Saturday, April 24, 2010

Kick-Ass Review and Highlander Double Feature Part 2

Holy shit Kick-Ass was so wonderful that I lack the necessary descriptive terms, so I shall tweak the one I used to describe the wretchedness of the Chronicles of Narnia "experience": Fuckshittastically AWESOME! There were jetpacks with guns! And McLovin quoting Jack Nicholson's Joker! And a bitchin' soundtrack! And hyper-intense violence done by an eleven year old! And Nic freakin Cage dressed as pseudo-Batman beating the shit out of mobsters!EEEEEEE(Stops and has a lie-down) ok, ok I'm calm. But seriously, this movie is so much fun. The humor is dark and sometimes delightfully messed up, such as the mafia boss bad dude asking his son if he wants a Pepsi when they go to the movies while one of his goons is screaming from torture in the background, or when Hit Girl promises to take two more bullets to the chest for her super-hero training only if her dad takes her out for bowling and ice cream afterwards.

I am totally ok with this method of parenting if it leads to action scenes of said child murdering gangsters to upbeat pop music

But for a movie called Kick-Ass, the story seems way more interested in Hit Girl and Big Daddy's story of revenge and child brainwash, which is totally cool because Chloe Moretz steals the movie, she is unbelievably entertaining and I can't wait to see her in more movies. Not to say that Aaron Johnson was bad as the titular hero, but it's just such a strong ensemble cast, from Mark Strong continuing his streak as resident evil-doer and McLovin as his evilish-doer son, to the team of Big Daddy and Hit Girl that Kick-Ass almost gets lost in the shuffle. I mean, he's the title of the movie, make him do more stuff! Anyway, it's a minor quibble in what is a seriously awesome movie that gives Nic Cage some dignity back...

Which in a few months will have turned out to be a total cock-tease and he'll be doing stuff like this again

As to the controversy over a tween saying the "c-word" BULLSHIT. Kids swear, deal with it, get over it, move for a tween murdering a room full of dudes in cold blood, well that's why the movie's rated R! Parents, take note, R means violence, blood gore, swearing, varying degrees of nudity and more violence and swearing, NOT rainbows, puppies, sunshine, kindness and the importance of being yourself. Worried about how your eleven year old will handle Hit Girl? DON'T TAKE THEM TO SEE IT, YOU GINORMOUS ASS-HAT. Ok, rant over, soapbox disassembled and four and half catapults out of five for a totally kick-ass movie experience (yes I just made that pun)

What should I do now? Oh that's right, THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE thing for me to discuss, part two of the balls-out crazy that is Highlander. In retrospect, I'm glad I ended up separating one and two, because Highlander 2 is so unbelievably weird and nonsensical that it deserves it's own post. With that in mind:

Don't be sad Connor, Ramirez lives your breastplate. Also there's a little dude with a sword there too. I know you're busy looking up dramatically but you should pay more attention to what's going on down there

"But wait, Sugary Cynic," you might say, which is weird because I can't hear you through the computer, "didn't Ramirez get decapimatated by Mr. Krabs in the first movie? Why the hell is he on the cover of this one?" To which I would answer, watch your mouth when you talk to me! And also that there is so much random whatnot in this movie that Sean Connery's miraculous return to the cast can not be immediately addressed. Read on and guard your sanity...and also your loins, because you can never be too careful.

So, remember everything we learned about Connor, Immortals and all the various ins and outs of there being only one? Well, just toss that useless crap out the window! Because that's exactly what they did here. The movie opens in the bleak and dismal future of 2024. Due to a hole in the ozone layer, in the early nineties the air became toxic, or something equally stupid, so our Highlander hero Connor helps some scientists build a big shield to protect the earth...because he is so totally qualified for that job. We join Connor as a decrepit old man watching future-opera and reminiscing about how he and Ramirez used to be such awesome buddies as rebels on the planet Zeist.

Hey, remember in the first movie when Connor was a Scottish Highlander in the 16th century and Ramirez was a crazy old bastard of questionable ethnicity and they had just met each other and were Immortal and no one really knew why? Well that's CRAP. In Highlander: The Quickening, they're aliens from the planet Zeist who tried to overthrow the evil ruler Katana, played by Michael Ironside in desperate need of a paycheck. They fail to kill Katana but they do "quicken" except instead of meaning "that weird thing Immortal dudes do after they kill another Immortal that is suspiciously like an orgasm" it's now a catch-all term that means, well whatever the hell they want it to. In this case it means "blue sparks and crap will envelop Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery as they make noises that make you feel uncomfortable." Anywhoo, the two are banished to earth, where apparently everyone from Zeist becomes immortal (except for the headchoppy thing) and the events of the first movie play out. ALIENS?!! Ok, this is an early sign to switch the logic button off, and possibly just shut your whole brain off and toss it out a window.

