Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Kick-Ass 2

Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey confront a racist past and Hit-Girl suits up again.

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Mark Millar, who writes the Kick-Ass comics, takes great pleasure in pushing already extreme situations even farther into up-your-nose territory. In the first movie, there was the gruesome girl-bashing scene toward the end (which I thought was a serious mistake); here it’s an attempted rape of one of Dave’s new costumed colleagues, a woman called Night Bitch (Lindy Booth). Non-fans of these films, of whom there are many, will likely be revolted by this assault. I think we can assume that Millar won’t feel their pain.   

The story climaxes with the requisite bloodbath, as the Kick-Ass crew and their nemeses beat each other senseless. Given all the inventively staged and thrillingly well-edited mayhem we’ve already witnessed, however, this final conflict staggers on too long. Too much isn’t always not enough. 

The movie feels like a hit. But as fast and funny as it is, it also feels like a placeholder in a larger story that will eventually be continued. Let’s hear it for the Hit-Girl spinoff that’s heavily foreshadowed at the end.

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  • ||

    The Butler is a messy film; it shouldn’t really work, but it does - its emotional power can’t be dismissed.

    So basically if Forrest Gump had a black son he'd be a butler?

  • April06||

    Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this - 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, http://www.max47.com

  • Steve G||

    Forest Whitaker is a distracting actor to watch, at least to this shallow viewer. I'm always staring at that lazy eye.

    Oh and as for Jim Carrey: fuck Jim Carrey

  • ||

    The lazy eye works good in The Last King of Scotland though.

  • Mint Berry Crunch||

    Jim Carrey can totally redeem himself if Dumb and Dumber To (yes, that's how they're spelling it) comes close to the brilliance of the original.

  • Agammamon||

    It won't.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    Pretty sure D&D2; is dead in the water.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    ^Minus the semicolon.

  • Don Mynack||

    "In a garishly jolting scene, the son of the white plantation owner drags Cecil’s mother away from the field and rapes her, then shoots his father dead just for looking as if he might object. The murderer’s mother (Vanessa Redgrave) takes an approximation of pity on the boy and brings him into the family mansion. “You’ll make a good house nigger,” she tells him."

    Which is why I have no interest in seeing this piece of garbage. People in Hollywood are probably dumb enough to think this actually occurred, however, so let the Oscar Sweep begin!!!!

  • Floridian||

    I have no interest because I caught part of an interview where the director claimed a white man (Zimmerman) can still kill a black boy in America and face no consequences. Like there was no trial and Zimmerman was a white supremacist. No thanks.

  • ||

    Same here. Next. Now Oprah's vapid stupidity about Zimmerman makes sense. She made a race movie.

  • lap83||

    Yeah, no consequences at all. Going into hiding is nothing, liberals do that every time Obama has a new scandal or drones a small child. What's the big deal?

  • Mint Berry Crunch||

    ...a group of snooty high-school beauties in a subplot that should be a lot funnier than it actually is.

    Fuck me gently with a chainsaw!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Ooh, I think you just gave Roberta Flack an idea for a new song.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "The script...introduces Cecil at age seven, in 1926, working in a Georgia cotton field with his father (David Banner)"

    You know, if you have David Banner working in your cotton field, try not to rape his wife...you wouldn't like Banner when he's angry.

  • LarryA||

    Why? Is he Bruce Banner's brother or something?

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    He's David Bruce Banner in the 70's TV show, cuz they thought Bruce was too gay a firts name or something.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Why not combine these two movies? By night, the White House Butler is the Ebony Avenger, wreaking havoc on the enemies of the United States.

    "I see that Khruschev has retired."

    "Yeah, boss, I hear he got retired real good."

    "And I notice that Trujillo and Che Guevara aren't around any more."

    "Well, boss, let's just say they ate something that didn't agree with them - like lead."

    "And the Klan hasn't been giving me trouble lately."

    "I hear they trouble washing their blood out of their robes, boss."

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    *have* trouble

  • Jaybirdmojo||

    The original Kick-Ass movie had some significant deviations from the comic book (specifically, the movie blunted much of Mark Millar's contempt for his audience).

    Does Kick-Ass 2 have a similar understanding or do they include such things as the violent sexual assaults?

  • GelidusV||

    It similarly blunts the contempt you mentioned. I was surprised how close they could follow the comic while still cutting out all the horrible crap Millar threw in to offend people. There is no murder of a bus full of children. Other scenes are referenced but not performed in a way that seems to ask, "Did you really think that was a good idea, Mark?"

    I liked it a lot more than the comic.

  • JW||

    These two movies would be much better if they were combined into one.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    See above.

  • JW||

    Brevity, fool.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Matt. 5:22

  • Jon Lester||

    I get that Hollywood biopics are polished and somewhat adapted, because actual historic conversations and sequences of events were likely rather mundane, but I really hate complete fabrications, and that's what's keeping me from seeing "Fruitvale Station."

