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Kick-Ass 2 - Movie Review

3 stars

What grammatical fun to be had were Kick-Ass 2 to actually kick some ass. Any number of cunning bon mots come to mind. However, the sad truth is that it doesn’t kick ass. In fact, it barely even thumps ass, or perhaps just gently moves ass out of the way. Now, that’s not to say there’s no fun and enjoyment to be had with the follow-up to 2010’s irreverent hit, Kick-Ass that upended the superhero genre. It’s just that all the fun this time is merely a milder expansion and escalation of the action from the first, losing the fresh smack of originality that caught everyone off guard the first time around. Then again, that’s sadly all we’ve come to expect from a sequel; more of the same.

Fortunately, Kick-Ass 2 does keep alive the original’s tongue-in-cheek premise that an every day guy on the street who dons a mask and rubber suit can influence others to make a difference. In fact, this time around, an entire group of people, inspired by the heroics of Dave/Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), have put together a crime-fighting gang of sorts called Justice Forever. Led by morally driven ex-mobster Col. Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey), each in the group of do-gooders has experienced a life-changing tragedy and is seeking redemption. Dr. Gravity (Donald Caisson) is a copywriter who pretends to be a physics professor by day and a club-wielding superhero by night; Ballet instructor Miranda becomes Night Bitch (Lindy Booth) to avenge her sister’s murder; and object of gay bullying, Insect Man (Robert Emms), is now standing up for the defenseless. Though more a support group for victims, this band of wanna-be heroes proves that messing with one member of Justice Forever, means you mess with them all.

Meanwhile, across the city, our band of amateur superheroes are being plotted against by self-proclaimed villain Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) who has re-branded himself The Motherf@#%r and is assembling his own army of thugs, cretins, and evil-doers. The spoiled son of a deceased crime boss, The Motherf@#%r dons his mother’s old fetish gear (think squeaky, black leather with dozens of zippers) and sets out to avenge his father’s death behind his own self-aware proclamation, “my super power is that I’m incredibly rich.”

Providing the film’s heart and soul is Mindy Macready (Chloe Grace Moretz), a blade-wielding, nunchaka-skilled teenager who calls herself Hit Girl. The film is always better when she’s on the screen, but after the death of her dad in the first installment, Mindy promises her adoptive father (Morris Chestnut) to give up the super hero life and instead pay more attention to connecting with the other girls at her high school – a promise that ends in a mess of body fluids and gastrointestinal embarrassment for the high school’s mean girls, and unfortunately, a dearth of Hit Girl screen time for us.

Writer/director Jeff Wadlow often loses his footing in the film’s early going and struggles to maintain an even tone throughout, often forgetting the story’s sneering statement about society and slipping into juvenile sight gags aimed at pleasing the 14-year-old boys in the audience – see Hit Girl’s revenge above. He wants to explore who these characters really are and how they’re going to forge an identity in today’s chaotic world, but he can’t quite figure out how to transition from the film’s more exploitative moments, to the more meaty.

But by the time the third act rolls around, Wadlow thankfully abandons the silly stock genre axioms and gets back to the business at hand – spoofing the humorous juxtapositions of superheroes and how they deal with life’s real problems. This is also the point in the film where Wadlow goes way darker by ramping up the violence to near gratuitous levels even though he stays on the milder side of the original. It's definitely deserving of its R rating. A climactic fight sequence provides plenty of gore satisfaction, but is still not enough to overcome the fact that 2 still feels like a weaker offspring of the original.[/tab]

[tab title="Film Details"]

Kick-Ass 2 - Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: R for strong violence, pervasive language, crude and sexual content, and brief nudity.
103 mins.
: Jeff Wadlow
: Jeff Wadlow
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Genre: Comedy | Crime | Action
You Can't Fight Your Destiny.
Memorable Movie Quote: "There's no room for punks in suits. Just real heroes who can really kick ass."
Universal Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date: August 16, 2013
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.

Synopsis: After Kick-Ass’ (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) insane bravery inspires a new wave of self-made masked crusaders, led by the badass Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey), our hero joins them on patrol. When these amateur superheroes are hunted down by Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse)—reborn as The Mother F%&*^r—only the blade-wielding Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) can prevent their annihilation.[/tab]

[tab title="Blu-ray Review"]

No details available.[/tab]

[tab title="Trailer"]