REVIEW: Kick-Ass 2

"I was hoping for more."

6/10

Kick-Ass’ crime fighting exploits have caused more people to suit up and take a bite out of crime, but while Kick-Ass hooks up with a local team of do-gooders, Red Mist turns over a new leaf and plots out a revenge plan that will rip Kick-Ass’ life apart piece by piece. 

We didn’t need a Kick-Ass 2 (which formally had the added tag, Balls to the Wall), but fans of the first one should without a doubt welcome this as a guilty pleasure.  I loved KICK-ASS, but as a comic book genre fan, how could I not love a superhero flick set in R rated territory?  WATCHMEN?  Yes please!  That said, I didn’t read any of the graphic novels, but from what I gather, they’re pretty faithful to the source material.  I do feel the violence was watered down, no doubt mostly due to Jim Carrey’s anti-violence ruckus.  I commend his compassion on the subject, but this movie wasn’t insanely violent, and the violence herein is over-the-top cartoon violence (they blew a dude up with a rocket launcher in the first one for Christ sake).  Did we forget the eighties and nineties?  You want a taste of the old ultra-violence, re-watch COMMANDO, ROBOCOP or TOTAL RECALL.  Now those are violent movies.  This flick, not so much.  And as for Carrey, I love his recent string of cameo appearances, but I’ll be brutally honest here, dude was barely in the movie beyond what was showcased in the trailers, so for him making a big fuss about anything seems in bad taste to me.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson quickly brings Kick-Ass up to speed in the hero department thanks to combat training from Hit-Girl, and man did he ever get jacked!  Say goodbye to the scrawny dude who weighed a buck-o-five in the first movie, he was looking more like Hugh Jackman in WOLVERINE.  Sadly, Kick-Ass is on the opposite end of the spectrum.  He still can’t fight for shit.  I get that they’re going with normal people patrolling the streets as heroes, but other than Hit-Girl, none of them can do...anything.  I don’t know about you, but I unless I was a martial arts expert, boxer, or ultimate fighting champion (ironically enough Chuck Liddell makes a cameo appearance), I wouldn’t risk it.  This theory extends to most of the other ‘heroes’ as well, so don’t expect a full on battle royal as the trailer teases.  Case in point, a chick and her husband join the crew after losing their son, and all she does is hit people with a purse that’s got a brick in it.  Sigh. 

Chloe Grace Moretz is the true star on the hero’s team (when she’s there), and her fast track into High School (a nod at MEAN GIRLS) is all kinds of fun.  And when it comes to nods and winks, there’s more than enough to go around, but the coolest one for Moretz was the date prank that takes a page out of CARRIE—which of course has a reboot coming soon starring Moretz as Carrie.  And then to top it off, she goes to see Kick-Ass right after, and he jumps out of bed wearing an “I hate reboots” T-Shirt.  Priceless.  But the girl power doesn’t stop there, baddie, Mother Russia steals every scene she’s in.  She looks like the chick version of Conan and whoops ass accordingly.  The scene with her and the cops was nuts.

KICK-ASS 2 was disappointing, but it didn’t have to be.  There was all sorts of potential here, but they drowned it in clichés, poor writing and bad ideas.  The Motherfucker?  Really guys, that’s the best you could come up with?  It was nice to see John Leguizamo (where’s that guy been), and I thought he looked good in an action setting, I’d like to see more of that for him.  Sadly, I don’t think we’ll see another Kick-Ass film.  It’s a shame, but I feel the studio tampering this time around killed any chances of them hitting the big screen for a third time.  Nobody seemed overly pumped for this installment going in, and the hype was nothing compared to the first movie.  I love me some R rated comic book action so I’m sad to see this fail, but again, there was no reason for it.  They had plenty of time to make it right so if they couldn’t do it here, there’s no reason to think it would get better with another sequel.  It was a fun ride while it lasted. 




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