Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

kickass2 IMDb

With the first Kick-Ass film becoming a cult hit on DVD and a minor success financially, it was inevitable that a sequel would eventually follow. The sequel focuses more on the breakout character of the first film, Hit-Girl, again played by Chloe Grace Moretz.

After the arrival of Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) in the first film, many copycats begin to dress up in bright clothes and ward off crime as best they can. This includes Hit-Girl and Kick-Ass, hoping to continue what Big Daddy started in the first film and rid New York of whatever crime they can. Unfortunately, Hit-Girl’s alter ego, Mindy Macready is also dealing with life as a high schooler, and the cattiness that comes with it. Can Hit-Girl/Mindy live the life of a crime fighter while surviving what high school throws at her? Complicating things is the arrival of the world’s first super villain, the Mother Fucker (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). He has assembled a team of villains to take down Kick-Ass and his new band of heroes. Only a bare knuckled action set piece finale can possibly settle this war.

I think Kick-Ass 2 did the right thing by focusing more on Hit-Girl. Anyone who was a fan of the original fell in love with the character and Moretz’s portrayal of her. I was interested to see how this young girl settled back into civilian life and if she could give up Hit-Girl for good. Short answer is no she can’t, and the audience is the winner. I am a big fan of Chloe Moretz and she is again great as Mindy/Hit-Girl.

Kick-Ass takes a back seat in this film as we mostly see him fraternizing with the new team of heroes that he has inspired to fight crime. This wacky group were a lot of fun. The standouts are Jim Carrey as Colonel Stars and Stripes and J.D.’s BFF Donald Faison as Dr. Gravity. This odd ball group are good for a few laughs, but just as in the first film, this is Hit-Girl’s show, and she delivers again.

Many people were disappointed with this sequel, but I don’t understand why. This was a terrific continuation of the first movie, told with the same action and R rated antics. I am not sure what people were expecting, but I enjoyed this a lot. Kick-Ass 2 is on par with the original for sure.

Rating: B

I don’t really know if a sequel to Kick-Ass was necessary. This movie has nearly everything the original did– foul language, gratuitous violence, dark humor– but one thing seems to be missing. There’s no originality left. I’m no longer shocked by any of it, and I just don’t see the point.

Granted it took me awhile to warm up to Kick-Ass, but I’m not sure I’ll have a similar change of heart regarding Kick-Ass 2. It’s an OK movie, but it feels somewhat unnecessary. You’d think after the events of the first film any sane person would be put off by the idea of becoming a vigilante. And yet, at the start of this movie there are even more people willing to don a mask and fight crime. Some of these people definitely seem crazy, but just as many come across as too intelligent to believe that vigilante justice is a wise course of action. In this regard the story feels less plausible than the first.

I’m also torn about the direction Mindy/Hit-Girl’s (Chloe Grace Moretz) story takes. Mindy is trying to act like a normal teenager, but finding it difficult to fit in given her unconventional upbringing. This makes sense. She would find it hard to give up crime fighting. Mindy’s also attractive, so I could see the popular girls targeting her for no other reason than that. However, the whole subplot is too reminiscent of Mean Girls, and Mindy’s eventual revenge is like a toned down version of Carrie. Again, it all feels done to death by better films, without resorting to gross out humor.

I did like Jim Carrey’s performance as one of the new vigilantes, Colonel Stars and Stripes. This role is somewhere in between his goofy impressions and serious dramas, and he walks that line well. As good of performance I think he gives, I completely respect his decision to distance himself from the film prior to its release. I don’t believe that violence is the media causes people to act violently, but in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting (Kick-Ass 2 was released eight months after this event) I can understand Carrey’s soul searching.

Kick-Ass 2 doesn’t do anything for me. I feel like it brings nothing new to the table.

Rating: C

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s