August 24, 2013
Kick Ass 2 picks up a few years after the events of the first film. Kick Ass, aka Dave Lizewsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), has hung up the tights and is trying to make his way through high school. Mindy Macready, aka Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz), on the other hand, won't let it go and is lying to her guardian, Det. Marcus Williams (Morris Chestnut), about it. She secretly sneaks away from school and continues the training her father had started.
Meanwhile, Kick Ass has become something of a cult icon and others have taken to wearing masks and patrolling the streets for bad guys. Dave decides he misses the life and decides to forge a team with Hit Girl to head back to the streets. The problem is that Mindy is having her own issues dealing with her desire to be Hit Girl and respecting Marcus. So, Kick Ass ends up teaming with another group of masked folks led by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey).
While this is going on, Red Mist is dealing with his daddy issues by becoming a super villain and plotting his revenge on Kick Ass. Of course, he takes on another name and then the police get involved and do not discriminate between good and bad vigilantes. Blah blah blah. There is nothing particularly special about the story, and that is a shame.
Gone is the wanton violence and shocking vulgarity of the first. Instead of continuing to deconstruct the genre, or dealing with morality issues, or order issues, or anything interesting, we are simply faced with a coming of age story. It is all about Mindy and Dave finding their way through the high school landscape, using their superhero alter egos as a metaphor for their changes. It is nothing we haven't seen before or seen better.
The movie was written and directed by Jeff Wadlow whose past films includes the surprisingly decent Cry_Wolf, the awful Never Back Down, and he is currently attached to an X-Force film. Unfortunately he doesn't bring a lot to the table. Kick Ass 2 comes across as flat and unfocused. There's too much going for you to really care about anyone. Besides that, it is all typical stuff. It is a big disappointment coming from the original film.
Fortunately, it is not all bad. As it turns out, this is a movie whose parts are greater than the sum. The performances are generally good and you can see the cast trying to give you more than he screenplay allows. Chloe Grace Moretz is a good on actress and you can see her trying to do more with her character, trying to give Mindy a reality and depth beyond the page. The same goes of Aaron Taylor-Johnson, his Dave may not be given that much to do but he tries. There at some funny lines and entertaining moments throughout, just never enough to really bring it all together.
In the end, I may have been sporadically entertained, but it is not enough to make this a worthy movie. Everything hat made the first interesting and unique has been sucked out of this one, leaving behind a boring, generic husk. It is like the Hollywood machine got its fangs stuck in and just sucked everything out. Lets create a candy colored R rated movie, but don't let it challenge anything or offer any ideas, make them smile stupidly at the flickering screen. They don't know any better.
Well, I guess it cold have been worse.
Posted by Christopher Beaumont at 8/24/2013 10:44:00 PM
Labels: 2010s, 2013, Action, Adaptation, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz Plasse, Comedy, Jim Carrey, Movie Review, Science Fiction, Sequel, Superhero, Theatrical Release
Chris has been an avid movie watcher for decades, getting into the writing game in 2004. Since that time he has contributed to a number online publications as well as running CriticalOutcast.com. In addition to movies, Chris is a big fan of music, particularly metal, and will never give up hope on his beloved Mets.