Aaron Taylor- Johnson
A comic book movie like “Kick-Ass” is a really hard sell despite its originality and uniqueness for the genre and it shows from its records (box office and dvd sales) 3 years ago from its predecessor. Though the film was lucky enough to even get a sequel and two more in the future (Hit-Girl solo film and Kick-Ass 3) due to it being a cult hit by a huge fan-base and dvd sales. But it wasn’t lucky enough to have Matthew Vaughn direct the sequel and instead be directed by the guy who brought us “Never Back Down”, Jeff Wadlow. The first Kick-Ass film was rather enjoyable and fun (though there was that one scene that I hate so much), In Kick-Ass 2 I hoped that I would have the same experience and I am very much happy to say that Jeff Wadlow was able to deliver the same fun and enjoyment as the first one did though it does lack a bit on the storytelling.
After the events of the first film, Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor- Johnson) and Hit-Girl (Chloe Moretz) has inspired a large number of people in New York City to become masked vigilantes like them. Mindy Macready (Hit-Girl) has to hang up the costume to live a normal life according to her new father while Dave Lizewski/Kick-Ass started to feel lonely until he is introduced to a team known as “Justice Forever” led by Col. Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey). But heroes are not the only ones they inspired, Chris D’ Amico known as Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) returns with a new name called “The Motherfucker” and he vows to get revenge for Kick-Ass killing his father as he build his own super-villain army.
If the first Kick-Ass film shows the reality of being a superhero with no powers, then Kick-Ass 2 shows what it will be like to have a “world of superheroes” (by world I mean, “AMERICA”). It does portray that aspect of the film very well, though the consequences didn’t feel impactful as the concept of the first film did. The violence of this film is a love-hate relationship to me, there were some violent action sequences that were very entertaining enough to watch on-screen but the other action sequences were rather there for the sake of violence. What made it even worse is that there were scenes that are rather impactful and emotional and it is very half-assed and rushed when it is executed. The first Kick-Ass film (until the final fight scene with the jetpack and the bazooka) had the standard of portraying violence in a realistic way in that real open world, seeing that standard fade from this film was a bit disappointing to me. Saying that it is enjoyable isn’t really saying that much coming from me.
The special effects did take away the realism of the film as it does feature badly rendered green screen effects and digital blood (that I hate so much in the last film) though I do appreciate most of the effects that are rather practical (that I assumed that they are practically done). The shaky cam was also very annoying through most of the action sequences of the film, in a way to badly portray documentary-esque type of filmmaking but most of the time used to censor violence.
As an action-comedy, the comedy in this film is a step up from the film; I couldn’t really name a few comedic sequences that are unnecessary like the last film did. the dark comedy is like the heart and soul of the comic and the movie itself, the dark comedy is rather funny and enjoyable though there were a couple of jokes that are displayed as very childish humor and by childish I mean it is more like Adam Sandler’s version of “comedy” in his present films (it has something to do with someone throwing up and shitting themselves at the same time)
I have read the source materials (this being based on the prelude and Kick-Ass 2 at the same time) a year before seeing this film. As much as I don’t want to compare a source material to an adaptation, I just have to say that I do enjoy the movie version more than the comic. The actual Kick-Ass 2 comic was more of a slideshow of dirty violence and foul-mouthing than it is a legitimate sequel (though the Hit-Girl prelude was more of the sequel I wanted) though there were some moments of the book that does have potential to bring the film some emotion and intensity. Fans of the book will be happy that this was translated very well and the flaws of the book are corrected not to mention they keep monumental events of the book that are translated scene by scene and word per word in this movie while some does have it's own twists, and I've always thought that what a comic book movie should do.
The performances are still very good and entertaining to watch, Aaron-Taylor Johnson still plays a charismatic and believable teenager (despite his age being far beyond than he is supposed to be). Chloe Moretz still steals the show as a murdering psychotic teenager and still has a good side-story surrounding her having a normal life, her role is not as fun to see compared to the first film (you can really see that time has passed) since she is no longer that little kid who murders and curse like a sailor. Returning characters, standing out in this film like Clark Duke having a titular and fun role, along with Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s Chris D’ Amico who is now known as “The Motherfucker” who pretty much shares the most comedic dialogues and situations in this film.
Newcomers like Jim Carrey’s Col. Stars and Stripes stealing the show for the first hour of the film was so much fun to watch, it is rather unfortunate to hear that he is distancing himself from this project because this is probably his best role since “Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind”. If I didn't know that it is Jim Carrey under all those prosthetics i'll be surprised. He does only share a small portion of the film; I would’ve liked it if they took liberties and add a few more scenes of him as the character (If you've been catching up with the previews, all of those scenes are basically the scenes he have in this film). While new characters also shine like Scrubs’ Donald Faison as Dr. Gravity and Olga Kurkulina’s Mother Russia also stands out in this film, both of them were both hilarious and impressive to watch in this kind of project. The rest of the cast are just solid without mentioning them.
In the end, Kick-Ass 2 is still a Kick Ass film despite the complaints I have, I still have a great time with the film through most of the action sequences and the comedic timing of the film. If you loved the first film, you will definitely love the second one as well. The film is definitely entertaining, it’s action-packed, it’s funny, and I suggest that you look away from that tomato-meter and watch this movie in the theater. Fair warning, the film is pretty violent and I have met a lot of people who are disturbed by this film but do have an open mind and do your best to watch this movie as you separate reality from fiction.
+ENJOYABLE ACTION SCENES
+SOME FUNNY SITUATIONAL AND DIALOGUE-BASED HUMOR
+CORRECTED THE FLAWS OF THE SOURCE MATERIAL
-THE PORTRAYAL OF VIOLENCE (COULD'VE BEEN BETTER)
-A FEW TERRIBLE JOKES THAT TOOK ME OUT
- RUSHED ELEMENTS
3.5/5 - WOULD WATCH!