Monday, 23 December 2013

Kick-Ass 2

In 2010 the comic-to-film adaptation of Kick-Ass was unleashed upon the world. The film was helmed by Matthew Vaughn who also directed Layer Cake and Stardust and subsequently one year later, X-Men: First Class. No one felt that the Kick-Ass could be faithfully translated to the big screen, and while the film did ease up a bit on the violence and the more controversial stuff, it was one of the best films of 2010. It was a powerful, funny, exciting and a dark twist on the superhero genre. Three years later and Kick-Ass 2 has arrived on Blu-Ray and DVD. It's directed by Jeff Wadlow, a guy who directed a few awful looking films, and had a bit part in 2007's I'm Through With White Girls. So yeah, needless to say Kick Ass 2 doesn't just fail to live up to the original, but manages to take a huge dump on it.


Kick-Ass 2 picks up some time after the end of the original. Dave Lizewski (Kick-Ass) has gotten bored of his life as a regular teenager, and has begun training with Mindy McCready (Hit-Girl), who Dave always viewed as a true superhero. However, Chris D'Amico, now in control of the mob his father left in the wake of his death, takes on the mantle of “The Motherfucker”, and vows to carry out revenge on Kick-Ass. 

After Mindy promises to give up being a superhero to her adoptive father, Dave joins “Justice Forever”; the worlds first superhero group. Led by Colonel Stars-and-Stripes, Justice Forever is now in the sights of The Motherfucker who begins assembling his very own group. All of the pieces are in place for Kick-Ass 2 to be better than, or at least as good as, the first film. But Kick-Ass 2 fails to deliver on so many levels.


The script is just awful. Remember in the first film there was a fantastic story between Mindy and her father? Remember how there was so much tension during the scene in which Kick-Ass' identity was going to be revealed? Remember the fantastic dialogue and banter that Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl shared? Well there's none of that here. The loss of the most important relationship in Mindy's life leads to nothing. There are almost zero scenes of tension throughout the film, and the dialogue between Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl is no longer witty, effective or shocking. 

However, the film feels like it hits some kind of stride when Kick-Ass joins Justice Forever. This is mainly down to Colonel Stars-and-Stripes, who is played fantastically by Jim Carrey. Sporting a busted up face and mashed nose, the Colonel's weapon of choice is a baseball, while his back-up is his guard dog, Eisenhower, a dog that has quite a taste for human testicles. But while the group is filled with interesting characters, the film just falls flat when trying to keep them interesting. Basically, they’re canon fodder for The Motherfucker. That's what they're there for, and that becomes painfully obvious quite early in.

The other side of the story features Mindy and her attempt at being a “normal” girl. Of course, it doesn't end well, and when I watched the scene in which she makes a bully violently shit herself in front of everyone in the cafeteria, I realised that Mindy's complete story arc in Kick-Ass 2 is utterly meaningless. The film juggles a whole bunch of balls in the air, and comes to a head with a messy, lame and absolutely anti-climactic head-to-head between the superheroes and supervillians. Ugh.


Kick-Ass 2 tries way too hard to be like the first film, and ends up coming across like a shitty, cheap imitation. This is usually most apparent through the violence. Both films are exceptionally violent, but Kick-Ass threats the violence with more dread. The scene in which Big Daddy is set on fire in the first film is shocking, and really hits home the fact that in these films, and genre in which we're conditioned to believe that the hero will always win, no one is safe. In Kick-Ass 2 it treats the violence in more of an immature way. For instance, the attempted rape scene sticks out as just crass, which shows The Motherfucker unable to rape a girl because he can't get an erection. The first film didn't sugar coat things, but fuck, Kick-Ass 2 is just repugnant.

Overall Kick-Ass 2 is a failure, and testament to what happens when you follow up a critically successfully film with a different director and writer for its sequel. It's an imitation of Kick-Ass and not a good one at that. Jim Carrey is the best thing about the film though he refused to support it because of its violent nature. Now looking back he probably didn't want to support it because, well, it's shit. I agree.

Kick-Ass 2 gets its ass kicked with a 3/10.

Denis Murphy


Kick-Ass 2 at CeX



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