Kick-Ass 2

18 Aug


In 2010, Kick-Ass became a hit movie by somewhat subverting the super hero genre that has become such an increasingly turgid staple of the Summer Blockbuster season. That took the moralistic stance of a lot of those movies and, whilst keeping them intact within the characters, the film displayed graphic violence and an 11-year-old girl using insults of a sexual nature that provided both laughs and some genuine shock value. Seriously, the first time you hear her drop the C-Bomb is a genuine surprise.

In Kick-Ass 2, Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) and Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) are back, and this time they’ve got some new friends. Well, Kick-Ass has anyway. He joins a group called Justice Forever, a collective of vigilantes that have been inspired by Kick-Ass himself. Hit Girl (or Mindy) is suffering a moral crisis. When her dad died, she made a promise that she would listen to the words of her new guardian, Marcus (Morris Chestnut). He forbids her to don her vigilante guise, to which she reluctantly agrees. Meanwhile, Kick-Ass is out fighting crime with his new mates, lead by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey) and desperately wants Hit Girl to join up with them.

Now, let me tell you, I love Kick-Ass. I re-watched it recently and it’s so refreshing to see it in a world where studios are desperate to churn out any old super hero move they can because they’re guaranteed money-spinners. Films like Kick-Ass and Super are so welcome and a genuine breath of fresh air in an increasingly stale format. They work within the boundaries of the genre to brilliantly parody it, whilst creating stories with a real gravitas of their own. Crucially for Kick-Ass, it was funny. Sadly, Kick-Ass 2 falls short on almost fronts. I didn’t find it to be a bad film, but it’s impossible to avoid comparing it to the first one, and it’s just not as good.


Arguably the best thing about the whole film is the name of the vigilante’s and super villains alter-ego’s. Red Mist has become The Motherf****r (the role being reprised by Chirstopher Mintz-Plasse), whilst we also have Night Bitch and the sweetly titled Battle Boy. In all other aspects, I found the film failed to provide the laughs I hoped for. At one point, it even resorts to extremely puerile humour, with one scene displaying an unpleasant girl being made to vomit, and worse. Puerile humour has it’s place, but it’s not in Kick-Ass 2. It just doesn’t fit here. Also missing the mark are culture references that might have felt new five years ago, but just feel empty now. Minor characters talking about their YouTube hits or Twitter followers isn’t so clever these days, in my opinion.

The first film provided shocks and no small amount of controversy with the level of gore in its fight scenes. This sequel does the same thing, but the problem now is that we’ve seen it all before. It was great three years ago and stands the test of repeat viewings, but to see the sequel doing the same thing…well it just doesn’t have the same impact.

What I did like was the epic feeling of a couple of large scale fight scenes. They are tinged with a real sense of peril, and you can never feel entirely confident that youre favourite characters will still be alive come the end (I appreciate this in a film; I’ve previously moaned about the lack of threat in some super hero films here). Like Kick-Ass, this follow up is not afraid to remove key characters with almost cruel ease at unexpected times, which again is something I very much score as a positive.


I did find that the film got better towards the end, and there were some performances I really enjoyed.  I was very fond of Jim Carrey’s turn as Colonel Stars and Stripes, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloë Grace Moretz are very good together again.

A large part of the problem for Kick-Ass 2 is that the original was so good and such a clever take on its genre, it almost feels like there isn’t anything new that can be added to it. This sequel is, in it’s own right, a passable film. But as a follow up to a brilliant first-in-series, it isn’t as interesting, it isn’t as fun and it isn’t as clever.



2 Responses to “Kick-Ass 2”

  1. Smash August 19, 2013 at 14:57 #

    Great review! I agree with you on a lot of the points you made. All the youtube stuff has become so irrelevant now. I caught this one this weekend and I was very excited for it. And while I was entertained, I found the first film far superior. I know he died in the first one, but I missed Big Daddy.
    One of the most enjoyable things about this movie for me was seeing all of the great Toronto locations throughout. Bitondo’s Pizza (that place in Kick Ass’s hood) is DELICIOUS!

    • I Liked That Film August 20, 2013 at 16:11 #

      Thank you. It’s certainly not that this is a bad film, it’s just fairly average whereas the first one was pretty brilliant.

      I’ll have to take your word for it on the Pizza place, given that I’m not in the same country I shall likely never sample it’s delights!

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