Monday, March 16, 2015

Review: One Last Fight

by Michael Block

No one likes when a good thing comes to an end. But all series have to find a way to wrap their journey up nicely. And Kapow-i GoGo, Matt Cox’s epic series, is no different. In the finale, our hero Kapow-i GoGo finds herself, once again again, having to save the world from the forces of evil. Only this time, it’s a family affair.
In the final episodes of Kapow-i GoGo, evil has completely taken over and life, as we knew it, is no more. The reign of Madame Blood has put the entire world in turmoil and the blissful life Kapow-i had is over after her wife, Queen Cloudberry, and daughter, Giggle GoGo, are kidnapped. To stop Madame Blood and her evil minions including the two-faced jester Koffley, Kapow-i assembles a team of avenge-seeking foes and allies from her past, to rescue her loves and save the world, again again. Cox’s third part cleverly gives nods and pays homage to his origin. But keeping things fresh while trying to neatly find an end was not as clean as the previous two parts. Regardless, the final part of Kapow-i GoGo is still a blast. As in the progression from part 1 to part 2, the darkness factor has increased once again. The colorful world goes dark, as does the plot. You thought death was a theme in part 2, the end of nearly every character is found in part 3 including many fan favorites. Cox allows these characters to go out poetically though. The most poetic and heroic is the aww-inducing Mr. Smiles. As the end drew nearer, sentimentality took over and storylines were neatly tied and the cheers were still as loud as they were when we first met Kapow-i and friends.
photo courtesy of Cristina Pitter
Part 3 was all about family. And the GoGo blood run deeps. Back battling her evil family as Madeleine Bundy as Kapow-i. Bundy is quite grounded in part 3 but those moments where she slips back into young Kapow-i are some of her finest. For a large portion, this part is about the legend of mommy dearest, Madame Blood. Amy Jo Jackson is a mighty fine villain. Her presence rivals any villains of the past. From her killer vocals to her wicked strut, Jackson knows evil. Blood’s granddaughter, Giggle is expertly played by Andy Miller. The ensemble player turned superstar focused in on a single character for this part and owned it. Like Bundy, the child-like voice adds a wonderful layer of hilarity, even when getting in on the action. Alex J. Gould offered some wonderful physical moments as Koffley. Gould is light on his feet and when he is in puppet master mode, he was quite good. Everyone’s favorite 32 year-old brother Hiccup GoGo is back and funnier than ever. Mike Axelrod continues to make a plea for his own series. There were many in the final part that reprised some of their previous fan-favorite roles that garnered some brilliant moments including Asia Kate Dillon as Blade Gunnblade, Evan Maltby as Tuxedo Gary, Tara Pacheco as Twig, Eliza Simpson as Queen Cloudberry, Keola Simpson as Chief Treehorn, and Colin Waitt as General President Thunderbolt. Some of the finer moments included Waitt’s Thunderbolt and his remote control robot and “The Avengers” sequence where the punch line was obvious but still hilarious. Matt Cox and Karsten Otto where back as Team Trouble but things got real for the duo. In true “Of Mice and Men” fashion, Mr. Snuggles said goodbye to his best friend. But fear not, Mr. Snuggles found a new best pal and co-trouble maker in Maltby’s Tuxedo Gary.
Saying goodbye is never easy, but there’s a bright future for a life for Kapow-i GoGo. Whether it be a new venue or a different medium, expect more. As Cox leaves Kapow-i, he sets up a future spin-off for Giggle GoGo. If Giggle doesn’t get her own series then pray that Cox creates a new universe of characters.