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Gary Thompson’s “Sequel to ’Kick-Ass’ Doesn’t”… What?

In response to Gary Thompson’s 353‑word review of Kick-Ass 2 on Philadelphia Daily News

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Gary Thompson’s “Sequel to ’Kick-Ass’ Doesn’t” is a review that starts with an unveiling of masochism at the heart of the film. It’s a bold starting move. Even if it made Thompson queasy.

His analysis is constructed around this core theme of a woman asking to be punched, again and again. And the reflections that emerge from this starting point actually make Thompson’s review among the best of the bunch.

Even his queasiness hits the right tone: is the film under review empowering to women,  or is it reveling in something sicker?

Thompson allows his moral compass to frame a solid argument, because he started with a question, not a certainty.

His musings on the juxtaposition of cartoon violence and real people that litter most reviews of the film are far more rich, because Thompson has already hit us with a difficult question, and did not do it from a position of disdain, indifference, or clucking disapproval.

It’s much harder to dismiss his review as the some arrogant tripe from the intelligentsia who doesn’t understand the medium he’s messing with.  

Thompson writes so well that readers will be obliged to agree with him, exploring this weird space between feeling icky about the film and yet watching it in its entirety.  

Thompson refuses to spoon feed us any easy answers. Should he delve into equally difficult subject matter, readers should oblige. His work is just that good and never falls flat.     

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation