Writer: Elaine EweWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"Kick-Ass" and Chloë Grace Moretz
Jeff Wadlow's "Kick-Ass 2" serves as an example of how not to tamper with a winning superhero film formula. There are too many characters and childish jokes, a lot less stylish violent imagery as well as a meandering storyline that is catered to a wider set of audiences. The film only manages to stay afloat because of Chloë Grace Moretz's Hit-Girl, who clearly deserves her own spin-off film.
After the events of the first film, Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) has retired from fighting crime, but his mundane life leads him to ask Mindy Macready (Chloë Grace Moretz) to train him so he can become a proper hero. Later, when Mindy is forced to hang up her cape as Hit-Girl, Dave decides to join a team of superheroes wannabes he inspired called Justice Forever, led by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey).
Although three years have passed since the original film, nothing much seems to have happened for Dave and Mindy. Dave is still a nerdy loser, albeit with more well-defined abs, and Mindy is skipping school to beat up no-good criminals. The film then takes the opportunity to introduce identity crises for our two superheroes, with Dave desperately wanting to make the world a better place and Mindy trying to leave her old life behind and be a normal teenage girl. Excuse the raised eyebrow, but Hit-Girl is already several levels cooler than most high school girls, so her new guardian Marcus's (Morris Chestnut) whole "your father would've wanted you to have normal life" is moot. Plus, Mindy and her father already had this whole conversation back in "Kick-Ass", so having identity crises is so yesterday.
On the other hand, it is amusing to watch Mindy trying to fit in among her high school peers, such as watching her first Union J music video (and it's "Carry You", no less!) and auditioning for a place in the school's dance team. It is also endearing to watch the motley members of Justice Forever trying to be superheroes in spite of their unassuming personalities. Carrey's Colonel Stars and Stripes seems a little suspicious at first, but when they pull off their first major heroic act together, you just cheer for them, so it is a shame that most of them are not as fully fleshed out as we'd like them to be. Aside from Grace Moretz as Hit-Girl, the rest of the cast end up being forgettable, even Taylor-Johnson. His Dave lacks the charisma he needs to take his place as the leading man beside Grace Moretz while Mintz-Plasse doesn't show himself to be anything but a spoiled brat that needs a good cuff on the ear, as opposed to the first film's villain played by Mark Strong.
It is widely known that Carrey has disowned the film for its violence, but the film's penchant for brutality seems to have taken a backseat compared to its predecessor. There is still stabbing, biting and gunplay, but it is all edited in such a way that we never really cringe from the view, save for one scene where a dog bites a man's private parts.
The film also tries to cushion Mark Millar's vicious and excessive jokes, such as Javier (John Leguizamo), Chris D'Amico's second-in-command pointing out that Chris's names for all his henchmen are racial stereotypes and it is in bad taste. Regardless, the jokes end up being poorly delivered, to the point that they have to resort to making characters spew undesirable fluids and poking fun at bodily functions.
"Kick-Ass 2" is definitely a more faithful adaptation of the similarly titled source comic and "Hit-Girl" comic, but it was the original's refreshing blend of over-the-top violence and witty humour that made it so enjoyable to watch, despite several negative reviews. The sequel, in all its modesty, gives it enough minor tweaks such as the new characters and the different take on humour to keep the film enjoyable and more watchable than say, "Rambo" (fans may beg to differ). However, "Kick-Ass" fans will agree that it could have been better, especially the CGI.Cinema Online, 26 August 2013