Josh and Violet give their his and her reviews of the movie Kick-Ass 2 , directed by Jeff Wadlow, and starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (because you have to have three names to star in this film)! Okay, okay, Jim Carrey’s in it too.
His Kick-Ass 2 Review:
Based on the comic book by Mark Millar, Kick-Ass 2 is the sequel to Kick-Ass, a fun film about a realistic take on superheroes. For a quick recap, Kick-Ass was the superhero that came to be after Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), a teenager in high school decides that he wants to become a superhero. Through his misadventures, he meets up with Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) and Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz), who team up. In the first film, Big Daddy is killed, Hit Girl is adopted by one of Big Daddy’s cop friends, and Kick-Ass makes enemies with Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), also known as Red Mist after Kick-Ass kills his mobster father with a rocket launcher. This all sets the stage for Kick-Ass 2.
Kick-Ass 2 has Dave giving up his life as a superhero, but other people have come to take his place. Mindy (Hit Girl) has been trying to continue her life as Hit Girl, but her adoptive father Marcus Williams (Morris Chestnut) has forbid her from continuing as Hit Girl, and is trying to get her to lead a normal teenage life. Meanwhile, Chris D’Amico has given up his Red Mist identity, and returned as “The Motherfucker”, his villainous persona developed after a tragedy seems to put him over the mental edge. His one goal? To take down Kick-Ass.
After some time off from being Kick Ass, Dave can’t help but suit up again. He asks Hit Girl to train him, which goes well for a time, but eventually she is caught by Marcus and forced to give up Hit Girl forever. This leads to Kick-Ass looking for other heroes to team up with, leading to an Avengers type group that really is more of a community service type group. Meanwhile, Chris D’Amico has begun recruiting on his own, making his own super villain group to take down Kick-Ass.
The film has a few themes running through it, most notably how a person “escapes” a life of “mediocrity”. Also, there is the tried and true high school misfit story that Mindy is force to contend with once Marcus forces her to actually attend high school. As the super teams come to a head, the film even touches on classic comic book hero themes, such as escalation, as both teams try to one up each other, leaving heroes causing more damage than good.
The film/comic book story clearly draws from numerous other comic storylines, such as Batman, and team-based comics such as X-Men or Avengers, but tries to spin the realistic/comedic approach.
The film takes some time, and sputters along at first, but eventually does lead into some fun/interesting scenes. Chloe Grace Moretz, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Christopher Mintz-Plasse were all enjoyable to watch in their roles, but there seemed to be something missing from the film. The answer could possibly be Matthew Vaughn, director of the first film.
Another problem I think the film suffered from, which seems to be a growing issue in the comic book film industry, is overdoing it with characters. In paper comics I think it is a lot easier to get away with cramming in 35 characters, because you have a lot more time to tell a story. In a movie format of 1.5 to 2.5 hours, cramming that many characters doesn’t give a lot of time to really appreciate all of the characters, and they feel either shallow or un-whole. I feel many of the superheroes in the film were un-relatable, and almost all of the super villains with the exception of “The Motherfucker” and Mother Russia were not even noteworthy.
With the exception of a few scenes, Kick-Ass 2 lacked the fun “zip” that the original Kick-Ass had. Kick-Ass just felt a lot more “fun” than its sequel, which is unfortunate, as I was really looking forward to this film.
Overall I would give this film a 7 out of 10. I think I got my $11 worth, but I wished it could have blown me away, or at the very least let me walk out of the theater with happier thoughts. I do hope there is a sequel to come, despite the mediocre earning the films had opening weekend, as I think this franchise has some great potential if put into the right hands.
Her Kick-Ass 2 Review:
Kick-Ass 2 is the follow up to comedy-action superhero film Kick-Ass, and is based on the graphic novel, also entitled Kick-Ass 2, by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. However, whereas Matthew Vaughn directed the first film, Vaughn is merely a producer for the sequel, while Jeff Wadlow (Never Back Down) steps in to take the reigns as director. Initially, I was a little skeptical after seeing the trailer for Kick-Ass 2. However, after seeing extended footage at San Diego Comic-Con 2013, I thought the movie looked pretty awesome, and I was excited about it. But maybe that was just the Comic-Con hype influencing me, because that hype did not pay off.
If you’ll think back to the end of the first film, Dave had decided to cease being Kick-Ass, and Mindy was going to follow Big Daddy’s wishes for her to live a normal life, rather than continue on as Hit Girl. Well, in Kick-Ass 2, Dave changes his mind, and asks Mindy to train him. Unfortunately, Marcus, Mindy’s guardian, catches her sneaking around as Hit Girl, and guilts her into promising to stop. From that point, much of Mindy’s perspective in the movie is her trying to fit in as a normal high school girl.
Meanwhile, Dave joins up with a group of people who dress up as superheroes, including Jim Carrey, who plays the leader of the group, Captain Stars and Stripes. Their good deeds start out small, but they move on to bigger things, and eventually draw the attention of Chris D’Amico, aka “Red Mist,” aka his new supervillain name “The Motherf*cker,” who still has it out for Kick-Ass. In response to the superhero team, Chris forms his own supervillain team to take them down, and the superhero team soon finds themselves dealing with problems they never saw coming.
Prior to the release of the first film, I actually wasn’t too interested in seeing it. I remember thinking that it looked too cheesy and the little girl seemed annoying. But I saw it because Josh and our friends wanted to. And I was blown away. It was nothing like what I thought it would be. It was unique, pushed boundaries, had just the right amount of humor, and I was taken by surprise at how much I liked it. Kick-Ass 2, on the other hand, did not impress me quite as much. Maybe it was because it was no longer unique, or maybe because I expected something amazing this time, whereas the first time I went in not expecting much. The first film set the bar pretty high for the second film, and I felt that Kick-Ass 2 was unable to reach that bar.
I think part of the shortfall lies in the fact that the part of the movie where Mindy tries to be a “normal” girl feels too much like a “teen” movie. Specifically, it felt like I was watching Mean Girls. I like Mean Girls, but if I wanted to watch that movie, I would have stayed home and watched it on cable. It also felt a little like the upcoming movie Carrie, in which, coincidentally, Chloe Grace Moretz is starring as the title character. Don’t get me wrong, I like how Mindy was able to “beat them at their own game,” but the tone of some of these events felt a little off from what I expected of this movie. Oh, and I didn’t like the implication that all teen girls are attracted to members of boy bands, because that is definitely not true.
We also got introduced to a whole slew of new superheroes, and I didn’t feel like we got much time to get to know them. I especially felt like Jim Carrey’s character, Captain Stars and Stripes, was barely in it, considering all the hype. Also, the superhero team sure seemed to accomplish quite a lot despite their (low) level of fighting abilities.
What I did like, as a female, was how the two strongest characters and best fighters in the film were female: Hit Girl and Mother Russia, who was on the supervillain team. It seemed like they were the ones who were the most effective fighters, and (***SPOILER ALERT***) this is evident in the fact that during the big fight scene at the end, it pretty much comes down to Hit Girl vs. Mother Russia. (***End Spoiler Alert***) Go girls!
Unfortunately, Kick-Ass 2 just did not live up to its predecessor. This is not to say that that it was a bad movie, because I did enjoy it for the most part. It definitely does not deserve the very low 29% rating it currently has on Rotten Tomatoes. But it just felt like something was off, or missing. Maybe it was because this film had a different director than the first, I don’t know. But it was still fun, and worth seeing if you’re a fan of the first film.
My rating: 6.5