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Peter Howell’s “Kick-Ass 2…” Is a Blood Mess Itself

In response to Peter Howell’s 828‑word review of Kick-Ass 2 on Toronto Star

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With Peter Howell’s “Kick-Ass 2 Is like a bloody boot to the head: review” starts with an attitude that grows with each paragraph. The attitude is Howell’s mea culpa for enjoying the first Kick-Ass film.

Abandoning that stance, we are instead assaulted with a comparison between films. Like others, Howell no longer finds the mayhem of the new film worthy of praise.

And we get the usually problem of real world violence making pretend violence unworthy of entertainment; Howell is taking that stance, standing behind many others, including one actor from the film itself.

He then attacks not the role, but the actor whose views he shares, for his complicity in making the film.

Howell also champions the “barely plausible” plot of the first film to the new film, which is no longer “very smart.”

In short, this is a review seen through the soft focus of regret. Motivations in such pieces are a tangled mess. Can we really blame Howell for feeling bad about enjoying the first one so much, when he clearly despised the sequel?


But where insight might have been found we instead find a cascade of guilt-led reasoning. Howell’s attempt to reconcile disgust and admiration make a review that is hesitant on the one hand, loud on the other, leaving the reader wondering if a synthesis of quality will come if there is ever a “Kick-Ass 3” to challenge Howell’s skills again.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation