Kick-Ass 2

The epic sequel to 2010s Kick-Ass is finally here, and it punches everything up a notch.

Yes, all our favourite characters are back, in the story which has been taken straight from the pages of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr’s successful comic book series of the same name.movies-kick-ass-2-international-poster

Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz and Chistopher Mintz-Plasse are back, and reprising their roles as Kick-Ass, Hit-Girl and Chris D’Amico. Mindy Macready (Hit-Girl) is trying to deal with the death of her father, Big-Daddy, and finds that the only way to do this is by fighting crime and training Dave Lezewski (Kick-Ass) during school time. However once Marcus – the cop who is now taking care of her – finds out, he makes her promise to give up being a caped-crusader and live a normal life. With Hit-Girl out of the picture Kick-Ass must roam the streets on his own, until he finds what he has always been looking for, a super-hero team. The team – Justice Forever – consists of Doctor Gravity, Remembering Tommy, Night-Bitch, Insect-Man, Battle-Guy and Colonel Stars and Stripes, along with Kick-Ass they wander the streets fighting crime and helping the poor, and at one point have a group photo taken which is a direct reference to Watchmen.

However this is reality, and revenge is always around the corner, this time shaped into Chris D’Amico’s new super-villain alias ‘The Mother-F***er’. ‘The Mother…’ creates his own team of super-villains and begins to terrorize the city and destroy everything which Kick-Ass holds dear. Can the green wetsuit-wearing hero defeat his nemesis, restore order, and avenge the ones he loves, or will he end up a bloody mess like so many before him.

The lead roles are taken so well by Taylor-Johnson, Moretz and Mintz-Plasse once again, but we had already seen them like this in the first film. The real stand out role in Kick-Ass 2 is given by an unrecognisable Jim Carrey as the ex-mafia, born-again Christian hard man Colonel Stars and Strips, who leads Justice Forever. Although in the comic books they are actually two separate characters – Colonel Stars and Lieutenant Stripes – putting them together to make one character worked really well. Carrey shows that he is not just a simple comedy actor here, as he portrays the ex-goon so flawlessly, and really brings the characteristics of the Colonel from the vibrantly coloured pages to life.

One major thing that Kick-Ass brought to the table in 2010 was the shock-factor, which is not used very widely in superhero films due to them being primarily aimed at families. As Kick-Ass is based in the real world though – in other words, people don’t have super powers – then what occurs must have some realism to it. Therefore people are going to get killed and profanity is going to be spewed left, right and centre. The first film achieved this shock-factor, with blood jumping across the screen and a 11-year-old girl saying c***. So attempting to have the same effect was a difficult challenge for Kick-Ass 2. However they made it work, the gore and effects are largely the same as they were in the first film, which is not a bad thing as they are in-keeping with the comic book theme – comedic violence and not Tarantino-esque. But what makes it slightly more controversial – certainly for the American audience – is the language used, it seems as if they have actually tried to slide a bit of the British crude, sexual comedy into it, with lines like; “I’ll kick you in your snatch” and referring to certain ladies as ‘axe-wounds’.

What is really great about the Kick-Ass films, is that they stick so closely to the source material, which is something that the fans of the comic books will love. Majority of the time, with graphic novels, comic books and with books in general, so much is changed that it is not the story you fell in love with when you first read it. When reading the Kick-Ass graphic novels there were so many scenes to it which were just spectacular on paper, and therefore in your mind would be great to see on the big screen. Although there are a few exceptions, most of the best parts were created in the films and were done so well, literally being shot-for-shot in the film as they were panel-to-panel in the comics.

As Matthew Vaughn did an amazing job with Kick-Ass, Jeff Wadlow has done just as good a job with Kick-Ass 2. Together they have captured the characteristics of the heroes exactly, and have created films which are not just for fans of the comic books to enjoy, but for everyone.

The Kick-Ass 2 graphic novel was much darker than the first, and the film-makers brought that to the big screen very well. Capturing the main sombre themes but still making it an enjoyable, hilarious thrill-ride. What more can comic book fans ask for than a gigantic super-hero fight – like in the incredible ‘Civil War’ novel – and right from the beginning we all knew that it would happen, but who knew it could look so good.

This Is The End

The star-studded apocalyptic comedy offers multiple laughs and a plot which intertwines with Hollywood’s current end-of-the-world theme.this_is_the_end_movie_poster

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg come together once again to bring another comedy to the screen, this time involving most of the actors who have starred in some of the greatest comedies over the past 10 years: Seth Rogen, Craig Robinson, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Michael Cera, Paul Rudd, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Aziz Ansari, Martin Starr, David Krumholtz and Jason Segel. That’s not to mention the cameos from Kevin Hart, Mindy Kaling, Emma Watson, Channing Tatum and the now trying to be an actress but failing, Rihanna. It is truly an all-star cast. This is not like any of the films which these actors have starred in before though: Superbad, Knocked Up, Observe and Report, Role Models, 21 Jump Street, Pineapple Express and Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Yes the types of jokes are quite similar, but this time the actors are all portraying themselves, which adds a little twist to the story.

The story follows Rogen and Baruchel as they reunite in Los Angeles and prepare to spend some quality time hanging out. They are invited to a party at James Franco’s house and after spending a few hours getting down with the other celebrities they feel a large earthquake, the party goers rush outside to find LA burning. A giant sink hole opens up and swallows half of the party guests, forcing Rogen, Baruchel, Hill, Franco and Robinson to flee back into the house. It seems that judgement day is upon them and they must board up the house and try to survive, a task which is proved rather hard when Danny McBride turns up in the morning.

What is great about the film is that Rogen and Goldberg obviously noticed the rise in apocalypse films coming out of tinsel town and thought that the comedy side of armageddon needed to be shown, which does work well throughout most of the movie. It is another one of those mostly improvised comedy dialogue films, which have been great in the past, and if This Is The End is anything to go by, are still great. However at some points certain jokes did go on for longer than they should have done, giving you that thought of ‘okay we’ve laughed at it, move on to something else now’.

It was a par above other comedies for the CGI aspect of the film, which really played in well to the story line and didn’t come across as being too cheesy – apart from the actual ending, which if it was cut out, would have made a better conclusion.

Audiences will definitely have mixed reviews about it though, I think with one of these films you just have to go with it, and go along for the ride, no matter how stupid things get. One of the main reasons people will want to see this film is to witness all of their favourite comedic actors being together, and the shock of half of them being killed off in the first half an hour (I have to admit it was hard not to shed a tear when Jason Segel was taken by the sink hole) does fill in for the, at times, poor dialogue.

As far as these types of films go, This Is The End is level with the best – Pineapple Express, Superbad. Although it is the effects and the plot which keep it on par with them rather than the dialogue, which was slightly weaker. It will be quite interesting to find out, after this mega-comedy, what the film-makers can come up with next.