Pretty much lives up to it’s name.
Yes I’m still sluggish getting these out. Saw this movie Thursday night but honestly if you saw the amount of work I have piled up (literally) you would understand.
So I enjoyed this film about as much as I expected to (something of a singular event these days). Fortunately I expected to enjoy it a lot. This film follows the typical sequel pattern of a kick ass first movie (haw!) followed by a sequel that is about 80% of the first one. However, when you have a movie as good as the first Kick Ass 80% of it make it as good or better than all the Ryan Reynolds films put together.
The film definitely had a different tone. I would have to say this one was darker, grimmer, and lacking in the cuteness of young Hit Girl. Her assault down the hallway in the gangster penthouse (with Bad Reputation by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts playing in the background) is one of my personal favorite action scenes of the last ten years. She is an iconic character and based on the number of HG costumes I saw at Comic Con a popular one.
Hit Girl is back, but now is cursed with all the teenaged angst that they seem to hand girls on their first day of high school. Due to the nature of the story she is in the film less and fight less, at least until the last 20 minutes, and her fights are just not as super squirrelly as they were in the last one. Her best fight she is not even wearing her HG costume, although that was the fight that most reminded me of the last film.
On the other hand Kick Ass is back and faces some interesting comic book-ish issues, such as why he even became a super hero and what he hopes to accomplish from it. A lot of this movie is taken up with him and Hit Girl in street clothes trying to figure out what they should be doing in life, which tended to make the film less cool and exciting but added a nice note of realism and drama otherwise missing from the last one.
The story starts off with Kick Ass (Anderson Taylor-Johnson-Kick Ass, Savages, Nowhere Boy) back in high school with Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz-Dark Shadows, Hugo, Let Me In), except Hit Girl has been cutting class to train. She gets Kick Ass (yes, I know his character name is Dave and Hit Girl’s is Mindy. I just like calling them by their superhero names) to join her and they start fighting some crime. During their first caper she gets caught by her now legal guardian Marcus (Morris Chestnut-the Call, Boys in the Hood, Identity Thief) and he gets her to promise to stop with the Hit Girl thing. She does out of respect for her father.
Meanwhile Kick Ass has a taste for the action and looks for other super heroes to team up with. New York is now lousy with them and through a guy called Dr. Gravity (Donald Faison-Scrubs, Remember the Titans, Clueless) he meets up with Justice Forever, a team lead by the psychotic Col. Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey-Ace Ventura, Dumb and Dumber, The Truman Show). One of his fellow team members Battle Guy is his old friend Marty (Clark Duke-Hot Tub Time Machine, A Thousand Words, the Croods) and a hot chick named Night Bitch (Lindy Booth-Wrong Turn, Relic Hunter, Dawn of the Dead (image courtesy of the Zombie T Shirt category)). They run around the city doing public service and catching bad guys.
Meanwhile Kick Ass’s old enemy Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse-Superbad, Role Models, Pitch Perfect) is back. He has kind of lost it and is now a super villain named the M-F-er whose sole purpose is to cause pain and suffering in order to destroy Kick Ass. He recruits a bunch of other psychopaths and they go berserk.
I’m going to blow off the rest of the story mainly because it’s late and I always find the story recap to be the most boring and arduous part of these reviews. A movie like this I expect any of my readers to see so the recap is redundant anyway. Sufficed to say crosses are doubled, stuff gets blown up, and a lot of asses get kicked.
Hit Girl is awesome again. One star. The evil team the M-F-er put together was also pretty awesome, especially Mother Russia. One star. I expected all the new super heroes to suck (except for Col. Stars and Stripes) but in fact they were each cool in their own way. One star. All the acting was dead on perfect. One star. The story delved deeper into the angst of being a super hero than most films bother to. I thought it was neat. One star. The fight scenes were all really cool and fun. One star. Comic book movie. One star. Over all a fun, exciting film. Two stars. Total: nine stars.
The black holes:
Honestly I’m at a loss. I could give one for there being less action and more character development, but I just gave the film a star for that a in the last paragraph. Pacing slugged up at times but overall felt right. I’m going to have to do my very rare no black hole reviews. There wasn’t anything I wish they did differently.
