Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Friday, August 16, 2013

Kick-Ass 2


Super Reality

8.75 out of 10 | Movie or DVD

Rated: R Strong violence, pervasive language, crude and sexual content, and brief nudity
Release Date: August 16, 2013
Runtime: 1 hour 47 minutes

Director: Jeff Wadlow
Writers: Jeff Wadlow, from comic book by Mark Millar, John Romita Jr.
Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Morris Chestnut, Claudia Lee, Clark Duke, Augustus Prew, Donald Faison, Garrett M. Brown, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Yancy Butler, John Leguizamo, Jim Carrey

SYNOPSIS: The costumed high-school hero Kick-Ass joins with a group of normal citizens who have been inspired to fight crime in costume. Meanwhile, the Red Mist plots an act of revenge that will affect everyone Kick-Ass knows.

REVIEW: Never Back Down and the upcoming X-Force writer/director Jeff Wadlow takes over the reins and returns to a world where superheroes are not super powered, just super dedicated to truth, justice, and the American way. Based on the comic series written by Mark Millar and drawn by John Romita Jr., the hero comic made successful by Matthew Vaughn, Taylor-Johnson, and Grace Moretz, Kick-Ass 2 promises to kick ass.

The Internet costumed sensation turned drug kingpin killer Dave Lizewski a.k.a.Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Savages) has hung up his tights, paving the way for other costumed adventurers and vigilantes to patrol the streets and keep the city's citizens safe. Mindy Macready a.k.a. Hit-Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz, Let the Right One In) has even given up her blue hair and butterfly knives to just be a normal teenage girl under the care of her father's former partner Detective Marcus Williams (Morris Chestnut, Identity Thief). A new hero, Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone), leads the cadre of heroes against the evils of the night. Meanwhile, the former Red Mist / Chris D'Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, The To Do List) seeks his own vengeance against Kick-Ass, leaving his innocence behind and taking the more brutal moniker of The Motherf%&*‏^r, and assembling his own legion of villains and criminals. Kick-Ass and Hit Girl must return to the fray as heroes in order to stop The Motherf%&*‏^r and his minions from destroying both their lives and the lives of those they love.

Taylor and Moretz brought the original comic to screen adaption to life to moderate box office, with greater success on DVD. Moretz's Hit Girl was brilliant, Nicolas Cage's Big Daddy was Adam west and William Shatner all rolls up into a vengeful, psychotic father, and Taylor managed to bring to screen a non-powered hero with all the hope of Peter Parker and all the heart of the caped crusader - without the gadgets or fighting prowess. It was faithful to the tone of Mark Millar's graphic limited series as best as it could be, changing things up with visuals and plot points that worked better on camera. Now we return to a non-powered superhero universe not unlike the real world, where a young hero like Kick-Ass can exist without much of a second look.

With Dave now a senior in high school and Mindy a freshman it seems that everyone is figuring out what to do next. Mindy struggles against wanting to help people as Hit Girl and Dave struggles with the mundane existence without being Kick-Ass. This film ups the ante like many sequels need to, with Kick Ass back out in the streets joining with other superheroes. Instead of being a couple heroes against a bunch of mobster, Kick-Ass 2 brings heroes and villains out by the dozens. No longer are Kick-Ass and Hit Girl the only masked avengers. More people have taken up the call to go to try to right the wrongs that they feel nobody else can – even the police.

From Colonel Stars and Stripes, to Kick-Ass girl Night Bitch (Lindy Booth, Dawn of the Dead), to Battle Guy (Clark Duke, The Croods) who ends up being unmasked as Dave's friend Marty, to Insect Man (Robert Emms, Mirror Mirror), to Dr. Gravity (Donald Faison, Pitch Perfect), the film fills the screen with ordinary people trying to do extraordinary things. In this world the bullets are real and people die, but fear of death does not deter the mission of these men and women. But Chris D'Amico has other plans for the lot of them, still brooding over the death of his father by the hands of Kick-Ass's bazooka.

Taking in both the Kick-Ass 2 and Hit Girl miniseries by Mark Millar, this film is funny, thoughtful, and utterly brutal. The fight scene scene end up being bloody melees, especially in the battle royale climax at the end. Hit Girl has some great choreographed scenes of action against D'Amico's thugs and against Mother Russia (Olga Kurkulina). What could have been considered a throwaway sequel actually has both teeth and something of a story backing it up.

Kick-Ass 2 is touted as this summer's last must-see film. Fans of the original film will get a kick out of watching Dave and Mindy trying to get on with their lives. Hit Girl may be less shocking than she was in the first film, but she is more grown up than ever. Sacrifices are made, blood is shed, and the reality of the wounds and scars collected are painful and deep.

Kick-Ass 2 is the perfect catharsis for the super powered summer blues. Snarky and comic-y, this film still holds a grain of humanity that the other genre films may have to marvel at.

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