Saturday, March 26, 2016
KICK-ASS 2 (2013)
Written & Directed By: Jeff Wadlow
Based on The comic book & Characters Created By: Mark Millar & John Romita Jr. Cinematography By: Tim Maurice-Jones
Editor: Eddie Hamilton
Cast: Aaron Taylor Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Morris Chestnut, Donald Faison, Clark Duke, John Leguizamo, Lindy Booth, Claudia Lee, Jim Carrey, Yancy Butler, Lyndsy Foseca, Benedict Wong, Daniel Kaluuya, Iain Glen
*Please note that some trivia and facts have been republished from imdb among other sources In this review
Following Kick-Ass's heroics, other citizens are inspired to become masked crusaders. But the Red Mist leads his own group of evil super-villains to kill Kick-Ass and destroy everything for which he stands.
Though it is based on the graphic novel sequel that is so over the top and nihlisticly violent it could never be brought to the screen without a bunch of changes. Which are worked around nicely to a degree.
The films central problem is the same of many sequels it tries too hard to be bigger and badder. Which ends up making it feel inferior as the first film had a certain spirit of hope and attempting to stay in spirit of the comic and be it's own story. It seemed like the film strived for something.
Here this feels Slick and studio mandated and instead of humor it seems to be gross and cynical just to be that way no real reason.
You can see the difference in the film-making as the first film feels like a comic book In a heightened reality. This film feels like a comic book and adult one through and through.
As I have read the source material I can understand the changes and won't necessarily nitpick. They solve the problem of changing the first films ending. Though they leave a lot of plot points unresolved. That we're only additions in the film version. The bitchy clique and his first girlfriends exit. His friend inadvertently selling him out. The uncle running the mob family teaching him a lesson.
Though it is based on previous material. The film feels like it is struggling to rekindle the shock value of the first. A good enough story and just the material feels like it struggles to make stuff up and keep the momentum and be memorable. Here it seems like it keeps going and trying to push things to the extreme though feeling empty.
Some of Red Mist/The Motherfucker's nastier moments from the comic, including murdering children and rape were omitted from the film. Christopher Mintz-Plasse's reaction to this was literally, "Oh, thank God".
It stays entertaining though it feels half-assed.
Even Aaron Taylor Johnson seems bored with the lead role.
Where as in the first film. While there was a certain fantasy element. The premise kept a somewhat plausible villain and reaction as far as circumstances. When it came to vigilantes vs. organized crime.
This film goes more in the direction of not only dark comedy in general, but of swallowing the kool-aid and becoming a full blown comic book that has no resemblance to being realistic or indentifiable as everything is so over the top, cartoonish, disposable and skewed, under the guise of being just mean spirited the the film revels in.
Even as one of his close friends seems almost sitcomish stupid and doesn't realize the mistakes he's made or the trouble he has caused they result in deaths. Nor is he ever made to feel guilty or punished for his actions. Almost like Potsie on HAPPY DAYS no matter how stupid, silly or how much he has messed up. Because he is likeable and has a good heart all of his mistakes are forgiven. This was Evan Peters Character from the first film he was unable to reprise his role as Todd Haynes because of scheduling conflicts with American Horror Story. Similarly, Lyndsy Fonseca was only available for a brief cameo as Katie Deauxma due to scheduling conflicts with Nikita.
The film looks like it is tightly budgeted almost as if half-way through filming they lost funding and depended on product placement to finish the film.
Though it's nice to see Jim Carrey in the film. His casting seems off more like stunt casting as he certainly makes his presence felt. Yet his character is used more as a symbol, so that his character stands for something the heroic character aspire to. So his casting or the decision to pick more of a star for the role makes sense. As the audience will have a certain trust and familiarity already with them.
In the wake of the Newtown Elementary School shooting in 2012, Jim Carrey refused to take part in any promotion campaigns for this film, because he felt he could no longer support its violent content. Carrey is known for his personal distaste for guns and gun violence, not unlike his character in the movie (the only gun the Colonel handles in the film is unloaded).
Mark Millar was actually delighted by Jim Carrey's disapproval of the film's violence. In his own words, Millar described it as "like saying 'this porno has too much nudity.'"
While the film Also seeks to be some kind of satire and spoof of exist g superheroes, but not of their films. As the film is more treated and directed as a comedy's
As part of the attraction of the first film and comic book was a character living out a fantasy and the hard knocks reality of the situation. So that it essentially was a fan fantasy movie almost. Though the audience could still connect. This film takes any drama or fan fantasy element out of the equation. So that it is purely a film that is unidentifiable.
The film lacks the constant rush. It seems to want to provide of seeming break neck, instead the film trips up at times and feels like it is lagging behind. Then tries to make up for it by making the next set piece huge once it begins to feel slow or expository.
The film also seems to lack the smarts, edge and with of the first film. While sticking somewhat to the same outline of the graphic novel. Which it differs from considerably, just as the first film did with it's source material.
Instead of bigger as sequels usually tend I try to be, this sequel gives the impression. Yet feels smaller.
One of the positives of this film and the series is that even though she is supposed to be more the supporting star. This film series truly showcases actress Chloe Grace Moretz and shows she is a star of the future as well as showcasing her talent as well as her developing skills.
The bitchy clique subplot seemed forced and an attempt at satire that started off well the played it's hand too Fast with an unsatisfying payoff. It seemed to attempt to be mean girls-ish though made itself too superficial too quickly
Also the action is big bit barely noteworthy and the one memorable action sequence was spoiled in the previews.
Though this film is ridiculously violent it tries to put a glossy sheen on itself and the times it can really take chances it steps back.
Like the film even the actors in their characters don't really seem that invested just here for the paycheck. The only two who do invest in their performances are Jim Carrey in an extended cameo and having fun though later refusing to do Promotion for it. And Chloe Grace Moretz who steals the film and is the true star.
As film Critic roger every hated the first film feeling it degenerate and not liking to See children exploited to A degree with violence. This film is the one that seems like it's doing degenerate things just to do them Then easing innocence likely didn't Know any better.
Even the comedy is weak here and feels misused. I guess my main problem with the film is that it just feels inauthentic. It feels empty. It might also have too many characters that really get no Screen time and are more of filler and a distraction then need be.
It also feels Smaller scaled curiously though it leaves room for a Sequel. I would consider watching one. Though it would have to have the right creative team behind it.
It's one thing to read the graphic novel where we know it is all make believe in a real world setting. The carnage and over the top grandiosity of the action and characters. With all the death, destruction ad nihilism plus a story of destiny and a rather bleak ending with promise of some Kind of hope. it would be hard to translate to the screen and make a studio ready audience pleasing blockbuster. Though any bombed but will have it's fans, maybe it should have gone for broke and tried to be true to itself and go a different original route so at least it could be noteworthy. Then again maybe it is being true to itself by being an uninspired cash-in that is half-hearted.
Wait for cable .