    And why does the Jim Crow stereotype always have to be centered in Georgia? Considering where the nation's capital is, you could argue that Virginia residents have inflicted far more harm, upon a much greater number of people, than those from any other state.

  • Brandon||

    Always centered in Georgia? The Help, Ghosts of Mississippi, Mississippi Burning... I mean, no question Georgia is a backward, racist shithole, but "Always" is a bit too strong.

  • Libertarius||

    Your blue states are the bankrupt, corrupt and backwards shitholes, asswipe.

  • OldMexican||

    The picture is contrived (how could it not be?), factually dubious and sometimes heart-wringing to the point of weepiness.

    So it's propaganda. Got it. Thank you for the heads-up, Kurt! I owe you one. I'm off to see Jobs tonight.

    I wasn't going to see The Butler after even Forest Whitaker (an actor I had the highest regard for) repeated Oprah's false comparison between the Emmet Till case and the shooting death of hoodlum scumbag Trayvon Martin.

  • Juice||

    I'm off to see Jobs tonight.

    Wow. You're actually going to shell out $12 and sit your ass in a seat to watch that?

  • ashdex||

    So basically it's a Roots sequel

  • Faceless Commenter||

    Yikes, you haven't read the review here of Jobs? A hagiography of a blood-drinking capitalist (yay!) who did his all to elect Democrat dictators (groan).

  • OldMexican||

    [...]it [the particular event depicted in the movie] seems to be a complete invention. Possibly it was intended to convey a larger historical truth about black American experience.

    So it IS propaganda. Reliance on falsehoods and lies to "convey a larger historical 'truth' " is the operating definition of propaganda.

    You don't have to continue selling it to me, Kurt. I got it the first time. Thank you for the heads-up.

  • OldMexican||

    The Butler is a messy film; it shouldn't really work, but it does - its emotional power can't be dismissed. In depicting the long struggle for black liberation, however unsurprisingly, it tells a great American story.

    Since I am not an American and thus enjoy the benefit of not being encumbered by historical baggage like most Americans are (either by choice or by force), nor are my judgment and moral principles fogged by white guilt, I can judge the movie for what it seems to me at first glance: a piece of propaganda.

    If this were a fictional story purported to illustrate the long struggle for civil rights for blacks, it would be a different thing; you would know the events depicted are fictional. In this case, it is clear that the actual events this person lived are not compelling enough or fit the liberal narrative of an irremediably racist white America, so the story tellers resort to frank agitprop, to make shit up.

  • Gladstone||

    The Butler is a messy film; it shouldn’t really work, but it does - its emotional power can’t be dismissed. In depicting the long struggle for black liberation, however unsurprisingly, it tells a great American story.

    So basically it is good despite everything because it is about racism.

  • HenryC||

    Forest is an excellent actor. It does not mean I want to see the movie. I actually know a black man that worked in the Senate cafeteria/restaurant during that period. He has the signed pictures of eight President. I don't think I will see the movie. Knowing him and talking to him is enough.

  • Jon Lester||

    I think you have a great opportunity to make an honest documentary there.

  • CE||

    The scene in which she does battle with a gang of thugs from atop a speeding van is a spectacular stunt workout.

    But nothing to compare to the epic on-horseback-on-parallel-trains gunfight between the Lone Ranger and Butch Cavendish, all while the William Tell Overture blares, in this summers' most unfairly maligned film, The Lone Ranger.

  • Almanian!||

    Dudes - Field Marshal Montgomery OWNED in the MSR contest in the 1st group of Grade 1 bands at the World's. My top 6 - FMM, Inverary, St. Laurence O'Toole, Simon Fraser U, Canterbury (NZ), Toronto Police (I hope that's not just alumni well-wishing).

    We'll see what the judges think after this afternoon's medley contest.


  • www.iraqiae.com||

  • صبايا العراق||


  • WeisSaul||

    I think the portrayal of Reagan was kind (though I can't help but find it ironic that Jane Fonda was playing Nancy Reagan) though I don't think they said enough about why Reagan was vetoing sanctions on South Africa. It would have just taken one sentence, "We can't risk losing an ally against the Soviets", to make him go from appearing uncaring to suffering from inner turmoil (though the film did make up for it later with Reagan talking about his concern that he would be on the wrong side of history regarding civil rights). Still, the last mention of Reagan in the film.

    The part with LBJ with his pants down was hilarious.

    Nixon was pretty intimidating and was quite well portrayed.

    I think the writers missed out on the opportunity for two Georgians (Jimmy and Cecil) to be interacting in the White House.

  • Michele Lavigne||

    I liked both the movies though the later was little extra violent and I think it should not be preferred for children, else the movie is great and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • Solidus||

    Thanks for the review. I have been watching Oprah hype the movie around the Western world. Her rants claiming racism ring hollow in a world that enabled the recognition of her genius and rewarded it with incredible wealth. To illustrate what a lout I am, I am ashamed to admit I had never heard of 'kick-ass' one let alone two. I fear I shall see neither. http://coldwarwarrior.com/

  • April06||

    hi to every one

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