One evening, two comedies of very different sub-genres. Cineworld cards back in our pockets after a year-long hiatus.
“I’m here to end Kick-Ass.”
Plot-in-a-nutshell: superheroes become supergroups and superteams. Which leaves the path wide open for a gang of supervillains to set up in competition
See it if you like: superhero films, but do enjoy taking them with a pinch of salt
WARNING: this review contains swearies.
How do you top a film as ridiculously silly as Kick-Ass? Well, you don’t. What you can do is sidestep a little, change your tack and try and make a film that’s just a little different.
While there are some beautiful over-the-top fight scenes and the obvious use of bad language, nothing quite has the shock of young Mindy (Chloë Grace Moretz) saying “cunt” in the first film. We’ve seen that, and now she’s older it’s just not got that same impact. Instead, we turn the tables and make things darker.
Kick-Ass 2 is all about repercussion. Mindy/Hit Girl is growing up. Her guardian is trying to stop her doing the superhero thing. Dave/Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), however, has been taking time out and wants to get back into things. Things go wrong for both of them.
Batting for the other team (I often think in both senses of the phrase…) is Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), son of the previous film’s head villain and out for revenge. This takes the form of The Motherfucker and his criminal gang, The Toxic Mega-Cunts. So, yes, the language is still there. And it’s still silly. And funny.
It is a good story, as things progress, but as I said it lacks the impact of the first film. That “wow” factor and sense of originality. Obviously, this is a sequel so that couldn’t really be expected. However, it’s good to see that they’ve not just tried to effectively remake the first film and hope for the best. K-A2 honestly has a better story that its precursor. It twists better, has more shocks (OK, nothing major but all the same…) and it’s grittier.
Having said that, it’s not quite as enjoyable as the first film. Possibly as it’s easy to get your mind prepared for pant-wetting hilarity and instead get something more downbeat and dark. Still good, just not what you’re lobes are expecting.
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
“She’s a drunk racist. I’ll tolerate one but not both.”
Plot-in-a-nutshell: armed siege at a radio station goes… well, a bit weird
See it if you like: the Partridge TV series
First things first – I don’t like Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan). From an amusing bit-part of the ensemble show The Day Today, he started to become just a little bit grating by the time he had his own show (Knowing Me, Knowing You). Once we were being inflicted with I’m Alan Partridge which was more of a sit-com minus the com, I gave up entirely. He wasn’t funny – just annoying.
This isn’t a bad film.
Maybe it’s because I’ve had years away from the character, or maybe it is just a decent script. I don’t know, but either way I did enjoy it. I found it funny, with some really good dialogue, and a reasonable if predictable story.
Partridge is a DJ with a radio station which is being bought out and “updated”. One of his colleagues (Pat Farrell, played byColm Meaney) is given the heave-ho as being too fuddy-duddy for the new image. Obviously, he returns to the promotion party with a shotgun and takes the staff hostage. Alan is his only link with the outside world.
For those who don’t know, Alan Partridge is a character who has no concept of political in-correctness, no real manners and no sense that what he says often berates those around him. He’s not uncaring or deliberately mean – he just doesn’t seem to realise. His ego gets in the way. This is funny at first, but over the years does wear thin.
But for ninety minutes, it’s just fine. Along with some other great performances (series regulars Michael (Simon Greenall) and Lynn (Felicity Montagu) are also in place) the story doesn’t wear itself thin and there are plenty of verbal jokes which hit the mark more often than they fizzle. I don’t go for “cringe” humour – I despise The Office – but this film survives my cinematic taste buds.
As a quick aside and coincidence, Monica Dolan appears as a woman at the party. She also plays one of the super-group (Tommy’s Mum) joined by Kick-Ass in the first film we watched tonight!