Kick Ass 2
has been troubled with any number of complications
before the films release. From Jim Carrey's refusal to promote the film
, citing his arguments against gratuitous violence in the wake of a school shooting. To critical reviews ripping the film to shreds
, mostly due to the same issues of it's violent content. Not to forget, the expectation this sequel needed to surpass its predecessor in every way. The Fact that the cool 12 year old, ninja-like, cute-death-granting-wrecking-ball that is Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz)
, is now 15, the thrill of the gimmick of a cute-killer may almost seemingly be gone.
Is the thrill really gone? I was anxious to see for myself as I watched these characters grow up on screen, and how they were dealing with their day-to-day lives in the real world, as much as they were in their costumes (haphazardly) fighting crime.
Here are the five best reasons I found in the film, making it a worthwhile venture for this comic book movie fan.
5. The Cheese
This film is a perfect example of operating with dual purposes. It's meant to be cheesy and silly. It's supposed to be almost idiotic. But it does this because the real message interred is simply, "put on a cape to fight crime, and you're going to get killed, or cause people around you to get killed." It's a shot of truth embedded midst the laughs. Not the idealogy that, good conquers all...
But it's done in such cheesy "B-Movie"
goodness, you can't help but to shut your brain off for a second and belly laugh, or guffaw, as I do (yes I guffaw, shut up!) at the gratuitous violence that is being displayed.
It forces you to see, on a different level, that people in many of archetypes shown in the film are assholes. Example, Brooke...This character is a totally evil and slutty bitch, a typical high school mean girl. We see these types in a lot of movies, and we tend to hate them, that's usually as far as it goes. Kick Ass 2 points them out, in an over-the-top manner, and let's you feel good about hating them, and wanting to (essentially) hurt or kill them...You cheer for something to happen to them.
I know, that's kind of [frick]ed up right?
That's why the story seemed to cheese itself up whenever it was giving you a buildup of ill-intent toward the represented characters, most of them minors. Perhaps, I read to far into those notions, or feelings...but I can appreciate the cheesy levity. Even if I wanted those characters to die horribly.
The king of them all in his cheesy glory was Christopher Mintz-Plasse
, who was astoundingly great to watch in this film. "The Mother[frick]er"
won me over with his awkward, geeky, pissed off rage. The movie would have felt a strange void without him in it. While in truth, too much of him and you'll start wondering why you're watching this movie - you never had that much of him on the screen to want him to go away. That truly is the power of cheese
! (Did I really just type that...wtf O_o)
4. The Sick Stick!
Very few scenes in any film mark extremely memorable laughter in someones past, and many times, it is blatantly stupid, idiotic, and perhaps, the trigger is nonsensical for that laughter. But you remember the scene in the film that caused it. For many of us, we never forget those scenes of stupid-good, raucous, uncontrollable, belly laughs. Sometimes going back to show someone else the same scene we thought so hilarious, without gaining anywhere near the same reaction as our own. making us look like dumbasses...For me one of those great scenes is from Dumb and Dumber
Kick Ass 2 has an amazingly immature, and ridiculously-insane, scene involving a "Sick Stick". Which I think will create new memories for many of you because of it. Mindy, who finally, comes into her own, with confidence, clarity, and focus, finally able to let go of her father, Big Daddy, and realize who she really is. Takes matters into her own hands and serves up some revenge with the aforementioned sick stick. It took some proverbial eye opening moments perpetrated by Mindy's new "friends" to get her to this point in her growth, but she got there, that is what counts. From being a teenager starting to feel attraction to boys, to wanting to be part of a crowd, feeling pretty...Teenagers being teenagers, basically. We see her character grow up in glimpses, and decides who she really is. The Sick Stick was merely a tool used in her declaration of her showcase. Even if that declaration came covered in vomit and other wonderfully brown slops of acknowledgement...I said too much.
3. Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey single-handedly stole the film. Yet, and sadly, he did not have a lot of screen time. But what he did have, he used to glorious purpose. Jim Carrey's character was Col. Stars and Stripes
. An extremely straight arrow crime fighter that wasn't happy with people cursing, and an affinity for other vigilante do-gooders. He also had a charming little pooch of a dog, Eisenhower, that liked to attack people in the "Schwanz"...who cares about the Schwanz, the dog would bite you in the balls! O.K., there I said it.
Carrey's character displayed an amazing amount of physical comedy, over-the-top, but necessary. Firm and almost stoic. The vocal profile he used for his character matched with the look he had in the film - to near perfection. I know that sounds ridiculous...perhaps the better explanation is simply that he felt natural on screen. When he talks to Kick Ass in a fatherly way, he almost seemed to become more of a serious character, not one in a dark comedy. You can believe the character...
