It used to be that mass-market CG fantasy-action flicks would open in the U.S followed by overseas engagements a month or two later. These days it’s fairly common for U.S. and foreign openings to happen concurrently. Which makes it unusual for Jeff Wadlow and Matthew Vaughn‘s Kick Ass 2 (Universal) to open on July 19 in the U.K. followed by an 8.16 debut stateside. By the time it opens here it will have been internet-ted to death.
It looks and feels like a sequel that isn’t as good as the original, and I didn’t even like the original that much. Well, I guess it was okay. I certainly loved Chloe Moretz, you bet — she was the thing to see.
But I’ll say it again: cool as Moretz was in Kick-Ass, that final fight scene in which she decked several big bad guys just wasn’t believable. I don’t care how skilled she is at martial arts — she’s not big enough to fight full-sized men.
Are you going to tell me that if Moretz were to meet Universal marketing honcho Michael Moses in a ring that she’d put him on the canvas? Think about that.
Here’s how I put it on 8.24.10 in a piece called “Girls Can’t Deck Me“:
“An 8.21 Denver Post article about films starring female action heroines underlines a basic fact — women are simply not big or strong enough to defeat most male opponents in hand-to-hand combat. They can wound or cripple but they cannot kick real-life butt unless their male opponent is some Woody Allen– or Arnold Stang-sized guy. Even larger-proportioned women just don’t have that upper-body-weight advantage.
“Which means that it’s doubly ludicrous to see slender, smallish women like Angelina Jolie and Chloe Moretz deliver serious ass-stompings to male opponents, some of whom are bigger and brawnier with gorilla-sized arms, legs and feet.
“There are dozens of ways female action stars can go bad-ass in movies (cops, assassins, soldiers, spies, MOSSAD agents, CIA agents, homicide detectives) but they really aren’t that good at beating up most guys — not in real life, they’re not. And if you ask any guy out there the suspension-of-disbelief required to buy into this is just too much to ask for. The knock-downs that Salt‘s Jolie and Kick-Ass‘s Moretz have handed out (among others) are pure hokum.
“Does this mean they’ll eventually cease? Laughed off the screen by popular demand? Of course not. I went with Salt because it was so well put together, so as long as there’s a clever director at work these films will seem semi-palatable. On top of which they seem to fulfill a fantasy. Women enjoy female action stars demonstrating physical superiority over male opponents…right? And so these kick-butt sequences will continue to happen in the same way every superhero gets to jump off buildings and ignore gravity.
“Action has been ruined by the mid’ 90s Hong Kong influence and CGI, but no one seems to care all that much.