Kick-Ass is back. This time he has a band of motley vigilantes at his side, and a pitiful boy who dresses in bondage gear is baying for his blood. My review of Kick-Ass 2 is after the jump.
Thanks to Kick-Ass, superheroes are cool and people are willing to put themselves out there in the name of justice. Regular folk dressed as superheroes are a common sight to see, patrolling the city streets. Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) isn’t one of them. Since the events in Kick Ass he has hung up his superhero persona and kept his head low. Dave wants to change that. He wants to get tough and he wants to fight back and be the hero for the little people once again. Dave approaches Mindy, aka Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz), who pretends to attend school, but actually maintains a training regime suitable for only the toughest of heroes. Reluctantly she takes him on as a training partner, until she is forced to retire Hit Girl at the request of her new guardian, Detective Marcus Williams (Morris Chestnut).
Not wanting to be alone, Dave joins fellow vigilantes in a group called Justice Forever, lead by Colonel Stars and Stripes (played terribly by Jim Carrey). The group’s main problem? Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), who is seeking revenge on Kick Ass (and the world in general), has crowned himself the world’s first super-villain, the imaginatively titled, Mother Fucker. He’s formed a group of killers and together they seek to maim and destroy.
While Kick-Ass has extreme violence, much of it committed by a young girl, it is generally committed in the name of good over evil. Kick-Ass 2 is a violent, sadist and pointless film which almost entirely abandons its vigilante story-line in favour of reveling in violence for violence sake. The Justice Forever group is led by a man who may call himself a good guy, but clearly enjoys inflicting as much pain and horror as he can, as he brings down the bad guys. This is perhaps Jim Carrey’s worst role, and he does an awful job. His reluctance to promote the film due to its excessive violence is surely just an excuse not to have answer for this terrible role.
When even the supposed good guys are over the top with their vigilante methods, that forces the film to escalate the villain’s violence to the most sadistic and distasteful levels. The Mother Fucker character is pathetic. A whiny little boy who didn’t get what he wanted. His pathetic nature could be a great avenue for some which needed comedy, but instead the film makes him annoying and cruel. When the film does add a touch of comedy it instantly becomes more engaging and likable. It’s a real shame those moments were few and far between.
The side story involving Hit Girl having to be a normal teenager at school was easily the best thing about Kick-Ass 2. I would have happily watched a feature-length Hit Girl vs. The Mean Girls film. While the school bullies were overwrought, there was decent and relatable material here. Chloë Grace Moretz easily gives the best performance of the film, as she grapples with the horror of high school, while trying to suppress who she believes is her true self.
The weak story-line and nasty, outrageous violence makes Kick-Ass 2 an unpleasant viewing experience. I am unable to even recommend to fans of the first film, of whom I count myself as one.
By Sam McCosh
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Writer(s): Jeff Wadlow (screenplay)
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Runtime: 103 minutes
Release date(s): USA: August 16 2013; Australia & New Zealand: August 22 2013