Sunday, August 25, 2013

Gangs of New York

Well, it had to happen.  Time to review one of the most critically-reviled movies of all time, and it's called Kick-Ass 2.  Ebert's new guy called it "one of the year's worst films."  The Onion gives it a C.  Personally, I think we're all getting a little tired of superhero movies, and things like Jonah Hex and Kick-Ass are bound to fall victim to that.  I won't dwell on all the negativity, mostly because I just saw the following web page, but also because of this: John Leguizamo.  Sure, he's made a bad movie here and there, but they're always cool.  And John Leguizamo is in Kick-Ass 2, playing the part of the calming influence that tempers the bad guy's rage, because he's no longer young and raging himself.  Now I ask you: is John Leguizamo going to appear in a movie that's not cool?  Of course not!  Is Jim Carrey?  Hell no!  Are they going to take lower salaries to be a part of this?  Maybe!
...damn.  Just remembered The Pest.  It'll take me a while to shake that one off again.  And I only saw about three minutes of it!  Anyway, back to Kick-Ass 2.  Now, my friend and I went to see it last night.  Expectations were high.  Afterwards, however, the friend was a little disappointed with the script, and they told me that they thought they could've written a better one.  And perhaps that's true, but that's not for me to say.  As for me, I thought this second installment was slightly better than the first.  The first one, frankly, had a few dead spots.  More specifically, the scene where Kick-Ass is rubbing some lotion on girlfriend Katie's naked back.  And of course, the whole thing about Kick-Ass telling his girlfriend that he's not gay, with the stipulation that there's nothing wrong with that.  But it is what it is.  Somehow the sequel has less dead spots, and just keeps moving right along.  Sure, the plot was a tad predictable, and movie homages were everywhere to be found, but I still found myself entertained.  It's more for the kids, really. 
Take Hit Girl's ventures into high school.  One could call it a rip-off of Mean Girls, or Heathers, or any number of other movies, but Hit Girl does put her own unique spin on the cliché that is high school.  Spoiler alert: it puts the Farrelly brothers to shame; more specifically, their relative tastefulness in Me, Myself and Irene.  Moretz is once again the shining star of the movie, at least on the good guy's side.  On the bad guy's side, there's Mother Russia played by newcomer Olga Kurkulina.  I tried in vain to figure out who the actress was, or maybe I was just pining for my youth, which consisted of Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV, among others.  Spoiler alert: I think her demise was a bit tasteless.  It reminded me of what happened to Scratchy when he got a bunch of muscles.  I dare say that Mother Russia is the one who really steals the movie.
But back to the critics.  One critic called Aaron Taylor-Johnson, the actor who plays Kick-Ass, bland.  Well, that's just mean.  Personally, I think Aaron got confused and thought that Zack Snyder was going to direct the film.  He got pretty damn buff!  Wonder if he did that Hugh Jackman Wolverine diet of boiled chicken or something.  Also, The Onion got it half right.  Hit Girl says to a bad guy "If you don't give up a life of crime, I'm going to go Saudi Arabia on your ass and cut off your hand!"  They reported just this part of the whole quote: "I'm going to go Saudi Arabia on your ass."  Sloppy work, guys.
The film was directed by a fella named Jeff Wadlow, a nephew of Katie Couric.  Well, this film's going to be an awkward topic at the next Couric family Thanksgiving dinner, dontcha think?

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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