Reviewed: The Green Hornet (2011)

green_hornet_ver3_xlgThis movie is not without its flaws but I think it deserves a re-watch simply because people may not have got what it was about the first time around. It may also have been overshadowed by another terrible green monster that came out around the same time. Green Lantern was and is an abhorrent waste of money and will always be a blemish on the DC movies line-up. I’ve heard folk say that DC don’t have enough A-list superheroes to make films with, I generally don’t think it true but that one doesn’t help.

Blergh! Get that bad taste out of my mouth.

Anyway, Green Lantern came out and made everyone sad at around the same time Green Hornet came out and nobody cared. There’s more than one reason for this. People thought;

a) What the hell? Another Green superhero character? I’m so disappointed by anything green right now.

b) Why’s the dude who brought us the arthouse gems Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep doing a superhero movie?

c) And Ugh! Who is that lead? Oh, it’s Seth Rogan. Can he be funny without being fat?

Also, I think this film isn’t really a superhero movie and that’s where people get it wrong. This is more akin to Starsky & Hutch (2004) or Mystery Men, not quite a parody, more a humorous take on the subject matter.

It’s an origin story but all the components are slightly skewed. The hero has the passion and wherewithal but none of the skills, his sidekick is the one with the talent, the villain is a standard mob boss but he’s going through a bit of a midlife crisis which pushes him to the outlandish rank of super villain and the love interest has absolutely no interest in our hero romantically.

On reflection, Michel Gondry is the perfect choice to direct this film. His child-like take on reality gives the picture the right flavour to make it sit perfectly on this side of impossible, instead making it just highly improbable.

It’s a great script by Goldberg & Rogan, Jay Chou does a fantastic Kato, Christolph Waltz is in there too with Cameron Diaz and Edward Furlong (the kid from T2: Judgement Day) even makes an appearance. What more could you want?

Go on, check it out. You know you want to.

Reviewed: Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

Kickass-2-international-poster-smallI really dug the first film. I felt that it was an original take on the superhero genre with the right amount of humour to carry us through all the violence, which is pretty full on (considering). I then read the comic it was adapted from and I’ve got to be blunt, I wasn’t that big a fan. I felt there was a certain grimness to the comic that didn’t allow the humour to shine through (though they made a decent movie out of it – so maybe it’s just me). Matthew Vaughn did some something magical with that source material. He’s also responsible for Layer Cake, Stardust and X-Men: First Class (OMG, this guy may just be hitting my top Directors list!).

I heard they were making a sequel. I also heard that Vaughn was stepping back to only produce this one. He handed the script and directing duties to Jeff “who the fuck is this guy” Wadlow (Never Back Down) so I was a little hesitant. There was also the foofaraw* over Jim Carrey distancing himself from his participation in the film over the violent content which didn’t actually mean anything to me at the time but was an interesting move on his part.

So yeah, I ended up watching Kick-Ass 2 and it turns out that it’s a worthy addition to the canon. It picks up where the first one left off. Hit-Girl AKA Mindy Macready (Chloe Grace Moretz) is attending school and trying hard to fit in as a regular fifteen-year-old-girl. Kick-Ass AKA Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) feels like he should be doing more as a crime fighter and joins a team of like-minded folk under the command of Colonel Stars and Stripes (Carrey). Meanwhile, the Red Mist AKA Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) is pissed off at Kick-Ass and the world at large over his Dad’s death and reinvents himself as a supervillain simply known as The Motherfucker.

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The film (between the blood and profanity) explores the themes of loss, legacy and how the characters choose to deal with their emotions that result in such circumstances and despite its goofery, manages to let us understand their plight and care for them. This is helped by the fact that there are some fine performances amongst the decapitations and ridiculous costumes.

If you liked Mystery Men but thought it didn’t have enough violence – Kick-Ass 2 is for you.

 

*It’s a word. Look it up.