With all the weirder bullshit circulating in the film that essentially removes you from the escapism of the experience, Carrey's presence as the Col. kept you in the movie, and forced you to betray your rational brain.
Did Stars and Stripes kick ass?
Indeed, he did...He used a kind of club to pummel his adversaries with what appeared extreme prejudice. Resorting to some hand to hand combat if needed, with equal flair. Every scene Carrey was in is memorable, from some simple jokes to the few scenes we got to see him fighting crime.
Carrey on his own, without the rest of this list, might be good enough a reason to catch the film, just to see what his stand against violence was all about, even if you end up hating the film. He'd be one of the reasons you'd come back to watch it again...
2. Mother Russia!!!
, holy shit this woman came out of nowhere and decided to take over the film, as Mother Russia
. While Christopher Mintz-Plasse was the main villain, Mother Russia was nothing short of amazing as one mean ass kicking number two (3rd if you count Leguizamo as 2nd). This woman is a tower, and a mountain of muscle. Giving her character insane levels of purpose, stature, and bad-assery oozing from every aspect of her being.
There are a few spectacular displays of brutality and murderous calm as she takes on multiple police officers, the Col., and Hit Girl, with a few of the most original kill-methods I've seen in a long time. Much to the cheering glee of her cohorts.
Now, yes, this is a giant muscular woman, that looks like she is a living comic book character, observed killing (and ripping apart, let's not forget ripping) a lot of cops...I understand, as I pause for a moment, to use my serious tone for something we should recognize is probably bad and potentially influential to children - but F'that! This movie is supposed to push those envelopes, and in many cases shock you. Even if the shock mostly makes you laugh your ass off.
Mother Russia accomplishes this almost as well as Chloe Moretz did the first time we saw her flying into an enemy with a dual blade, eviscerating everyone in her path.
Mother Russia is probably the most important character in the film from the moment she steps into frame. She is involved in virtually all the major plot points and story arcs, and is vital as a villain. I'm glad she is a newcomer to film altogether, because you end up enjoying her character more, just as much as you are wondering - "Who the [frick] is she!"
1. Chloe Moretz Is A Beast!
I will admit, we don't get anything as spectacular as Hit Girl in the first movie. That's ok, we got a lot of what made the character amazing, and this is a different movie, it can't all be the same... We get to see her grow up a bit and become a young lady in this entry (lady in relative terms). I think a lot of the fandom that has argued not liking this part of the characters development suffer from two problems.
I-Don't-Want-My-Comic-Book-To-Age-Itis - Comic characters don't have to age, where actors playing these characters do...Which consequently in the films we get to see them age and adapt to their world as they age.
Unrealistic Expectations of Characters Remaining Static - The notion that a characters growth from film to film doesn't really change much...They are always the same person, sobbing over the same lost love, Even after finally kissing the girl, they are still shy, and tremble...
This is not F'ing Twilight...People grow, they change, they deal with those life changes and react...People are dynamic, not static.
Did I just rant a bit? Maybe kicked a puppy or two with that random comment about Twilight? O.K., I'm better now, moving on...
Chloe Moretz is nothing short of amazing. Her fight scenes are steeped in awesome, and I even like a few realistic tweaks that the film threw in, like bullet holes on top of a van being used as grip holes, helping her not fall off.
This movie is more about Mindy, than it is about any other character - despite the film named for a different hero - who cares...For me, Kick Ass is secondary to Mindy's Hit Girl anyway. The character can be described as bloodthirsty, but really it's all she knows. She was raised under a strict set of guidelines by her father. So the bulk of what we see in the film is her normal life, and guardian, in contrast with everything she ever learned. How she is coping, what she resolves to do, and who she resolves to be.
It also helps that we get a super-hero-esque style final battle between Mindy and Mother Russia which crystallizes how tough this little lady really is, even if she does get a little help.
Like any hero story, they have to find themselves before they can do anything for anyone else.
The critics and audiences talking about this film seemed to have forgotten, Mindy, is still just a kid, adjusting to school, growing up, and learning to just fit in. Seems they still want the 12 year old version running around and killing people, without a shred of personal growth, and skipping the whole teenager phase entirely.
Did I think the film was amazing...no, not by any stretch of the imagination. Did I enjoy it...Yes, absolutely! Why? Because it was fun, sometimes a film like this is just about keeping your brain turned off...
In the words of Col. Stars and Stripes "Try to have fun...Otherwise, what's the point."