Kick-Ass 2 (2013) dir: Jeff Wadlow

I loved Kick-Ass (see my original Kick-Ass write up!) and thought it truly great.

Or to put it in perspective: my wife hates comic book movies.  Her verdicts:

The Dark Knight: “Boring.” She’s watched it three times, but only the first 10 minutes on each occasion.

Watchman: “Fuck off.  It’s a little boys film.”

Spider-man 2:  Fell asleep. I remember this was on my birthday – a day when I can choose to do anything (it’s my BIRTHDAY for CHRISSAKE!) We went to see it after 3 hours of arguing about my choice.

Avengers Assemble? Don’t even go there…she’d been ruined by the first two Hulk movies.

And she is not at all keen on extreme movie violence either.

Double whammy.  So I dragged her kicking and screaming to see the original Kick-Ass . At the end of the movie, as the credits rolled, she turned to me and said: “I’d see that again”.

And we have. Loads! So she was dead keen to see the sequel as well! Hurrah!

I know Kick-Ass 2 has had some shoddy reviews but that doesn’t always reflect the enjoyment that you can get from watching a movie. So…

Dave (Kick-Ass) and Mindy (Hit-Girl) are now at high school, Chris (Red-Mist) wants revenge on Kick-Ass for the death of his Dad in Kick-Ass the Original and to become the worlds first super-villain. Dave wants to train to be a real superhero, Mindy decides to quit as Hit-Girl and to become accepted amongst her bitchy high school peers, so Dave/Kick-Ass teams up with some other superheroes.

It all goes pear-shaped. As does the film.

First 30 minutes in and I’m wondering… what the fuck has happened? Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Chloë Grace Moretz. Christopher Mintz-Plasse. All great actors. But they’re delivering lines flat and gurning away in their close-ups – they’re just…bad. Did the director not turn up, just go home early or what? I found it painful to watch.  Thank heavens for John Leguizamo and Morris Chestnut in their roles.

Then Colonel Star & Stripes (Jim Carey) arrives. We start to get a few good lines, however now we’re getting some odd edits and the fight scenes are choppy.  But at least the movie is finally becoming entertaining – super villain side-kick Mother Russia (Olga Kurkulina) makes use of a lawnmower in a pretty novel way – and the story is picking up… and it stays “entertaining” all the way to the end.

Hell there is even a particularly nice action sequence with Hit Girl atop a moving  van as she’s being shot at.  She clambers all over it as it speeds along (what looks like very British countryside) and takes out the bad guys – knocking them under and over the other traffic . Unfortunately it didn’t half remind me of the good (or bad) days of the Sir Roger Moore James Bond movies:  great action, brilliant stunt work, nice humour, cut to actor – shit fake background – sequence ruined.

And I think that is the problem. It’s a fake Kick-Ass movie. Pretending to be Kick-Ass the Original. Photocopying all that was great about the Kick-Ass the Original but really only a faded and skewiff two dimensional Xerox.

So ultimately “entertaining” but a major disappointment.  My wife agrees.

I wonder if they’ll let me direct Kick-Ass 3?

Quantum of Solace (2008) dir: Marc Forster aka Michael Bay

Well. Ok this is not a small film, but I love Bond. So I’m going to make an exception.

I can watch any of the 007 movies with delight. OK.  Not ‘Octopussy’ or ‘A View to a Kill’, so apart from those two.

Hell, I even liked Lazenby and Dalton, and I really rated Daniel Craig’s interpretation.

‘Casino Royale’ also broke the general Bond rule of thumb:

weak theme tune = weak movie

I can’t even remember its theme tune, and I suspect I won’t remember the theme tune to ‘Quantum of Solace’ either. It is not good. Come on Bond producers, let David Arnold do his stuff!

Anyway I digress.

Plot wise this continues straight on from ‘Casino Royale’ and Bond’s attempt to take revenge on the mysterious organisation responsible for Vesper’s death. If you haven’t seen it recently you’ll be totally lost. And this story is not easy to follow.

The screening was packed. Expectations after ‘Casino Royale’ were high.

And I wasn’t going to let the goons wandering up and down the aisles Bond fashion with infra-red binoculars on the lookout for anyone filming with a camera or cellphone put me off neither.

So after 1 hour and 46mins why am I so underwhelmed? I wanted to love it! God damn you Mr Forster! You’ve made great movies!

The film just didn’t flow, if you know what I mean. It didn’t have rhythm.  It wasn’t long enough and it suddenly came to a halt.

But most of all it was the action sequences that annoyed me. Brilliantly staged with unbelievable skill and some lovely throw away stunts. Must have taken months to plan. So why edit them to an inch of their life so that they are virtually incomprehensible?  Sure the technique can add energy, but here it just drains the excitement away. I want to be able to see and comprehend what’s going on. And be impressed. And excited.

Not.

Cut.Cut.Cut.Cut.Cut.Cut.Cut.Cut.Cut.Cut.Cut.Cut.Cut.Cut.Cut.Cut.Cut.Cut.Cut.Cut.Cut.

Every

quart-

-er

of

a

sec-

-ond.

I mean what the hell was going on?  Where did the door on the Aston Martin go? I must have literally blinked at the moment it got ripped off and missed it. For about 30 seconds I was thinking that it was a bit of dodgy film making in an attempt to get a good angle of Daniel Craig driving the car.

Bond falls through the roof chasing a villain.  Cool. They’ve got caught in a rope and hanging upside down. Alright! He’s runn-, no he’s fight-, no he’s- . This looks like spectacular stuff. Eh?  The girders moving. Eh? He’s going for the gun…

Oh. It’s over.

Bond takes out 3 guys in an elevator. I don’t need to see a 3 second sequence with a 100 cuts! All Bond’s fighting skills are lost! Cut Oliver Hardy like this and even he can have awesome fighting prowess.

Ah. I guess that explains why the film was so short.

All the action sequences are cut like they are for a trailer.  Not a film.  I want to shout this out from the highest mountains:

BOND IS NOT A MICHAEL BAY MOVIE!!!!!!!!!

V124

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