Movie Review: 'Kick-Ass 2'
Aug 17, 2013 / 4:00 pm
Having been a pretty huge fan of the original Kick-Ass, it should come as no surprise that I was more than a little excited to see the sequel and spend some time with cool characters such as Hit Girl and Kick-Ass himself. Unfortunately, after leaving the theater, any enthusiasm I had mustered up for Kick-Ass 2 quickly evaporated and I was left with a feeling of dismay and disappointment. Now, by no means am I counting it amongst the worst films of the year, but its numerous flaws make it pale in comparison to the first movie. If all you're looking for, however, is a fairly action packed and excessively violent movie about a group of masked vigilantes, complete with plenty of juvenile humour seemingly written by a pre-teen, then you may really enjoy Kick-Ass 2. Personally, I missed many of the aspects that made the first film so enjoyable and engaging such as the ironic and irreverent humour as well as the heart of the film where you actually cared about the characters and their motivations.
It's been a couple of years since the events of the first film where Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) ended up killing the notorious mobster Frank D'Amico. Now a senior in high school, Kick-Ass sees that there are a slew of wannabe superheroes that have popped up wanting to emulate his crime fighting ways. He decides it might be a good idea to team up with some of these individuals and fight crime together. He meets Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey), a born again, ex-mobster who has put together a ragtag group of masked heroes calling themselves Justice Forever.
Meanwhile, Hit-Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) now attends the same high school as Kick-Ass and she secretly sneaks off every day to continue what her late father, Big Daddy, taught her. She gets busted one day by her guardian, Marcus (Morris Chestnut), and she's forced to hang up the cape and mask and retire being Hit-Girl and just be regular ole Mindy Macready. When Kick-Ass tries to recruit Mindy to join Justice Forever, she refuses saying that she's given up being Hit-Girl. This sets up a subplot throughout the film whereby we follow Mindy's exploits in school trying to fit in with the popular girls that is basically a total rip-off of the movie Mean Girls with Lindsay Lohan. I didn't care much for this storyline at all and just wanted to see Mindy as Hit-Girl for more of the film. That was a huge missed opportunity in my opinion.
Of course, every superhero needs to have a villain to combat, and this comes in the way of spoiled rich kid Chris D'Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), who formerly paraded around as Red Mist. He's out to avenge his father's death so he decides to become the world's first supervillain and he changes his name to The Mother F*&#*^. Chris gathers his own gang of psychotic thugs together including the scariest looking female Russian bodybuilder I've ever seen known as "Mother Russia." He vows to kill Kick-Ass and anyone he associates with and this puts both factions on an inevitable collision course of carnage and destruction.
One of the big problems with this sequel is that new director Jeff Wadlow doesn't treat the material the way Matthew Vaughn did in the original. The tone is so inconsistent this time around transitioning from serious minded and mean spirited to infantile gross-out humour and then back to brutal and often times exploitive violence that makes you cringe. The film feels somewhat disjointed at times and doesn't contain a plot interesting enough to truly suck you in. You know, Jim Carrey received a lot of criticism recently for publicly distancing himself from this movie, citing the Sandy Hook massacre as a reason he didn't want to support a film that glorified excessive gun play and deplorable violence. I have to say now, having seen it, I can't really blame him, but I seriously wonder if his distancing himself maybe had more to do with him having seen the finished product and realizing how bad it turned out.
There are a few things to like about Kick-Ass 2 such as the few moments when Chloë Grace Moretz gets to shine as Hit-Girl and she unleashes her whirling dervish style of limb severing badassery. Jim Carrey also does a fine job as Colonel Stars and Stripes. He's almost unrecognizable in the role, but I just wish there would have been more of him. His screen time is very limited. The rest of the performances were nothing to write home about though, especially Mintz-Plasse who plays the same dorky character in virtually everything he does. His range is extremely limited and the sight of him attempting to come across as menacing and evil is just so forced and kind of laughable. Pretty much all of the secondary characters are so thinly drawn that they become virtually forgettable. This sequel exhibits some really poor and lame writing overall.
I'm kind of bummed out because I really wanted to have a good time with this movie like I did with the first one but it just didn't deliver the goods. Kick-Ass 2 ended up being a misfire that now makes me not care if they even bother doing a third film. I suppose if they freshen it up and do a Hit-Girl spinoff and make sure they hire a truly competent writer and director then I might be interested, but if it's more of the same tired and clichéd action fare like this one is then count me out.
Sadly, Kick-Ass 2 does not kick ass at all.
I give Kick-Ass 2 a 5 out of 10.
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