We’ve reached the near mid-point of this Definitive List; 20 …
Once upon a time, the Farrelly Brothers constructed sight gags capable of reaching new heights (or depths, as the case may be). Right about the time Brett Favre was murdering comedy in There’s Something About Mary, however, they abandoned their bread and butter in favor of a “comic spaghetti” approach. Meaning, they throw as many gags at the wall as possible and see what sticks. Thanks to the comic chemistry of Carrey and Daniels, Dumb and Dumber To is just sticky enough to justify its existence.
Kick-Ass 2 is a rare film, one that is so messy and unpleasant that it makes one wonder if its predecessor was actually any good. The cast has, mostly, returned, but director Matthew Vaughn has stepped back into the producer’s chair. Maybe that’s the issue, or maybe the graphic novel series on which this sequel is based is just too mean-spirited and nasty to make a satisfying transition to the big screen. Whatever the case, Kick-Ass 2 is a misguided, uncomfortable, cartoonish, and gratuitously violent affair that’s best ignored.
High concept is always a tricky beast. By its very nature, it always threatens to completely overshadow its own efforts and render the effort to capture the wonder of an emphatic hypothetical question rather academic. The query pondered by Peter Weir’s 1998 satire The Truman Show was one that any viewer can appreciate; ‘What if every moment of your life was being televised for the entertainment of the masses?’