Kick-Ass 2 opens with Hit Girl trick shooting Kick-Ass in the chest with a pistol. It’s a scene reminiscent of the first film where Hit Girl’s father, Big Daddy(Nic Cage), does the same training exercise to her. Where the latter was jaw dropping to watch, the former was merely comical and unneeded. I should have known something was wrong from the start.
Kick-Ass 2 continues the story of Dave Lizewski who came out publicly as the world’s first costumed superhero. Dave has given up his vigilante crime fighting days to be a normal high school teenager. But, with other normal citizens taking up his mantel and also fighting crime in costume, Dave gets the thirst again and decides to team-up with Hit Girl(Chloe-Grace Moretz) in his quest to make the world a better place.
Kick-Ass 2 is in some ways a confused film. Is this a continuation of Dave/Kick-Ass’s story, will it focus more on Hit Girl, are we supposed to feel sympathetic towards Chris D’Amico(Christopher Mintz-Plasse) aka The Motherf#@!%r? These are all questions you may ask yourself during or after watching Kick-Ass. The first Kick-Ass was a balls in your face, we-don’t-give-a-f#@k-what-you-think type of film, with gratuitous violence and a sea of “R” rated language spread throughout the entire film. But it was fun and surprising to see a little girl slicing, shooting, stabbing, [Insert violent act here] different bad guys, all while laughing or joking about it. It was a film that took the source material and made a fun and rather engaging film that looked at superhero’s from a different perspective.
While Kick-Ass 2 looks to expound on the themes that were first presented in its predecessor, there is a lot missing in this installment that made the first film so good (And no, it’s not the absence of Nic Cage, for those that were wondering). The main and most important is character development. At the start of the film things are a little different for our main characters. Kick-Ass has stopped fighting crime, Hit Girl is being raised by her now adopted father(Morris Chestnut) and Chris D’Amico, still the Red Mist, is pissed that his mom isn’t letting him plan out his revenge quest against Kick-Ass. You see all of this in a 2 minute time span and before you know it everyone is back where you want them to be. Kick-Ass suits up, Hit Girl helps train Kick-Ass while trying to keep her vigilantism a secret against her adopted father’s wishes, and Red Mist has become The Motherf#@!%r , hell bent on destroying Kick-Ass and everything that is important to him. Everything happens rather fast and you almost don’t have a chance to breathe and get acquainted with the characters again.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse was abhorrently bad in this film. He was great in the first film and his characters’ role was enjoyable to watch. But in the sequel, he’s an annoying brat the whole movie. Even as The Motherf#@!%r, I wanted nothing more than for him to die. I’m sure this is not what the filmmakers were going for because there are a few scenes where you almost feel sorry for the guy, but then he starts whining again about how he wants Kick-Ass dead and it’s just comical. Now his team, on the other hand, was very menacing, especially Mother Russia, played by Olga Kurkulina, she was badass! Even though, as I write this, I’m realizing she was the only real menacing villain in the whole movie. She is the only real person that posed a threat to Kick-Ass…..or anyone for that matter. Wow! That’s kind of funny.
In the end, Hit Girl is the only fleshed out character in this film. We get to see a different side to her, a normal side. Even though it doesn’t last very long, and if you’ve seen the trailers you know that already, it was nice to see Hit Girl really give the normal life a try. That is essentially the only new item in the film theme wise. And it begs the question, did they want to delve more into that part of the story than they did?. Seeing Hit Girl, who is obviously the more popular character, vulnerable for the first time was refreshing. “Be who you truly are” was the general theme here, but the delivery in staying true to that theme was soft and it felt like I was watching Kick-Ass 1.5 instead of a full-fledged sequel, except all the surprise and excitement from the first film was missing.
Final Verdict: The acting overall is great and Jim Carrey, while not in much of the film, is entertaining and after watching his scenes I ‘m still wondering what movie he thought he was in. Kick-Ass 2 is fun and entertaining, but misses the mark that the first film seemed to hit so easily. With a bigger budget, more characters and a larger scale story, Kick-Ass 2 lacks originality and character development and will probably get lost in the shuffle of other comic book superhero films.