Saturday, August 17, 2013

“Kick-Ass 2” – Pardon my language.

Do you know what the difference is between an R rated movie and a PG-13 rated movie? Aside from sex and the word fuck, that is? Blood. After watching Kick-Ass 2, my friend thought that it was really violent; much more than a movie like The Wolverine. While she is correct that it was very violent, it wasn’t any more so than The Wolverine. The difference is that Kick-Ass 2 shows you all the blood that goes along with that violence while Wolverine manages to slaughter whole battalions of bad guys without spilling a drop of blood. My point is that according to Hollywood and the MPAA, violence is perfectly acceptable as long as no one bleeds. One can only imagine the level of psychosis required to be perfectly okay with violence and be terrified of blood, a four-letter word, and female nipples at the same time.

Another hilarious aspect of that psychosis is that mainstream print media is subject to those rules as well. I read several other reviews of Kick-Ass 2 from large news outlets and laughed at reviews too scared to print “naughty words.” One of them even went so far as to tell us that they “couldn’t print the villain’s name in a family-friendly space.” Do they honestly think that anyone old enough to read a newspaper has never heard words like shit or fuck before? It’s amazing how far we’ve come in some areas of culture, yet still subscribe to the delusion that kids and adults have never heard or said those words and that they will somehow become deranged criminals if they do. But, it was fun to read some of those hacks’ reviews as they danced around the names of the characters. For God’s sake, the title character’s name is Kick-Ass. I’m pretty sure we’re past the point where reading the villain’s name – The Mother Fucker – is going to scandalize us. Speaking of which, let’s talk about these characters, as they are the meat of the film.

(By the way, there are spoilers coming and you should fucking know that by now.)

Also known as Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), Kick-Ass persuades Hit-Girl to train him how to actually, you know, fight. He wants to keep fighting crime and realizes that he kind of sucks at it. That’s where Hit-Girl comes in. They start ditching school (they’re in high school now) and Hit-Girl spends a large amount of time teaching him martial arts, how to do pull-ups, and shooting him in the chest. Don’t worry, he’s wearing body armor.

Also known as Mindy Macready (Chloe Grace Moretz), she’s enjoying torturing Kick-Ass while continuing to moonlight as Hit-Girl. She openly disdains the bitchy high-school girls, but is pushed into becoming one of them by her guardian, Marcus, who forces her to promise to quit the superhero business so that she can “have a normal childhood.” Most of remember those bitches in high school and would agree there is nothing normal about them.

Also known as “fuck that guy” (Morris Chestnut), he is arguably the worst detective and parent on the face of the planet. After Hit-Girl’s father was killed, he became her guardian and believes that her childhood was stolen from her. His actions lead to nothing but hurt for Hit-Girl, including being forced into what can only be described as play-dates with the high school bitches. This drives a wedge between Hit-Girl and Kick-Ass, as she is forced by Marcus to stay away from Kick-Ass, including texting. We keep hoping Hit-Girl will tell him to go fuck himself, especially after said bitchy girls and other “popular” kids leave her stranded in the forest. He seems to have come from the same mold as Jonathan Kent from Man of Steel – being a shitty parent and forcing his talented kid not to help people. He even manages to be a terrible police officer, at one point blaring his siren and speeding through a suburban neighborhood in attempt to catch her in a lie. Like I said, fuck that guy.

Colonel Stars and Stripes
Also known as Sal Bertolinni (Jim Carrey), he has formed the group Justice Forever – a band of misfit superheroes inspired by Kick-Ass to do good. He is a former enforcer for the mob, has a dog trained to attack wieners, and wields a stick painted like an American flag. When Hit-Girl abandons Kick-Ass, Kick-Ass ends up joining the group after being recruited by Doctor Gravity.

Justice Forever
The group consists of Colonel Stars and Stripes, Doctor Gravity, Battle Guy, Night Bitch, Remember Tommy (this is actually a married couple), and Insect Man. Some of them are relegated to little more than stage props, with the exception of Doctor Gravity (Donald Faison) getting some lines and a wicked baseball bat, and Night Bitch (Lindy Booth) looking incredibly hot and having sex with Kick-Ass after fighting crime.

The Mother Fucker
Also known as Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), he christens himself The Mother Fucker after accidentally killing his mother in a tanning bed. Donning her S&M gear as his costume, he his hell-bent on getting revenge on Kick-Ass for his father’s death. He puts together his own evil gang consisting of The Tumor, Black Death, Genghis Carnage, and Mother Russia. The gang is completely useless, with the exception of Mother Russia, who appears to be the more manly and bloodthirsty version of the Romanian dodgeball player from Dodgeball. After wreaking having and killing several idiotic cops (they literally drive into their own deaths), The Mother Fucker sets the stage for the climactic fight scene in which the two gangs battle around a shark tank. Don’t ask.

Also known as Javier (John Leguizamo), he is possibly the most underutilized actor in the entire film. He serves as The Mother Fucker’s bodyguard and guy-who-can-get-things, but, in the words of The Mother Fucker, “you’re like my Alfred.” Javier blanches at the comment, but even he knows it’s true.

While the movie maintains the technical quality of the first film, the novelty has worn off on foul-mouthed adolescents administering violent justice, so the lack of a stronger plot is much more obvious. The movie doesn’t give Hit-Girl and Kick-Ass much to do and focuses a little too much on their lost childhoods. I’m sure I’m not the only one who got a little bored with that part of the movie and watching it end with projectile vomit and diarrhea seemed like an apt description for that piece of the screenplay. What I like about this film (and its predecessor) is that it’s not afraid to embrace its essence and revel in the bloody violence and f-bombs, effectively giving the finger to the prude, blood-fearing pussies of the MPAA by casting the 16-year old Moretz in a movie she’s not even allowed to watch without parental guidance. Dumbasses.

Rating: Ask for three dollars back. Excessive cussing is no substitute for a weak fucking plot.

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