosmic" heroes fighting an alien invasion, not masked men catching purse snatchers. So why does Hollywood keep getting ahead of itself in this department? Wanted at least had the good sense to not adapt a narrative that plays heavily on dirtying Silver Age archetypes, and Watchmen dropped most of the EC Comics' homaging by losing the pirate story (at least in the theatrical cut) and the Squid, but Kick-Ass 2 feels like it's attempting to manipulate and subvert big ideas from comics for an audience that isn't familiar with the material.

Still, for what could've been a joke of a character, Jim Carrey imbues Colonel Stars & Stripes with believable motivation and a sense of dignity. I actually cared and empathized with his mission when he died, as opposed to the majority of the rest of the cast (Kick-Ass included) who are obviously damaged people dressing up to get their kicks. That's something that gets lost with fans of Watchmen: they're not superheroes, their crazy fetishists. There's a reason Moore and Gibbons never actually show them stop crime in a traditional sense, instead opting to focus on the quiet moments inbetween the fights that bring into stark focus the ridiculousness of these characters standing around in their long johns. Snyder completely misunderstood that by adding all the action and fights; Nite Owl is a cos-player at best. Kick-Ass 2 adds a nice ripple by playing up their community service and raising of morale for the city, but then can't decide if their violent attacks on criminals are selfish or actually making a difference. This is at its worst in the case of Hitgirl, who Moretz somehow conceptualizes as a three dimensional individual. The moment when her heart races upon seeing a boy band for the first time somehow overcomes triteness and offers real insight.

I don't know. Mother Russia taking out a bunch of cop cars is pretty awesome, but I can't decide if the changes from the comic (The Motherfucker refusing to kill the dog and his performance problem during the attempted rape) are a clever negotiation of recent tensions in comics (and popular fiction in general) regarding a sense of escalation between villain and hero or a cop out. The villain has to commit worse atrocities so the hero is justified in his retaliation, alleviating any audience guilt upon living vicariously through these moments of righteous violence, something I discussed recently in my Hero as Bully thread. This movie ends, however, with Kick-Ass taking the moral high ground and attempting to save The Motherfucker, something I appreciated although it of course is resolved with a death-by-cop scenario.

Sometimes it's hard to believe something like this even exists. I kind of sat there for 103 minutes marveling at the "meanwhile..." and word balloons popping up over the Chinese characters. Still, even that bit of fan service isn't enough to save this forgettable movie.




- hammerhead - 08-28-2013

I did like the word balloons.