By: Garrett Collins
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Morris Chestnut, Donald Faison, Lyndsy Fonseca, Jim Carrey, John Leguizamo, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse
“Nobody wants to be Robin.”
If the above line, the sarcastic callback style of in-joke dialogue calling attention to comic book films past which encompasses the majority of this film’s running time, makes you want to give a fist pump of joy, then Kick Ass 2 is for you. If over-stylized violence that makes the first film of the series look like an episode of Sesame Street gets your own blood pumping, then Kick Ass 2 is for you. If the inevitability of hearing the C-word sprouted four more times than the last film makes you smile, then Kick Ass 2 is for you. Finally, if the title character’s main plot taking a complete back seat to the obviously more interesting sidekick makes your dialogue bubble pop, then Kick Ass 2 is for you. Needless to say, all of these tripes helped contribute to a pretty painful movie going experience for me, and I did not have a good time with Kick Ass 2. In fact, I recommend that if you hold the first film close to your heart –of which I know many who do- you stay about as far away from Kick Ass 2 as possible. To say it was a bumpy ride would be doing a disservice to bumpy roads everywhere.
Now, I don’t mean to sound like the Jim Carrey released statement where he flat-out refuses to do press for the film due to its violence (to which I say…isn’t the simple fact that you said the statement giving the film you so richly despise press?). But there was little amusement to be had with Kick Ass 2. That isn’t to say there was none, however. The story involving Mindy McReady’s (Moretz) attempts to fit in with the popular girls at her high school (which kind of reminded me of the promo which ran before the film showing Moretz as Carrie White in the upcoming King novel adaptation) was fun to watch unfold. But director Jeff Wadlow (nephew of Katie Couric) throws these good vibes away with this sub-plot’s utterly ridiculous conclusion. I also enjoyed watching The MFer (Plasse) gather his super gang of villains.
I was worried that anything of substance would be wiped away from the screen because of original Kick Ass director Matthew Vaughn’s decision to not step back behind the camera for the film’s sequel (he’s still on as producer.) But truth be told, his absence wasn’t a deterrent, as Wadlow hits a lot of the same beats as his predecessor. The direction wasn’t Kick Ass 2’s problem. Its problem mostly lies with its script. An admittedly big obstacle is that the popularity of Hit Girl from the last film took off like an airplane from an airport (if you don’t believe me, go to or look at pictures of any Comic Con since then and you will see A LOT of Hit Girls) yet Kick Ass’ was pretty level. So how do you level off a character like that? While I do not envy this task, the way they did it here is just ridiculous. Having him train and then pretty much disappear from the film because Hit Girl’s foster dad (Chestnut) put a stop to things was a horrible route to go with the character.
Things do pick up when Carrey gets into the mix. But if I were to be honest, I would have to say that Carrey did not make that big of an impression on me. His character of Colonel Stars and Stripes could have literally been played by anybody. Though I will admit to being surprised at one thing that caught me off-guard about Kick Ass 2. The one new member of the cast that made the biggest impression on me was Leguizamo. As an internally fighting his sense of pride former bodyguard of MFer’s mom, Leguizamo hits all the right notes and I was actually craving for more of him. Something I cannot say about most of the characters that Leguizamo plays.But even a surprisingly good turn by Leguizamo and an admittedly fun & exciting car chase involving Hit Girl on top of a van cannot save this turkey from being a major disappointment. It’s not that I was a huge fan of the first film. But I will admit the fact that Vaughn was able to make me feel for the characters that were by all means indispensable the last time they graced the screen. Here, I went from curious as to where their lives went to sitting with my arms crossed from the halfway point on. Kick Ass 2 does not kick ass at all. Hopefully by the time director Kimberly Pierce’s Carrie rolls around, Moretz will finally have the originally written and layered role that she richly deserves.
Wait. Isn’t that a remake?