Kick-Ass 2 Goes Balls to the Wall
By Sean Molloy
There is one thing that this now franchise(?) has loads of, a sense of fearlessness. That’s why I simply adored the first movie, and couldn’t wait to see the sequel. You take a bunch of unknown actors, minus Nic Cage and throw them into a gritty, adult, violent, perverse comic book movie. It’s the kind of movie that I was glad got made. Now with Kick-Ass 2 we get more of the same, for better and for worse. The movie takes place three years after the original and it seems that all of our favorite characters have grown up a little but have been stuck in a case of arrested development. Mindy MacCready aka Hit Girl is still the teenage killing machine, Dave Lizewski aka Kick-Ass has actually hung up his costume and Chris D’Amico, the villain from the first movie is still out to avenge his father’s unlikely demise.
What works about Kick-Ass 2 is that every major character has their own separate arc. In Kick-Ass’ case he starts not wanting to be a hero anymore and comes full circle to accepting the responsibilities that come with the job and learning the true meaning of being a hero. On the flip side of the coin D’Amico dives deeper into his hatred and eventually becomes the world’s first super villain, The Motherf%@&r.” Both sides of morality come up with superhero teams that include such characters as Mother Russia, Dr. Gravity, Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey) and Night B!^#%.” While watching both teams work on screen is amusing and entertaining having this man characters on screen doesn’t pop the way it should.
Jim Carrey is far underutilized and seems to just coast through the movie, whatever comedic relief he is supposed to screen is missing. Donald Faison of Scrubs also has a small role but again, what’s the point? If the main cast isn’t interacting with each other the movie just feels dull. Like the first film, there is gratuitous violence to be watched and that’s when the movie is fantastic fun. The bloodier the scenes are the better they are. But again with saying that, I also have to mention the melodrama that takes place. Much of the movie has Hit Girl adapting to high school problems; boys, girls being petty etc. It all feels like an R-rated mean girls.
The gems in Kick-Ass 2 are its leads. Aaron Taylor-Johnson continues to surprise me in the roles he performs successfully. The comedic timing and the true sweetness he brings to the role shine through. Chloe Grace Moretz is top notch again playing the teenage Hit Girl who can “kill guys with their own finger.” McLovin himself, Christopher Mintz-Plasse does a great job in actually making the audience sympathize with his super villain, as all he wants is to make his now dead father proud of him.
While still being an entertaining movie in itself, I was slightly disappointed in Kick-Ass 2 not having that fresh feel the original had. I can confidently say though that if you liked Kick-Ass, you’ll have a hell of a time with the sequel.