Now this is my first actual review in awhile, so please forgive me if I'm a little rusty. I'd be lying if this a sequel I was looking forward to. I love over the top superhero movies and Kick-Ass was solid enough, even going back to re-watch it a month or so ago. I like the violence, action and humor for the most part, with the story being a fun origins one of sorts. Chloë Grace Moretz as Hit-Girl was a pleasant surprise, Nicholas Cage played a good role and it was (and is) nice to see Christopher Mintz-Plasse outside of comedic roles. One of the big things I did like about the first movie was how they handled Kick-Ass himself and it really reminded me of a Spider-Man lite story or sorts. I knew Kick-Ass 2 was either gonna be hit or miss, especially when the first one was borderline for me. This is a movie I wanted to like, but it's bogged do so badly by a bad script and scaled adaptation, it was hard for me to do so.
Kick-Ass 2 follows the stories of David Lezewski aka Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Mindy Macready aka Hit-Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz). David is now retired as Kick-Ass, but has spurred on ordinary citizens to becomes superheroes. He has a change of heart and asks Mindy to help him with training. Noticing him not being around, his girlfriend Katie Deauxma (Lyndsy Fonseca), assumes he's cheating on her and breaks up with him. Meanwhile, in the wake of his father and mothers death, Chris D'Amico, formerly Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), is letting his anger overtake him and vows to be the first supervillain, The Motherf***er. Upon being caught fighting crime as Hit-Girl, Mindy is forced to hang up her suit, to try and become a normal high school girl. Making friends, going out and joining the cheer leading squad, is not her ideal way to spend her days, before she begrudgingly gives in. Meanwhile Kick-Ass is now back in top form and doesn't want to fight alone. He seeks out a group of heroes called "Justice Forever", led by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey). Turns out David's friend Marty Eisenberg aka Battle Guy (Clark Duke) is apart of the team. Other members of the team include Miranda Swendlow aka Night-Bitch (Lindy Booth) and Doctor Gravity (Donald Faison). While this group is taking on petty crime and a illegal brothel, The Motherf***er is gathering a team of supervillains to take over the world. With Hit-Girl struggling with who she is and the city cracking down on masked heroes, it's going to take everything to stop The Motherf***er.
We'll start with the good cause I actually really liked the action, humor and a couple of the performances in this. There were three in particular that I enjoyed. In his limited role, I really enjoyed Jim Carrey as Colonel Stars and Stripes. Long name aside, I feel he was the main focal point of the first part of the movie. While The Motherf***er was gathering recruits and Mindy going to sleepovers, Col. Stars and Stripes was preparing the heroes for the rest of it. Speaking of Mindy, Chloë Grace Moretz did a great job with what she was given. I wasn't too keen on how they handled he in the first part of the movie, but there will be more on that later. She came of as the struggling girl growing up well, yet kept that Hit-Girl air about her. Finally Christoper Mintz-Plasse as The Motherf***er was pretty cool. The humor was there, but you could tell he was playing the evil, demented, villain bent on destruction. I'll throw in Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Kick-Ass here. While he didn't give a stand-out performance, this is a movie based around Kick-Ass, obviously and the story would go nowhere without him. He was a good on-screen presence. Moving onto the action, it was better than the first overall I think. While nothing beats the hallway scene involving Hit-Girl from the first movie, everything in this seemed pretty real. From the mugging scene to start, to the first brawl the Justice Forever team has in the brothel, it all feels authentic and brutal. Plus when a guys hand gets chopped off or a grown mean beats down a bouncer with a bat, you think to yourself, "I don't want this happening to me in the slightest". Finally, the humor was pretty good throughout as well. Anything involving Jim Carrey was well as Christopher Mintz-Plasse, is bound to have a few laugh out loud moments. While this is an action comic book adaptation, it's full of one liners. The much talked about "rape" scene aside, there's a lot of funny in this. Not to mention the Hit-Girl character is one of the most fun in the movie as a whole.
The bad is what obliterates this movie for me. Starting with the story and writing. Kick-Ass, is for all intensive purposes a comic that pushes the boundaries. While at times this feels "edgy", it never reaches that shock value level I think the comics go for. Having not read the comics I can only imagine, but I think the studio's making this may have toned it down a bit. This felt like a movie that could go all the way but was being held back. Also the story, my goodness the story. They try to cram so much into this that everything feel rushed. What doesn't feel rushed, like the Hit-Girl "making friends" scenes, are entirely too overbearing and felt long to me. I would say that adding another twenty or thirty minutes to this could've evened things out, but adding more to a rushed script would have dragged out the bad even more more. On the flip side, removing anything would make the short movie shorter. While it feels long, it's not, and removing stuff, just takes away from the few good things this has to offer. While I praised the acting of the few, the cast as a whole, was definitely a let down. Clark Duke was given a prominent role as Battle Guy, and it felt like he was hardly in the movie. The girlfriend was relegated to a cameo, only to break up with the main character in a forgettable minute. Meanwhile people like Donald Faison and Lindy Booth, as two of the bigger support heroes, Night-Bitch and Doctor Gravity, are out shined, and again, wholly forgettable. Oh yeah, John Leguizamo is in this, I almost forgot. Why? I will say though, the main supervillain team is all but lost on me, save for Olga Kurkulina as Katryna Dubrovsky aka Mother Russia. I didn't feel comfortable adding her to the "stars" list, but she needs some recognition outside of The Motherf***er as the decent number two baddie. The green screen is still heavily used in this, but it doesn't look near a obvious as the first. The style and look of the movie is pretty on par with the first as well. Doesn't mean it didn't blew me away in the slightest. While the score, scenery and cinematography are nothing to write home about either.
Like I stated in my introduction, I was really looking forward to this. Kick-Ass 2 looked to be a fun sequel to a decent original. While it is fun, has a few really good performances and good stylized action, that's about the extent of the good in my eyes. The is the epitome of the turn your brain off action film, though it's a bit more violent than most would be used to. Jim Carrey filled the Nicholas Cage role from the last movie, thought with less impact. While the main three in Kick-Ass, Hit-Girl and now The Motherf***er all reprised their roles pretty well. Bogged down by a rushed script (even if it wasn't rushed it felt that way), lazy writing and lacking performances, this, to me, is the first major disappointment this year. Good for one watch if you liked the first one like I did. But, I don't think this is one you're gonna wanna go back to. I may read the comics to compare, but I'd rather just watch the first one if I need to get my kick-ass dosage in the future.