Reel Toronto: Kick-Ass 2
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Reel Toronto: Kick-Ass 2

This somewhat disappointing sequel makes good use of the GTA.

Toronto’s extensive work on the silver screen reveals that, while we have the chameleonic ability to look like anywhere from New York City to Moscow, the disguise doesn’t always hold up to scrutiny. Reel Toronto revels in digging up and displaying the films that attempt to mask, hide, or—in rare cases—proudly display our city.

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The first Kick-Ass was not a movie designed to appeal to all tastes, and yet it somehow managed to achieve a tricky balance between comedy, humour, and a little bit of the ol’ ultraviolence. It did well enough to justify a sequel which, unfortunately, is unable to pull off that same trick a second time. There are still some good jokes and interesting action sequences, but everything seems a bit darker and crueller, so it doesn’t all come off as well. The good news, at least for us, is that they came back to Toronto, hoping to recapture some of the magic.

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As in the first film, the opening shot attempts to establish that we’re in New York City…

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….something then immediately subverted by a shot of the Toronto skyline. Based on the angle, you can tell we’re actually out in the port lands.

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So, at the start of the film, our hero is trying to get his mojo back. Here, he dresses up as a pimp and strolls down Pearl Street, near Duncan Street.

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Later, he ends up in costume on roughly the same stretch.

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Last time out, the bad guy lived in a high-rise, but this time he’s a bit more down to earth, in this spacious mansion.

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It’s actually an amazing, palatial location in Mississauga, on Doulton Place.

Also, in case you’re wondering why the owners would allow such a violent film to set up shop, the house is actually already rather infamous for once having been the location of an actual murder.

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Speaking of Mississauga, it’s also the setting for a big action scene later on. The baddies invade the burbs…

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…and pay a visit to Kick-Ass’s girlfriend’s house, actually 7149 Apppletree Lane

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…while neighbours look on, before the carnage gets going.

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As for our hero, he lives in this humble abode….

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…which is actually 5 Clinton Street. You can see Bitondo’s Pizza down the block here.

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As in the first flick, Hamilton’s Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School plays the high school.

2013 11 26 pizzaiolo

When superheroes meet, they combine meeting and pizza. Like at this gathering at Pizzaiolo…

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…specifically, the Toronto Street outlet.

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Of course, we’re supposed to be in Manhattan, so there’s plenty of downtown stuff to see, too, like this hot-dog stand on Yonge Street. It precedes a big fight…

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…when these guys cross the street…

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…and engage in fisticuffs outside the Mr. Sub outlet at Grosvenor Street.

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The heroes come together behind local boy Jim Carrey—who later would, in the wake of the Newtown shootings, decide he really wasn’t into violence and so wouldn’t help promote the movie. It may be faint praise to say his work here is among the more amusing things he’s done in recent times, but if he didn’t care to tell you about it, we won’t either. Anyway, this is on Yonge Street, and some people got some pictures as they were filming around Elm Street.

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Not too far way, this ersatz NYC subway stop is actually just the kiosk at Yonge-Dundas Square.

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One big downtown set peice is a raid that brings everyone to Spadina Avenue, in Chinatown.

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Afterwards, the heroes crowd into a van that pulls out of this alley…

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…and then they around downtown, first on Spadina Avenue…

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…but then on Yonge Street, making sure to give shout-outs to both Bell…

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…and Rogers…

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…on their way past Zanzibar.

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And, just a bit up the street, bad guy Red Mist and his partner, played by John Leguizamo, cruise past Yonge and Wellesley streets and rob a convenience store.

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Since Nic Cage got killed in the first movie, Hit Girl, played by Chloë Grace Moretz, now lives with his former partner, Marcus. Their happy home is in Leaside…

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on Airdrie Road.

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Marcus doesn’t know she’s still doing hero stuff, so in one big chase scene, she tries to beat him home on her purple Ducati, flying through Leaside.

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Marcus tries to beat her from downtown, where he’s grabbing a coffee at the Second Cup near Queen and John streets…

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…before tearing through the same intersection…

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….and zipping by evidence of our condo boom.

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Pretty much everything not shot in Toronto was shot in England. Interestingly, however, the background shots for this extensive highway action sequence were actually and curiously shot on the New York State Thruway, just north of New York City.

Oh, well, it’s not a total loss. Between this and the similarly mediocre and redundant Carrie remake, Chloë Moretz spent a big chunk of the year here. If she and Guillermo del Toro keep coming back, maybe we can get them together on something boffo down the road.