Movie review: Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2

Details from IMDB:

Kick-Ass (2010)

KickAss

117 min  -  Action | Comedy | Crime  -  16 April 2010 (USA)

Ratings: 7.8/10 from 281,666 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 761 user | 412 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

Dave Lizewski is an unnoticed high school student and comic book fan who one day decides to become a super-hero, even though he has no powers, training or meaningful reason to do so.

Director:

Matthew Vaughn

Writers:

Jane Goldman (screenplay), Matthew Vaughn (screenplay), 2 more credits »

Stars:

Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nicolas Cage, Chloë Grace Moretz | See full cast and crew

Initial Thoughts:

As you may have noticed this is another double review! Smile I figured since I just re-watched the first one (and I didn’t have a blog back then) that I might as well review them both now. This is another case where I had not read the comics ahead of time, so I didn’t know the plot (well except for 1st movie which I saw twice). So since I was on vacation and a friend hadn’t  seen it, I watched part 1 again.

Main Points:

While Nicolas Cage constitutes “star power” for me he was the worst part of the movie. He really hasn’t done a good movie since 2005 (that I’ve seen anyway) and he just seems to be here due to his own fascination with super-heroes and comic books. He plays “Big Daddy” here and while he can pull off the action scenes, all the ones where he’s not in costume are rather crappy. The story itself is a good one, Dave is a teenager who is obsessed with comic books and has the idea of becoming a real hero. What I really liked about the movie is that some scenes are very realistic.

So I guess that means…

SPOILER ALERT!

Initially Dave has terrible lucky as Kick-Ass, he gets stabbed, beaten up and hit by a car. Then he only survives because he attracts enough attention that attackers go away (he was helping someone else). His toughness afterwards is explained by “fucked up nerve endings” and metal plates throughout his body. Now is probably a good time to say this movie isn’t for kids, I’d say at least 16 years old. (I’m Canadian so I’m a little more liberal than most Winking smile).

Final Thoughts:

The real star of this movie (and the next one) is Chloë Grace Moretz (who plays Hit Girl/Mindy). It is a little shocking to hear her curse and swear like a trooper at just 9 years old (the movie also has a lot of violence and some sex). Overall though this was a good movie, it’s fun and though violent not excessively gory (for my tastes anyway). When they show the backstory of Big Daddy it is done in stop-motion comic book style and it looks really cool.  I liked that the movie with a straight forward plot and I it did initially have a few surprises (I didn’t know Big Daddy would die or the crime lord father). 8/10 from me and a strong recommendation (just not for kids) Thumbs up.

_______________________________________________________

Details from IMDB:

KickAss2

Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

103 min  -  Action | Comedy | Crime  -  16 August 2013 (USA)

Ratings: 7.3/10 from 19,919 users   Metascore: 41/100
Reviews: 158 user | 200 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

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.

Director:

Jeff Wadlow

Writers:

Jeff Wadlow (screenplay), Mark Millar (comic book), 1 more credit »

Stars:

Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse | See full cast and crew

Initial Thoughts:

I thought it would be fun to see Kick Ass at home (well on vacation but close enough Smile) and then the sequel the next night, so this weekend that’s what I did. I should say that sadly R-rated comic movie don’t seem to have taken off yet, there was maybe 12 people in the theatre (including me and a friend) when I saw it on a Saturday night Sad smile.

Main Points:

The whole cast is back (minus Nicolas Cage of course) for the continuation of the story line. It’s been 3 years and Dave is a senior and Mindy is now with him at high school. Dave this time takes on the role of father figure/sidekick/love interest for Mindy (it’s a little creepy) and encourages her to return to the life of Hit Girl and superheroes.

Before I continue…

SPOILER ALERT!

So after the death of Chris D’Amico’s father (in part 1) he’s now forced to look after his alcoholic mother and his obsession for revenge against Kick-Ass. Chris’ mother is soon killed (by him during an accident) and he takes over the family, becoming the first super-villian “motherfucker”. Motherfucker is trying to be really evil but only succeeds in doing so by hiring people do join his gang of villains.

After the controversy with Jim Carey (which I thought he was being a dick about) I have to comment on his role/performance. I liked Sergeant Stars and Stripes, he was a fun character and Jim Carey did a good job. I was sorry to see him killed before he had a chance to do much.

Dave is growing as a character and I like how Kick-Ass takes on more responsibility and helps form a group of superheroes. The relationship he has with Mindy is interesting (and only a little sexual on her part it seems). I also liked how Kick-Ass still makes mistakes (the fight where he dresses as a pimp was excellent) and he accepts that it was his own fault his father died.

Final Thoughts:

As with the first movie there is a big showdown and people die (this time Motherfucker and at least one villain, along with Dave’s father earlier on). Also as before Hit Girl comes through and we’re left with the clear idea of a sequel (which I hope happens). For me while I think Chloë Grace Moretz continues to shine her I don’t like everything the do with her in this story. While I suppose it’s natural she would think of Dave as a father figure/love interest I found it odd that she never had any feelings for men until 15. I certainly don’t understood young girls but 15? Really? Mindy never would have thought about men or sex or her body before then? That part just seemed very unrealistic to me.

The fact that she (and Dave) grapple with the dangers and meanings of teenage/superhero life and the promises they made to their departed father’s. With Kick-Ass I knew about the swearing but almost nothing else, here I knew a lot of what to expect as a consequence my enjoyment was not as high. This one also goes a little far in the gross/gore factor in a few scenes for my tastes. Overall if you’re a fan of the first one or just comic books (you don’t have to see part 1 but it would help) I certainly recommend it Thumbs up. Once more not for kids, when I saw it there was a boy that couldn’t have been more then 10 or 11, this seemed too young. 7/10 from, next time an interview/spotlight for a change (and a little possible controversy of my own Winking smile). Until then, I am as always…

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