OK, if this were a regular battle, the result would be obvious. Kick-Ass couldn’t take on Wolverine’s students let alone Wolverine himself. Good thing I’m talking about movie reviews instead. I recently finally got to see the The Wolverine after way too long. Since I went with friends to see Kick-Ass 2 last week with some friends, I figured I’d pair them up for a comic book hero movie fight. Before I get into details, I do want to let you know to make sure you stay and catch the post-credit scene after Kick-Ass 2. And with that, I have just one thing to say…

* * * SPOILERS * * *

It took me a while but I finally got to see The Wolverine. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as the trailers didn’t show all that much adventure as you would expect from an X-Men based movie. I’d heard questionable reviews but I like to go in with an open mind. (Hell, I even eventually watched Twilight believing it really couldn’t be as bad as people said. My mistake!) The main plus, of course, is that the incredibly sexy Hugh Jackman is again playing Wolverine. As usual, we get a good view of the actor as he is being bathed naked. While we didn’t get to see what some Japanese got to see, but at least what we get to see is nice.

But, of course, this is a movie. Unless we’re watching a porno, we expect more than a bit of eye candy. This is a sad thing for The Wolverine. If I was going for a general adventure movie, this might not be too bad. This is a super-hero movie though. While I enjoy the fact that they explore some of Wolverine’s history in Japan, it’s not the most exciting storyline the way it’s done. Character-wise, some of the good points are seeing Mariko and Yukio. While I’m not a major Wolverine fan and don’t know the characters as well as some do. From what I do know, I think Yukio was handled well in attitude and action even if the relationship to Mariko is off. It was good to see Mariko but I felt she could have been a bit stronger. She is a big part of Wolverine’s history so I’m glad she was brought in. Now we get on to the Silver Samurai. This could have been cool if… well… they did anything right with it. The Silver Samurai is (in comics) Mariko’s half-brother and a mutant who wears samurai armor. In the movie, he’s starts off seeming like a robot who instead turns out to be Mariko’s grandfather in a robotic suit of armor as the “shocking” part of him not actually being dead. Of course, then there’s Viper. Instead of being a a dark haired human high in the ranks of Hydra, she’s a blonde with a poisonous lizard tongue who works for Mariko’s grandfather. I’m not even going any further here.

The storyline isn’t that much better. Like I said, this is more like a standard adventure movie. Yes, Wolverine has claws but the best use of them most of the movie was in holding onto the roof of a train during a fight scene. There’s a chunk of the movie dedicated to Wolverine losing and regaining his healing factor, something that seems to be forgotten when he uses his claws between these points. There is a lot of just running and hiding and too much build-up. Then, there’s the dreams Wolverine keeps having of Jean throughout the movie. We get the hint that he’s got the hots for her but there was just too much of it. We also have this plot of the samurai slicing off Wolverine’s claws. While it’s messed up that they managed to cut through adamantium that easy, what really gets me is that the bone claws regenerated as fast as they did. With the speed he’s sealed flesh wounds, bone shouldn’t have regenerated that fast for as much as had to be recreated.

Overall, I’m just disappointed. As much of a completionist as I like to be with my movie collections, I’m not sure if I really want to bother getting this one.

Thankfully, I got to see this one right away since a group of friends went to see it. I really enjoyed the first movie and wasn’t quite sure what to expect out of this one other than the fact that there would be more heroes. I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised. The movie picks up pretty much right after the first one.

When we pick up on things, Hit-Girl is skipping school and training to keep being a super-hero. She does this behind the back of the cop who is her new guardian. As for Kick-Ass…. well, he’s still a bit of a loser and she’s ready to get him trained up. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who plays Kick-Ass, has gotten REALLY buff for the movie For a geeky guy, he’s really hero-ed up. Despite the outward appearance, David is still pretty lame but is working on getting stronger. On the flip side, Mindy/Hit-Girl spends a lot of time out of costume as she tries to be more of a real girl because of promises she makes to her new guardian. This causes her to make friends (and then enemies) with the popular girls. While all this goes on, other normal people are inspired by kick-ass and start to come forth. We get to see a group called Justice Forever led by Colonel Stars and Stripes (I had no idea this was Jim Carrey!) which includes the out and gay Insect Man, Night Bitch (who gets the hots for Kick-Ass), Dr. Gravity, and Battle Guy (whose origin seems way too much like Batman… and then you realize it’s David’s friend Marty. There’s also a married couple who are just out there because they had a missing son but come off extra lame. It is amazing how well the team works together even if it is in an awkward way.

On the bad guy side, Chris (formerly Red Mist) is not living with his mother. After accidentally killing her, he finds her old leather fetish-wear and starts going by The Motherfucker. Thankfully, after the first time seeing him in his mother’s leather, he gets a better costume of his own. He gathers his own group of stereotypical villains like Black Death, Genghis Carnage, The Tumor, and Mother Russia (who actually does most of the fighting). He forms his own large cadre of villains which David and Marty’s friend Todd turns to after they ridicule his hero name choices (which all contain variations of “kick” and “ass”).

The plot stays interesting. As Kick-Ass tried to become more of a hero, Hit-Girl tries to become more of a teen, and Motherfucker tries to prove his a badass (He’s not!) things keep happening around them. As more people try to become heroes, events turn causing the police to crack down on anyone in costume. David’s father finds out his secret and tries to the fall for David but it ends up leading to his death which takes everything for a spin. In the long run, it turns into a huge fight between all the heroes and villains in a grandiose battle. We end up with Kick-Ass vs. Motherfucker and Hit-Girl vs. Mother Russia. Long story short, the good guys win, Motherfucker gets… well… fucked up, and Hit-Girl takes off on her own to find her own path.

There is lots of humor and more than enough gay jokes and jokes about guys’ balls. Thankfully, they aren’t done in a way this truly homophobic (even if the characters come off that way) and there are some good laughs. The use of the vomit inducing device leads to come of the best of them. There are enough touching moments as well that makes the movie nice and balanced. I have to say that I enjoyed this movie as much as I did the first one and that’s not something you see often in sequels. This is one movie I would have no problem picking up when it comes out.

* * * The Winner: Kick-Ass * * *