So a total of nine stars and my hearty endoursement of this film. Not better than Kick Ass, but worthy be being mentioned in the same sentence. Please see this film in a theater. We need to encourage quality film. Date movie? Meh. Romance was kind of limited to Kick Ass knocking boots with Night Bitch in a bathroom, so not really. Plus if are a Hit Girl fan you might end up looking kind of creepy. Bathroom break? Depends on what you are here for. If all you want is action that kicks ass (that’s the last one I swear) I’d say go in any of the scenes where Hit Girl is trying to convince Kick Ass to put on his costume or Kick Ass is trying to do the same for Hit Girl. If you like the characters and angst involved go during any of the action scenes. (Or if you are a true fan just hold it. It’s only 103 minutes long).
Thanks for reading. I’ll see something tomorrow for sure, but have another trip to Las Vegas that I leave for Monday so I don’t know if I will have time to write it up. Sorry. Follow me on Twitter @Nerdkungfu. By the way it would be very cool if you liked us on Facebook. If you have comments about this film or my review feel free to post a comment here. Off topic suggestions and review can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Talk to you soon.
Kind of a study in contrasts today. This is when the business part of my business trip starts. After a leisurely breakfast I was picked up by a raucous crowd of my fellow sales reps. You see, sales reps by nature have kind of over the top personalities. One on one that works great, and people love us and like buying from us (for the most part). However, get more than a few of us in the same room together and it is like standing in a wind tunnel, except instead of air the tunnel is blowing a storm of sales gripes, bad stories, and fart jokes.
After a short drive through some mundane countryside we ended up at a hotel that almost comical in it’s contrast from my time in Venice. It is termed a “business hotel” but could be more accurately described as a “correctional institute”. It is ultra modern, yet bare and oppressive like a medical correctional facility.
Actually, now that I think about it, the building looks and feels like one of those Umbrella research facilities pre T virus outbreak. Bare white corridors, sensing card keys, doors that would not have looked out of place as airlock portals, and everthing steel, white, grey, or beige. If it weren’t for the cute girls behind the desk I would be expected to be experimented on this morning. (Umbrella Corp logo image courtesy of the Zombie Movie T Shirt category)
The room itself is surreal, in that the first one the window or air conditioning didn’t work (this is a brand new building), the beds are tiny, only about 1/2 the light switches actually connect to anything, the shower seems specifically designed to spill water all over the floor, and the room has this power saving feature that requires you to leave your key in a slot by the door or 30 seconds later the power in the room goes off. This is all well and good until your roommate opts to leave the room while you are in the shower, leaving you dripping wet and stumbling around the room naked looking for your key (thanks, Frank).
The guy with the car had to go back to the airport to pick up more of our sales reps, and he dropped me and two others off in a small town to kill time. We had a good lunch (Italian food. Go figure). At that point we discovered that small Italian towns on a Sunday are pretty much deserted wastelands. We must have walked two miles (5 km) and saw maybe four people. None of the shops were open. We ended up sitting on a park bench only to find our friends were having lunch at the exact same restaurant we had eaten at.
After that it was an afternoon and evening of hanging out with my loud American friends. I have to say after three days in charming, quiet Venice being in this ultra-modern eyesore and surrounded by boisterous Americans really made me start to wish I was back in Venice. As I sit here typing I suddenly realize that in spite of all my bitching about stuff I have been really captivated by that town and the culture. I will be back in three days after a bunch of meetings. I won’t say these meetings will be bad, as they really are important to my business, but I think I will be happy to be back in the heart of the canals again.
So my best friend and I were discussing zombies this morning and came to the great debate of fast zombies versus slow zombies. Like most things in life I have an opinion on this matter and have no problem sharing with all of you.
Proponents of slow zombies say that this is the classic mode for zombies, from the Romero days and beyond. While capable of the occasional burst of speed when presented with a close victim, zombies have always moved with a slow, lumbering shamble and there is no reason to change that. Slow zombies tend to be the ones who need to be shot in the head to kill and are otherwise impervious to most other damage. They feel no pain or desire other than to eat the flesh (or brains) of the living. They are literally animated rotting corpses and tend to show it (Zombie Target courtesy of the Zombie T-Shirt category). Good slow zombie movies include any George Romero or Lugio Fulci films, Zombie Squad, Zombie Lake, the first two Resident Evil video games, the Walking Dead, Cemetery Man, Dead Snow, and Shaun of the Dead.
