Kick-Ass 2

With over-the-top absurdity, crass one-liners and under-the-belt gags, Kick-Ass 2 is nothing but an unwanted costume party.

Even with the script offering much of the same fare, Kick-Ass 2 is darker and goes further than the preceding original. Adding on to the premise that an average Joe can become a superhero without actual super powers, Mark Miller’s graphic novel is cranked up beyond that which made the first film a fun action-comedy. This includes balls-out action, new characters that end in ultra-violent death scenes and an insane level of profanity.

After his crime-boss father (Mark Strong) was blown up with a bazooka, Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s ‘Red Mist’ upgrades himself to a super villain and even calls himself ‘The MotherFu**er’. His mission in this sequel is to avenge his father’s death by killing ‘Kick-Ass’ (Aaron Taylor-Johnson returning as Dave Lizewski). Meanwhile, Dave joins a nocturnal group of superhero wannabes led by ‘Colonel Stars and Stripes’ (Jim Carrey), a former mobster who commands his side-kick dog in German. Mindy (Chloë Grace Moretz) is forced to hang up her ‘Hit-Girl’ costume by reluctantly tuning into the highs and lows of normal teenage life. But just like the first movie, Mindy proves to be your atypical high school freshmen, resulting in an action filled finale that becomes a battle-royale costume party. Don’t ask me how, but Mindy still has all those cool weapons and gadgets although her father ‘Big Daddy’ (Nicholas Cage) was brutally murdered in the first movie.

Single-handedly carrying the weight of this sequel, Moretz stands out again, and is perhaps the only silver lining in this unwanted costume party. There are scenes where she switches from cute to deadly in the blink of an eye, and one particular scene caught my attention as an interesting pun to her upcoming and anticipated horror remake – Carrie. Even in her limited scenes, Moretz side lines Taylor-Johnson who just happens to be the titular lead. In fact, Taylor-Johnson brings nothing new to this sequel except beefing up his costume to look like a ninja turtle. There are also new characters, albeit derogatorily named, that are placed as either side-kicks or henchmen, but none of these characters are remotely entertaining except Carrey’s Colonel Stars and Stripes. As we have seen before, it takes little effort for Carrey to either have you giggling in delight or grimacing in disgust. And depending on your taste for humour, Mintz-Plasse’s precariously named super villain has some gags in store but only because his character is written-off as an imbecile.

In its entirety, this charade of a sequel loses its edge by indulging in over-the-top absurdity, crass one-liners and under-the-belt gags, all of which are in the same league as the similarly themed Super. And if you really want to measure how miniscule this movie is, try watching it after a re-run of Zach Snyder’s Watchmen, an epic that is also an incomparable masterpiece. With previous director Matthew Vaughan bumped up from director to producer, Kick-Ass 2 was all but on a silver platter for new director Jeff Wadlow. Instead, this sequel turns out to be a cash-grab that is too violent for a comedy, too absurd for its action and just plain ludicrous as a whole.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

About Lloyd Bayer

Besides his passion for travelling, photography and scuba diving, Lloyd is a prolific film critic having contributed hundreds of film reviews to web and print journals, including IMDb and local daily Khaleej Times.