Kick-Ass 2 may not win fans outside the cult following, but it’s definitely a nice follow up for those who wanted more. The action is dark, brutal and more intense than ever. There’s a slight misfire in comedic timing that doesn’t quite live up to the original, especially when the dialogue will give Juno a run for its money in the trying too hard to be quirky department. Even if it doesn’t quite execute it nicely, Kick-Ass 2 does try to address some of the lack of consequences from the first, in particular with the up brining of Hit Girl. It’s far from perfect but for now Kick-Ass 2 is more of the same and it’s great to see Kick-Ass and Hit Girl together again.
When I first saw Kick-Ass (2010) I was pleasantly surprised with the film and it quickly became one of my favorites from that summer. It was ridiculously violent, incredibly fun, and an insane trip with enough wit to poke fun at other super hero movies. Needless to say my anticipation for the sequel was high and I couldn’t wait to see where they would go next. Admittedly as I rewatched the original this week I was somewhat let down by the experience. The film felt dated, and its once forgiven flaws more apparent than ever. Expectations tempered, I still walked away extremely satisfied from Kick-Ass 2, but it’s clear that the movie didn’t quite learn from its mistakes.
Picking up after the events of the first movie, Kick-Ass’ actions have inspired a number of citizens to don their own super hero masks and fight crime. Under the leadership of Colonel Stars and Stripes the band of super hero vigilantes join together to create Justice Forever, and dedicate their time to the protection of their city. Meanwhile, driven by revenge and jealously Chris D’Amico, formerly The Red Mist, decides to start his own league of super villains and becomes the world’s first super villain, The Mother Fucker. Bent on killing Kick-Ass and terrorizing the city it’s up to Justice Forever to stop this league of villains.
Kick-Ass 2 may not win fans outside the cult following, but it’s definitely a nice follow up for those who wanted more. The insane action is just as brutal as ever and the humor just as dark. Guns blazing, it’s nice to be back for this crazy ride that holds no punches. Picking up where the last one left off we’re able to jump right into the action and it’s more intense than ever. There’s a slight misfire in comedic timing that doesn’t quite live up to the original, especially when dialogue will give Juno a run for its money in the trying too hard to be quirky department. Dialogue is one of the aspects of the first film that gave it such a dated feel when I revisited it, and its sequel commits the same crime without the humorous wit to cover it up. The first film was a nice jab at contemporary super hero films where as this one feels more focused in jam-packing pop culture references. Although it’s enjoyable now, it’s hard to see Kick-Ass 2 retaining its entertainment years from now.
Kick-Ass is a world with little consequence and faulty logic. Social Networks are the 1-800 hot lines for do-it-yourself crime fighters without accountability. Masked super heroes run unchecked while cops remain absent, and an elven year old girl is stripped of her childhood without intervention. Even if it doesn’t quite execute it nicely, Kick-Ass 2 does try to address some of these issues, in particular with the up brining of Hit Girl. Delving into the reality of a now older Hit-Girl trying to reassimilate to the real world is a really interesting angle for the film to focus on. However, it comes with the cost of added teenage high school drama whose humor is more in line with poop jokes and mean girl stereotypes. These sections often disrupt the pacing of the film and are more awkward than humorous. I do appreciate what they were trying to do, and in theory it does offer some cool insight to Hit Girl, but it never feels right on screen.
Mild Story Spoilers
Another attempt at added consequence is the crackdown on all masked vigilantes. For a film and a half, the tone of these movies have been fun and wacky, but when the second act introduces realistic consequences it adds much needed weight to the film. Watching these characters being stripped of the identity that finally gave them purpose is interesting and it gave both Kick-Ass and Hit Girl moral choices to dwell on.
If you enjoyed the first, you’ll find enjoyment here. The new cast of characters is great and there’s almost a sense of pride watching these characters come into their own. The addition of Colonel Stars and Stripes was my most anticipated character of this movie and Jim Carrey really nails it. Deranged yet focused, Colonel Stars and Stripes is a wonderful character that doesn’t quite get the screen time he deserves, but definitely makes it count when he’s there. On the flip side, The Mother Fucker is another aspect that doesn’t quite hit the mark. I was really intrigued with watching this villain rise to power but unfortunately the pacing of his story line is so glossed over that it feels chaotic and rushed. It makes sense character wise, and we ultimately get to where we need to be with a character named The Mother Fucker, but the missed opportunity with this character is disappointing. His surrounding cast of villains is also unremarkable save for Mother Russia. A towering hulk of a female, Mother Russia is a fantastic character that blends the line between great and so bad she’s great. She’s essentially a walking tank who rains down destruction without breaking a sweat. She is the villainous over the top answer to Hit Girl, and she is inexplicably fun.
Everything said, I still really enjoyed this movie. It’s a shame that the movie commits some of the same mistakes from the first film and it’ll be interesting to see how well this one holds up. For now though Kick-Ass 2 is more of the same and it’s great to see Kick-Ass and Hit Girl together again with more intensity than before.
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