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Ann Hornaday’s Review of “Kick-Ass 2” Takes Half-Assed Post-Modernism to Task

In response to Ann Hornaday’s 677‑word review of Kick-Ass 2 on Washington Post

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In “‘Kick-Ass 2’ both celebrates and bemoans casual screen violence,” Ann Hornaday effectively deconstructs a deconstruction. In taking on themes of violence and meta-commentary on violence, she shows that one cannot have a blood-soaked cake and eat it too. After all, that would be one disgusting cake.

Hornaday is a master of character development, familiarizing us with the film’s heroes and villains through the use of dialogue and action. She takes the old maxim “show, don’t tell” to heart and it pays off in spades. This helps familiarize the audience with Hornaday’s subject so she can then carefully dismantle that subject, exposing its myriad flaws.

This is a movie, she tells us, that “can’t quite sustain its own contradictions” when it both indulges in and tries to distance itself from cinematic ultra-violence. She recognizes a hedging of bets when she sees one, and she takes the filmmakers to task for it.

It is clear from celebrates and bemoans that Hornaday has a fully functioning BS meter and when the needle is in the red, she is unafraid to take filmmakers to task. It is a bravura piece of criticism from an informed and confident film critic and is recommended for any fan of no-nonsense movie reviews.    

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