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KICK-ASS 2 (review)

Review by Caitlyn Thompson
Produced by Adam Bohling, Tarquin Pack, 
Brad Pitt, David Reid, Matthew Vaughn
Screenplay by Jeff Wadlow
Based on Kick-Ass 2 and Hit-Girl 
by Mark Millar, John Romita, Jr.
Directed by Jeff Wadlow
Starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, 
Chloë Grace Moretz, Jim Carrey, Donald Faison, 
John Leguizamo, Clark Duke, Morris Chestnut

Universal Pictures / Rated R

Kick-Ass 2 is the second installment (everything turns into a trilogy these days, sigh) in the Kick-Ass series.

We left off in the first, assured that Mindy/Hit Girl and Dave/Kick-Ass were going to become the ultimate team in stopping bad people from doing bad things.

Where her background came from revenge and darkness and his from a good moral compass, we were presented with an interesting duo that had a good purpose and true partnership.

I thought I was going to get an awesome display of teamwork, hot choreographed fight scenes, and some growth from these characters in the second film…

Womp womp…

Kick-Ass 2 is a gratuitously violent gag show.

A phony good-guy team is built half-heartedly through an ex-mob-enforcer-turned-born-again-Christian-vigilante, Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey), while Christopher Mintz-Plasse whines his way into a dominatrix outfit and into the first real super villain role. Characters were under-developed or killed off to quickly to build even a smidgen of tension, let alone connection.

This movie served to show characters in a limbo stage where it is proven they are physically older. Set up some sex appeal and wait for the final chapter.

Everything made fun of itself, and not in a clever manner, but in a self-deprecating way that was distracting. There is zero time to relish the moment. The pace is so fast that, at least for me, I didn’t react to anything at first. I was just sort of amused and shocked. There is never any emotional build up, so when an innocent person gets murdered, you barely notice. It is rare that someone is fighting – they are being beaten, and more often than not, beaten down gruesomely. All supporting roles are brief and their exits meaningless where they should have left a charge.

In the first Kick-Ass, when Big Daddy had his big moment, it was emotional. I got super choked up for Hit Girl, having to be so brave and kick so much ass (no pun intended) and him continuing to root her on, direct, teach, inspire her, even in his last breaths, it was emotional. The biggest emotion in this sequel was Moretz’s trembling (oh-my-god-I’m-a-sexual-being) lips while watching a boy band music video. Minor character giggles,“I’m soaked,” and we’re out of the moment, where no depth or creativity lives.

The juxtaposition of high school brutality versus real world “villains” only proved valuable because it illustrated how utterly dramatized these positions really are. Red Mist, now known as, The Mother Fucker, whines just as much as the Queen Bee of high school but all of their actions amount to puffery and monetary connection. There is no real basis for either of their cruelty and because of that, there was no real reason for anything to happen in this film. Lots of plot…no story.

The first Kick-Ass’ heroes and villains had motives. Nic Cage had an excellent back-story that shaped his daughter’s views. David was sick of being bullied showed the world that you can fight back. The characters fought together for a reason and the chemistry between them (good guys or bad guys) was derived from familial loyalty.

The good guy team in Kick-Ass 2 was campy, phony, and uninspiring. The only reason I cared about any of the “superheroes” was because I don’t think I’ve ever seen Donald Faison without braces.

Will this movie exist, only to bridge the first and the third films? I certainly am on board to see Johnson’s abs some more. HOT.

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