So Connor dodders out of theater and some unappreciative punks assault him and are all "you made the sky all crappy and orange-y all the time!" taking up time until we see on Zeist that Katana is not cool with the thought of Connor dying of natural old age and returning to Zeist, because apparently that's what happens when you die as the "there can be only one." (lalalalalala ignoring how painfully stupid this is, lalalala). So Katana sends down two bird people with tubes for hair to kill him. I wish I was making this up.

Meanwhile, it turns out that since humans stopped fucking with it for twenty-five years, the ozone layer is fine and this scientist lady named Louise, played by Virginia Madsen, tries to turn the shield off but is foiled by the movie's other villain, David Blake, who is in charge of the shield and extorts people for their safety and is played by John C. McGinley aka Dr. Cox. Yeah.

I bet he totally let JD get killed by the solar radiation

So, Louise happens to run into Connor just as he is attacked by the bird-people and kills the crap out of them, resulting in another "quickening" where he explodes a city block for no real reason, is magically young again and proceeds to have wild in-public sex with Louise. In the street. After meeting him five seconds ago and watching him blow things up with a big blue orgasm. Cuz why not. Oh and I haven't even mentioned the part that's really ridiculous: while Connor is de-aging and being all explode-y, he screams Ramirez back to life.

I will give you a moment for that to sink in.

He literally shrieks "RAMIREEEEEEEEZZ!!" and like some kind of deranged Disney film, Ramirez pops back into existence in the middle of a Shakespeare play. I'm smothering my confused rage and moving on. Actually, to be honest, Ramirez is the best part of the movie, and I'm not just saying that as a Sean Connery fanatic. Before he meets up with Connor he screws around, enjoying the future and the movie forgets it was trying to make some kind of epic future-sci-fi drama...thing, and instead opts for Ramirez's Day Off, which leads to things like this:

But then Katana decides that if you want to kill an Immortal to satisfy a plot point that made no damn sense to begin with, you gotta do it yourself and he heads to earth and...proceeds to do the same thing as Ramirez, screw off and drive subways, scare cab drivers and generally just enjoy himself. I kind of wish they'd kept this tone for the rest of the movie and had the climax be Ramirez getting Connor home before the principal realizes he skipped school after Katana crashes his dad's Ferrari.

Long story short, Katana partners up with Dr. Cox, Connor and Ramirez and Louise go to destroy the shield and stop the bad guys, randomness ensues, Connor and Ramirez are shot multiple times for laughs, and when they are trapped in a room with an ever-lowering Fan of Death, Ramirez sacrifices himself to save Connor and Louise by stopping the blades with quickening-*magic* just long enough for them to escape while Amazing Grace on the bagpipes is played in the background.

And it's not over yet! Katana gets tired of Dr. Cox's bullshit and, wait for it, grabs him by the balls and tosses him out a window. Dr. Cox gets ball-ed to death. There's one sentence I never foresaw myself writing. So in the end, Connor and Katana duel, Connor anti-climatically lops the bastard's head off and he uses his magical fucking quickening powers to destroy the shield. The movie ends as Louise looks at the stars for the first time, indicating that she is less than twenty-five years old, which makes Connor about, oh, five hundred-odd years too old for her. The End.

This movie takes Highlander, a sub-par, though entertaining action film, removes all coherency and tosses as much illegal narcotics as it can get its grubby little hands on. This movie makes no sense whatsoever and is at its best unequivocally hilarious and at its worst, completely freaking stupid. Forget suspending your disbelief, you have to expel your disbelief and then take it out back and shoot it. Highlander 2: The WTFening, earns a big fat zero catapults out of five. I love ya Connery, but if I have to see another damn quickening again...

God Dammit.

So, I'm gonna go see about this remake thingy they're planning, maybe I can find a distributor for Highlander's Day Off after all. Night!

Louis: "Okay, now let me just see if I can get this straight. You come from another planet, and you're mortal there, but you're immortal here until you kill all the guys from there who have come here...and then you're mortal here...unless you go back there, or some more guys from there came here, in which case you become immortal here...again."

Conner: "Something like that."


  1. On Kick-Ass...Nic Cage cannot tease us with good movies every once in awhile. Dammit, man, get your shit together!

  2. it's just not fair for us to get our hopes up and then watch him do a crack-head hadoken.

  3. I'm disapointed in that man.


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