Archive for August, 2013


Movie Review: Kick-Ass 2

kickasscb23In an age where we get at least three or four comic book movies a year the original Kick-Ass was a breath of a fresh air. It was violent, really weird, and frankly really hilarious. The sequel is based off the comic book of the same name and frankly does a better job of getting the story across. The comic book is ultra-violent, now the movie has a lot of violence too, but it never gets too dark. Kick-Ass 2 stays in a weird zone, almost always going for comedy.

The story starts off with us following David Lizewski(Aaron Taylor-Johnson) who decides to put on the Kick-Ass costume again. Being the first real world super hero inspired dozens of others to do the same. Most of them are rather goofy but mean well. Kick-Ass teams up with Colonel Stars and Stripes(Jim Carrey) and they create a real world Justice League called “Justice Forever”. He trains with Hit-Girl(Chloe Grace Moretz) but she decides to turn down the life of a super hero so she can be a normal teenage girl.

The only major problem with the film is splitting the two leads away from each other. Where the first film felt fluid, probably thanks to director Matthew Vaughn, he didn’t direct the sequel(but did produce it). Here we bounce back and forth from Kick-Ass to Hit-Girl and somehow there is no real balance to it. What really helps is Christopher Mintz-Plasse who plays Red Mist, who uses his hatred for Kick-Ass, who killed his father in the first film, he decides to become the first real super villain. He changes his name to “The Motherfucker” and instead of really training or gaining any real ability, he just pays psycho’s to kill people for him. His lines are hilarious and the concept of a young rich ass-hole just becoming a super villain is really good.

This film is crazy, and if you just sit back and relax you’ll have a good time. There are many moments that are stupid or over the top, but that is the point. At one moment one of The Motherfucker’s lead henchmen “Mother Russia” kills six cops at one point, and the scene makes no sense but it sets up how crazy things are going to be.

What doesn’t work is Hit-Girl going to high school. Nothing feels real once she’s there. It doesn’t help that all the girls she deals with in high school are obviously in their late 20’s playing teens. A couple of the scenes work, especially one where Hit-Girl watches a One Direction type band and finds herself, and not understanding her attraction to them.

The film frankly should have just been called “Kick-Ass 2: Hit Girl” because if we simply just followed her the entire time this film would have been a home run. Instead the film is fragmented by us following Kick-Ass and then Hit-Girl and also Mother Fucker’s league of villains. The action scenes are really well done, the R-rating helps too. PG-13 rated comic book violence only works occasionally. Here we get full on ass kicking and it’s nice to see. This film is silly and weird, but I enjoyed myself a lot and laughed a lot as well. In the end that’s all that really matters with a movie like this.

Rating: 7/10

Movie Review: 2 Guns

2gunscb2Want to see a weird remake of Lethal Weapon?… I’m just kidding. 2 Guns follows Denzel Washington who is a DEA Agent working under cover. He teams up with Mark Wahlberg who is a Naval Intelligence Officer, also under cover. When they team up neither of them know this and rob a bank together. Problem is when they break into the vault they find way more cash than expected. They find out they were not just robbing a Mexican drug cartel leader, but the CIA, who are taking protection money from all the cartels so they would not be destroyed. So of course both men find themselves hunted by a lot of bad dudes, good thing they have each other, and over the top aiming skills since every gun shot they take is a head shot.

It’s nice to see an R-rated action film these days, studios seem to be scared to make anything not rated PG-13 or under. What makes this film work is the leads. They are both simply awesome together on screen. The best parts of this movie are when they are sitting together and having a back and forth. The only thing this movie needed was a little more in the action department. Many shoot outs end far too quickly and both men are simply too good at what they do.

The film has three main villains… Yes three main villains. Edward James Olmos plays a Mexican drug cartel leader and has a fun time doing it to. I loved seeing him on screen in this role. Bill Paxton shows up as a CIA enforcer, he doesn’t have a lot of screen time, but when he’s there he’s great. It would have been nice if Paxton’s character had more to do. Also James Marsden plays Wahlberg’s boss who is planning on stealing the CIA money too. So there is a lot going on been when it comes to taking the three guys out the movie does this in a very bland and unsatisfying way.

Still the movie is a lot of fun, if you’re a Paula Patton fan you HAVE TO SEE THIS MOVIE, just trust me on that. Denzel Washington is great here as he plays basically his character from “Training Day” if he was a straight up good guy. Wahlberg just has loads of fun in this movie and the guy just made me laugh.

I would love a sequel called “3 Guns” mainly because I simply loved watching these two play off each other. Just wish the script had a stronger ending. Even though there is a decent twist towards the end that I didn’t see coming the final action sequence just didn’t do it for me. But it was still fun and in the end that is what matters.

Rating: 7/10

wolverine.cb1When we first saw Hugh Jackman as Wolverine was back when the first X-men movie came out in the year 2000. Then he took the character as his own in X2 which still stands as one of the best comic book movies of all time.  Sadly then came X-Men: The Last Stand where the studio and creative people in charge took a strong wrong turn. They decided that Wolverine  shouldn’t be an unstoppable man trying to forget he was a monster… They decided he should be a wimpy man in love and that love is the only thing he is fighting for. That bad decision, plus many other lead the third X-Men film to be one of the worst comic book movies of all time. We then got the first solo Wolverine film called X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Following what they did in third X-Men they simply ruined the character of Wolverine. They made him a wimp, and spat on his origin story and filled it with nonsense. The failure of that movie made the studio take a drastic turn in trying to rebuild the franchise, so they decided to do a prequel called “First Class”. That movie took things in the right direction…

This Wolverine solo film sends Logan to Japan and spoiler alert… They did an amazing job. The film opens with Logan dreaming about Jean Grey(Famke Janssen) and the guilt over her death and everything else he’s done. This is the only toss back to the original franchise which is a good thing. Wolverine is just chilling in the woods and looking like a super hobo. He comes out of hiding when a bunch of dick head hunters kill a bear. He heads for a local bar to essentially murder these men for their crimes, a Japanese woman named Yukio(Rila Fukushima) shows up and stops the show down. Her employer is an old Japanese man who Logan saved in a WW2 prison camp. The old man says he can help Logan stop being immortal and give him a real life.

Once Wolverine shows up in Japan things get a little crazy. He finds out the old man’s grand daughter Mariko(Tao Okamoto) is being hunted by the Yakuza. The scenes where Wolverine fights the assassins  is stunning frankly. Unlike other super heroes Wolverine has claws and making his fights work in a PG-13 rated film is difficult but they nail it here.

The movies plot in the third act becomes predictable as he falls in love with Mariko and the villains goals becomes clear. Still this movie is pretty much better than X-Men Origins in every possible way. Hugh Jackman does it again, he looks amazing and his Logan is perfect here.

Another stand out is Svetlana Khodchenkova who plays the villain named Viper. She eats into the scenes around her and having a character having some fun being bad was necessary in this movie. This movie also was a real breath of fresh air being that the plot wasn’t over the top. No cities destroyed, no massive world wide disaster in it. That made this movie a real treat that everyone should check out.

Rating: 8/10