Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl make their epic return to the big screen.
Kick-Ass 2, which was originally titled Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall takes place 2 years after the events of the first film. This time around, Dave Lizewski aka Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is a senior in high school and his partner Mindy Macready (Chloë Grace Moretz) aka Hit-Girl has just entered the high school scene. The two friends soon learn that because of their actions 2 years ago several everyday people have decided to become superheroes. This new league of superheroes’ which is lead by Cornel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey) fights crime and was inspired to do so based on their own life events. It isn’t long before Kick-Ass joins forces with this new league of everyday superheroes, who hope to clean up the city from all wrong doing and stop this new super villain simply known to the world as The Mother Fucker (Christopher Mintz-Plasse).
I can’t help but start this review simply by stating my love for the original film. I saw the original film at its World Premiere at SXSW back in 2010 and really didn’t expect much from it. When I walked out of the film, I was really quite surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Since then I have watched the film several times and its one of those films that I truly believe gets better with repeat viewings, which is always a rare feat. After hearing about the sequel, I was first on the fence, but then thought to myself bring it on. After seeing the various trailers and television spots, I can’t deny that I was seriously pumped to see this film.
When walking out of the theater for Kick-Ass 2, my fiancée asked me what I thought about the sequel. I honestly didn’t have an answer because I was still processing what I just watched. Kick-Ass 2 is one film that at times surpasses the original in terms of awesomeness, but at the same time it does have some moments where I couldn’t help but feel rather disappointed with some of the things in this sequel.
There are so many positive things to say about the film that I think I will start with the negatives just to get them out of the way. My biggest issue with the film is simply the character of The Mother Fucker as a whole. Almost all my gripes with this film are centered on this character. First and foremost, I loved the fact that Red Mist turned into the Mother Fucker because lets be honest when you first hear him say that, you can help but bust out laughing. The problem, however, is that they keep reusing that joke over and over again to the point where you want to just scream out “enough already.”
Besides that, Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s performance is way too over the top and far too goofy. I understand that the villains that he hires work for him because he’s the richest kid in the city, but honestly I couldn’t buy anyone working for him because he just had no clue what the hell he was doing. I think the script really needed to make his character grow but instead it just relied on him being the plucky comic relief and honestly that didn’t work for me after his initial 15 minutes on–screen.
My final complaint about the Mother Fucker was this attempted rape scene with Night Bitch (Lindy Booth). This scene not only felt out of place considering what took place prior to this scene, but the fact that the film tried to make rape into a joke was completely and utterly tasteless. Now, this film has a lot of gags that push the envelope and really went too far too for most, one scene that comes to mind was the vomit and diarrhea scene, but it was this rape scene for me that I felt was really bad. I know Hollywood overuses rape a lot in film, but the way this scene played out just left my entire theater unsure how to react. It was an attempted joke, but in all honestly it failed horribly.
Outside of the Mother Fucker, the only other complaints that I had with the film were rather minor. I feel that some character story-lines were not as fleshed out that well such as the whole Katie (Lyndsy Fonseca) and Dave breakup as well as the introduction and background information on most of the villains as a whole. These are really all my gripes with the film so with that now out of the way, let’s jump into all the good things about this sequel.
First and foremost, Kick-Ass 2 is far more over the top in almost every aspect compared to the original. The action sequences are not only well shot, but they are incredibly kick ass (excuse the pun). The fight scenes are extremely graphic and bloody, but are so incredibly awesome. There really is no other word for them but awesome especially the van scene as well as the final battle. If you loved the over the top nature of the first film, well I can almost guarantee you will love this one even more.
Another thing about the sequel that really stands out is that it really uses the first film to build on. I love that Mindy/Hit-Girl and Dave/Kick-Ass have grown as characters in the 2 year span that takes place from the first film to this one. You can really see how the characters have matured and that credit goes to the script as well as Moretz and Taylor-Johnson attention to detail. I also really liked how the film remembered the events that took place in the first film and used them to progress the story of the sequel. It even featured a lot of the same scenes from original film including the classic gun scene Mindy & Daddy scene only to be replaced with Mindy and Dave. Some might have found these scenes to be too much of the same from the first one, but I found them to be more or less an inside joke for those who were big fans of the original entry.
If you were someone who thought that the original film was dark, well be prepared that this one is even darker. There are certain events that play out in this film that come as a complete surprise to the audience. They aren’t cheap shots either, they actually make sense but they are definitely ballsy, even with how dark some of the original was. I don’t want to give away too much about these scenes but there are some surprise deaths in the film as well as some story arcs that not only are dark but extremely emotional. The film is really an emotional roller coaster because at some moments you are laughing while at others you feel sad because of the events that take place throughout the film.
Lastly, I have to say that I really dug all the new heroes that were introduced especially Colonel Stars and Stripes. Even though Jim Carrey is bashing this film for its extreme violence, I have to admit that he did a great job with this character. I loved the whole story-line with the character and felt that Carrey played this role unlike any role he has ever played before. He is a perfect mix of comedy and drama. I really dug it. I also really dug Night Bitch and Battle Guy aka Marty from the first film. The heroes were all worth rooting for so that’s definitely a good thing about this film.
All in all, despite my few gripes with the film, I would be lying if I didn’t say I had one hell of a time with this film. It was highly entertaining, really funny in spots, and even really dramatic in others. The movie does have a few flaws but the flaws definitely didn’t stop me from enjoying the film and honestly compared to most sequels this one is probably one of the best sequels that I have seen in recent years because it not only builds on the original, but adds new layers to these characters while introducing new ones. If you are a fan of the original, I think you will have a blast with this one as well. I still think the first is superior even with the elements in this film that surpass the original, but they honestly rank almost on the level and that in itself is pretty impressive.
MovieManMenzel’s final rating for Kick-Ass 2 is an 8 out of 10.