On the other hand, fans of fast zombies are quick to point out that the original zombie was not even a walking corpse but rather a drugged human in Haiti, and that the undead zombies are an evolution of zombiehood. Why not then extend the evolution further and have faster and faster moving zombies? Or, for that matter, why not have giant fast moving behemoths that are sort of related to zombies? Most fast moving zombies actually tend to be infected humans and in a weird way are more closely related to the original Haitian zombies. They therefore can be shot anywhere and be affected; however their total lack of fear or pain registration tends to make them pretty hard to put down. They also tend to mutate and grow things like claws and super long tongues that can strangle you, which again calls the whole zombiedom into question. Films that include fast zombies are 28 Days Later, Zombieland, Dawn of the Dead (the Zack Snyder remake), Return of the Living Dead, Dead Alive, and most modern video games like Left 4 Dead.
Honestly it boils down to tone, and for me slow zombies are what a zombie movie is all about. If you give a zombie anything faster than a stumble you turn the movie from a zombie film to a horror film. The zombies are just bad Freddy Kruggar clones sans sweater and claws, and fast motion belies the brainless nature that makes zombies less an active force bent on your destruction and more an unstoppable force of nature. The menace of the zombies is not in one fast zombie sneaking in under your arc of fire and killing you. It is in being overwhelmed by a stumbling horde of mindless eating machines. True zombie movies are in truth survival movies, and the zombies themselves are just another obstacle to confront the protagonists, along with issues of shelter, food, and gas.
Like George Romero always implies in his films, the real danger in a zombie movie is other humans, not the zombies. When you give zombies human-like abilities it degrades the zombie experience.
Thanks for reading. As for movie reviews, this is one of the bleakest weekends ever for film releases. Not only is there nothing I am excited to see, I can honestly say I am dreading most of them. I will see something later tonight and write it up tomorrow, but I am not really gung ho for it. Follow me on Twitter @Nerdkungfu or email me here with suggestions or ideas. If you have an opinion on the fast zombie/slow zombie issue please post a comment here. Talk to you soon.
So I just read online that Will Smith has agreed to do a sequel to I am Legend, the horrible remake of the really good Omega Man starring Charlton Heston. Didn’t his character die at the end of I am Legend? Unless they expect us to believe that he is such a bad ass he was able to fight off about 100 infected humans with a scalpel. Also, didn’t he blow himself up with a grenade?
The really funny thing is the only thing they took from the book and movie was the title. The reason it was called I am Legend was the one remaining human survivor wasn’t really a scientist. He was a guy who would go out every day and kill the infected humans as they slept. What he didn’t realize was that over time they were regaining control of their higher brain functions and were reforming society, just a sort of vampire/zombie can’t stand the light sort of way, and he was becoming a legend as a supernatural mass murderer. Very cleverly done in my opinion. This movie was total crap and the fact that it made serious money means the movie going audience is comprise of morons.
Dave doesn’t have any I Am Legend merchandise so I lifted this image from his zombie t shirts. He says I should put in an image for each post. It’s not really an infected human like in I am Legend. More of a classic zombie. You get the idea.
I read this morning on Nerd Reactor that RE6 is rumored to take place in China. I think this is hilarious. You see, Capcom has received a lot of well deserved abuse for the apparent racism associated with RE5, with a white protagonist mowing down hundreds of diseased Africans in an attempt to prevent a worldwide plague. In fact, RE4 got a certain amount of protest for being racist, with the abused race being South American. Capcom responded by coming out with an even more racist game.
So why does that make China really funny? Well, racially the Japanese and Chinese don’t exactly get along like peas in a pod, and in truth the majority of the blame for that can rest on the Japanese shoulders. They did horrific things to the Chinese during WWII, and the Chinese have not forgotten. The Chinese are pretty sensitive about fictional things happening in their country, and have really strict rules for gore and blood (they can’t, for example, show human bones ever). While we may not see this from our Western perspective, this is a huge racist insult. I guess Capcom isn’t going to let any petty morality prevent them from making a buck. Sounds a little like Umbrella Corp. to me. This very cool zombie picture I got from the Resident Evil T Shirts category, by the way.
Talk to you soon.