Movies out today: Superheroes and speedy snails

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It’s a busy week in terms of new movie releases, with five new films hitting South African cinemas today. For the record, the emphasis seems to be primarily on comedy of the action-packed kind.

Kick-Ass 2:
Mark Millar’s “What if costumed heroes were real?” comic book sequel gets the movie adaptation treatment with this decidedly R-rated action comedy. This time Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) are joined by a number of other mask-wearing vigilantes (including Jim Carrey’s Colonel Stars and Stripes), while Red Mist – rebranded as The Motherfucker (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) – forms his own band of super-criminals.

Judging by critics’ comments, Kick-Ass 2 suffers from a classic case of Sequelitus. It’s lost the original’s freshness and overstuffs its cast in compensation. Even worse, it’s evidently lost its heart and smarts with the departure of the original’s writer-director Matthew Vaughn. Still, it’s far from the worst thing you’ll ever watch, and it certainly delivers on the promise of extreme violence with a snarky attitude. 28% Fresh on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.

Film Title: Kick-Ass 2

Turbo:
Screening in 2D and 3D is this family comedy from DreamWorks Animation. Ryan Reynolds voices a snail who is dissatisfied with his slow-paced existence. Then accidental exposure to nitrous oxide transforms him into an unexpected underdog racing sensation. Also with the vocal talent of Paul Giamatti, Michael Pena, Snoop Dogg, Michelle Rodriguez and Samuel L Jackson.

Rather unsurprisingly, Turbo has been criticised for its very predictable storyline. Audiences are likely to forgive this, though, because of the film’s cast of loveable characters, sense of humour and general good nature. Harmless, non-insulting fare for kiddies with adults in tow.

turbo

We’re the Millers:
This dark comedy stars Jason Sudeikis as a drug dealer who recruits a stripper (Jennifer Aniston), a teenage runaway (Emma Roberts) and dork (Will Poulter) to pose as his family. This sham is a necessity in his scheme to smuggle marijuana across the Mexican border using an RV.

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We’re The Millers has been a massive commercial hit in the US. It has split critics however. On the plus side, the film is apparently consistently funny and doesn’t lose its cynical edge. On the negative side, it feels lazily plotted and doesn’t ever establish its own “bad taste” identity.

millers

The English Teacher:
Screening in limited release is this quirky indie comedy about a spinster English teacher (Julianne Moore) who puts her career, reputation and even heart on the line when she decides to stage a dark, edgy play written by one of her former students. Also with Greg Kinnear, Nathan Lane and Lily Collins.

Judging by reviews, The English Teacher is nothing exceptional. It’s frothy and charming, with some fun screwball touches, but apart from exceptional work by always reliable Moore, it’s just a modest 90-minute amusement.

english-teacher

Bakgat! 3
Well here we are with the third entry – and apparently concluding instalment – in this popular South African sports comedy series. This time star rugby player Wimpy (Ivan Botha) and his fiancée Katrien (Cherie van der Merwe) emigrate to Britain when Wimpy is offered a club contract there. Even with their old school friends around, the young couple, and their love, take strain in the new environment. Will they get their happy ending? I’m betting “Yes.” In Afrikaans with English subtitles.

bakgat3

Last Updated: September 6, 2013

Noelle Adams

Sometime Tomb Raider. Full-time Pop Culture fanatic and Geekaissance Woman. Most often spotted outputting Pop Culture opinion pieces, writing fanfic and original genre fare, cosplaying and bringing the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu smackdown. Editor of the Comics and Toys section.

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