You’ve come to expect things in your life. You expect to at some point be dumped by a person you love. You expect to go to an M. Night Shyamalan film and leave disappointed. You expect to find out you’ve run out of toilet paper at the exact moment you need it the most. Like its predecessor, I expected Kick Ass 2 to be every bit as bombastic and carnage-filled. Another thing you should expect is the unexpected. Kick Ass 2 delivered a water-downed version of it predecessor (probably due to public opinion), but was it a good thing?
We meet up with our vigilante heroes more or less where we left them, only a few years older. Dave/Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) has been focusing on school and has given the vigilante thing a rest. Mindy/Hit-Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) has done the opposite, skipping school daily to go train, just like Big Daddy would want her to do. Life is ordinary, uneventful, and boring for Dave. He doesn’t get the same thrill or sense of purpose he got when he was Kick-Ass. Dave decides he wants to go back to the streets, but needs proper training from Mindy first.
Meanwhile, in New York, masked vigilantes have become all the rage with some even banding together and creating a league called Justice Forever. The creator of the group, Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carey), extends Kick-Ass an invitation knowing he has come out of retirement, and like any excited high school geek, Kick-Ass accepts. Hit-girl, getting caught by her guardian Marcus (Morris Chestnut) has vowed never to don the costume of Hit-Girl ever again out of respect to her father and Marcus. This once little killer being forced to like boy bands and other girls her age? Yeah, we knew it wouldn’t last long too.
What good is a group of superheroes without some villains to fight? Chris D’Amico/Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) still hasn’t gotten over the death of his father and has vowed revenge on Kick-Ass. With the recent death/murder of his mother, he is now able to hire a group of villains and go after Kick-Ass and Justice Forever, but under the new villain identity The Motherfucker. Will good prevail over evil, or will evil make good its bitch?
Even before seeing the film itself you anticipate exponentially more carnage-filled ultraviolence the the first film had. I mean how can you not now that there are more heroes and villains thrown into the mix. Instead we find ourselves watching over-stylized, near video game action sequences without all the blood and dismembering we have come to know and love. Aside from being toned down, it also had its witty humor and repartee mostly taken away, leaving only crass, unfunny lines that at the most inspire a chuckle. I know how I must sound saying that there wasn’t enough mutilation or blood for my expectations, but when you take into account all the hype building up to this film (Jim Carey’s moral dilemma, Mark Millar’s rape fiasco, etc) I feel I’m justified.
The most distracting part of the entire film is when the characters face moral dilemma’s and a crisis of conscience. I know, I was just as surprised as you were. I think they left their conscience several severed limbs back in that direction. The great fun of these films are how unapologetic the anti-heroes are. So trying to inject a moral compass into any of the characters would come off as so out of character that it’s both beguiling and boring. Sorry Hit-Girl, I guess that just means you have to go on mortally wounding people for our amusement.
RATING: ★★★★★(5/10 stars)