I was totally psyched to see Kick Ass 2 mainly because I couldn’t get enough of Kick Ass and Hit Girl. Despite the super violent action scenes, I enjoyed the first movie so much because it felt like I was diving straight into a comic book. Kick Ass 2 held the same promise, trailer wise but in total, I wasn’t sure it was as the same level as the original.
After the death of Big Daddy (Nicholas Cage), Mindy Mcready (Chloe Moretz) is entrusted in the care her dad’s best friend and former partner Marcus (Morris Chestnut), She was supposed to live the life of a normal teenage girl but because of her promise to her father to protect the city, she decides to continue her training as Hit Girl, which inspires Dave/ Kick Ass (Aaron Johnson) to do so as well. But when Mindy decides to stop being a superhero, Dave is left in the lurch and he decides to join a band of costumed vigilantes that patrol the streets against evildoers under the leadership of Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey), a reformed criminal. Meanwhile, Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), now known as the Motherfucker builds up his own gang of hired assassins to exact revenge on Kick Ass for the death of his father, Frank D’Amico (Mark Strong).
The sequel had a great premise — Hit Girl in high school — that should be fun to watch and I must admit that it did had its moments of pure awesomeness. I also liked that the filmmakers gave her character a sense of vulnerability and naivete that girls of her age, no matter how world weary, should have, but then, it went south when it turned cliche. The way she got back at the mean girls, though, is one for the books.
I enjoyed Hit Girl’s scenes with Kick Ass the most because even from the first movie, these two had a lot of chemistry. The movie could have been a lot stronger in my opinion if they had advanced the story to couple of years forward to give their relationship a chance to develop but instead of focusing on the Kick Ass/Hit Girl team, the expanded to the costumed superheroes where just anyone could join in, which is, in my opinion a bit of a dangerous message to send, especially since there are already a lot of these types of people (as shown in the documentary Superheroes, produced by HBO) . While their mission is commendable, it is still very dangerous and I am still on the fence about the message that this sequel is putting forward.
I felt that Jim Carrey and John Leguizamo were underutilized in this film. Their characters had so much more to offer than what was given to them and had they been pushed further, it would have contributed to a much more badass movie.
Kick Ass 2 did have its moments — the action sequences were spot on but unlike the first one where it was evenly spread out throughout the movie, the sequel chose several big action scenes to go all out on and made the rest about teenage angst and walking around in costumes, high fiving, and having quickies in public bathrooms.
What I really missed from this movie is the comic book appeal which Matthew Vaughn delivered in the first Kick Ass movie. The first one also had more heart because the three characters — Big Daddy, Kick Ass, and Hit Girl felt like a unit, a family — the same chemistry which Kick Ass did not have with the other costumed superheroes. That was why in the final battle scene where he and Hit Girl stood side by side, it felt like a homecoming of sorts. I was also a big fan of the Hit Girl vs Mother Russia showdown. Man, Hit Girl is awesome.
All in all, Kick Ass 2 was not a bad movie, but it it felt like it failed to meet the standards of the original, which sort of elevated geeks to a whole new level. Two words– missed opportunities. It could have been so much better if only the filmmakers had gone that extra mile, and I for one, was a bit disappointed. Although, I would still probably be excited about another sequel. Sue me.
PS. Not a superhero movie recommended for kids because of excessive violence and adult language.