Kick-Ass 2 (2013) Movie Review By Stephen McLaughlin

Kick Ass 2

Director: Jeff Wadlow
Writers: Jeff Wadlow (screenplay), Mark Millar (comic book)
Stars: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jim Carrey 

The much anticipated sequel to 2010’s KickAss came three years later after original. Director Matthew Vaughn switched his attention to the Kingsmen franchise and at one point was linked with Episode VII of the Star Wars Saga. Whatever the reasons for his step down from this sequel I’m unsure of. Jeff Wadlow would come in and do an okay job on a sequel that had lost its original Director, replaced two of its actors who were ever prominent in the original film and Jim Carrey’s odd disapproval of promoting gun violence in film (I’m sure he said he enjoyed the first film) topped with being 2 years too late we now had 16 year old Chloë Grace Moretz playing Hit Girl. A role as a 12 year old she excelled in and managed to gather a large following for her role in the original film as the violent and potty mouth babyfaced assassin. Sadly the chemistry between her and her on screen Father “Big Daddy” played by Nicholas Cage is missed here. If I had one gripe with the original it was killing his character off. Yes the final scenes in the original with Big Daddy were powerful and emotional but the relationship in the sequel was badly needed and evidently missed. 

So Kick-Ass 2 follows Kick-Ass’ heroics from the first film that other citizens are inspired to become masked crusaders. But Red Mist leads his own group of evil supervillains to get revenge, kill Kick-Ass and destroy everything he stands for and for the largest portion of the movie that is what happens. Aaron Taylor-Johnson slips back into the role easily as the scrawny misfit that is Dave Lizewski by day. It’s one of the positives about the film. The same can be said for Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Chris D’Amico. He is still the whiny spoilt brat with Daddy issues and a immature rage directed at Kick-Ass for his exploits in the first film. Sadly for me Chloë Grace Moretz comes across bored with the character in this sequel. At this point in her career she was beginning to branch out in other projects and saw a future over the Hit Girl Horizon. 

We are introduced to some new and inventive super heroes and villains really upping the ante in cast and characters. Some are hard hitting in Mother Russia some more deliberately funny and pathetic in the duelling couple “Tommy’s Mother and Father” to Clarke Duke’s Marty / Battle Guy who is desperate for a tragic origin story. But none comes more prominent than Jim Carrey’s Colonel Stars and Stripes which is based on two characters from the graphic novels by Mark Millar. Carrey is a fine addition to the cast and albeit possibly harming the films box Office with his anti-violence in films speech really is at the same time the saving grace in this sequel. His character is bold, honourable and stands out amongst the rest of the supporting characters.

The tone of the movie did it’s best to match the tone in the original and to a point managed this. I personally felt that the violence and gore in this movie was missing the point of the first film. It felt forced at times and to me that wasn’t what appealed to me in the first film. It was used when it had to be used. Here it appears in almost every scene. I also didn’t like the handling and disposal of Katie Deauxma (Lyndsy Fonseca) in Kick-Ass 2. She was after all the love of Dave’s life at this point and whether or not there was other reasons it was forced and unrealistic from an audience members point of view. It really served as a plot device for Kick-Ass and Hit Girl to have some romantic connection by the end of the movie, which I found strange and out of character for both of them. Todd and Marty are utilised more in the sequel with Marty’s Battle Guy and Todd’s Ass Kicker now played by Augustus Prew replacing the brilliant Evan Peters. I would say their scenes with Dave had the same magic of the first movie and to be fair their are some funny scenes and dialogue between them.

Overall Kick-Ass 2 is a disappointing follow up to a classic comic book movie that I hold high in my top films of the genre. The storylines was predictable and at times forced. The climatic battle in the warehouse was messy and disorientated at times and felt bloated. Barring the face offs between Dave and Chris and Hit Girl and Mother Russia the rest was forgettable. I will say that some of the fight scenes were as impressive as the first movie but sadly there is a disconnection between 1 and 2 here and seeing this in the cinema back in 2013 disappointed the life out of me. If you haven’t seen the sequel I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s a movie that they really shouldn’t have bothered making. Not terrible, but not good.

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