The big story this year came when star Jim Carrey refused to take part in any press surrounding Universal Pictures’ Kick-Ass 2, the sequel to Lionsgate’s 2010 comic book adaptation. While that was telling on its own, the fact that Lionsgate passed on the opportunity to make the sequel should have been a major red flag.
Still, the comics for both arcs are amazing, so there was quite a bit of excitement building for the R-rated, violent as hell, superhero movie. Unfortunately, the buzz is absolutely atrocious.
We have not one, but two negative reviews of our own. In Evan Dickson’s review, he says that the film is a confused grasp at former glory.
The Wolfman agree, with his lengthy take on the sequel below…
If you are checking out a movie called “Kick-Ass”, there are a few things you can come to expect. There’s going to be blood, there’s going to be profanity, and it’s not going to take itself too seriously. The original Kick-Ass, based on the comic book from Mark Millar and John Romita Jr., delivered on all of its promises. Director Matthew Vaughn was able to give us an interesting combination of cartoonish and comic book styles of filmmaking for a movie that set itself apart from some of the other superhero movies out there, Nicolas Cage gave us a warped father figure, and most importantly, Chloë Grace Moretz made us all feel really uncomfortable for how much we loved Hit-Girl. There were a few differences from the original story that I didn’t really enjoy, and I thought the pacing dragged at points, but Kick-Ass ended up being pretty solid. Kick-Ass 2 follows in the footsteps of the original by….adding a “2” to the title.
Seeing how dangerous it was to play superhero, Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) hangs up his Kick-Ass costume during his senior year. The streets seem a little bit safer at least, because the popularity of Kick-Ass has inspired other people to start fighting crime in costume. Mindy Macready (Moretz) might’ve given the impression that she’s retired Hit-Girl, but the events of the first film only force her to train herself harder. With his father out of the picture, Dave/Kick-Ass’s former best friend turned villain Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) decides to use his father’s money to turn him into the world’s first supervillain, The Mother Fucker. Instead of training himself like Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl decide to do after bumping into one another at school, The Mother Fucker spends money on hired goons to spread crime throughout the city. Kick-Ass also decides to seek out a team of his own, and ends up joining the leagues of “Justice Forever”, led by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey). For every good deed done by Justice Forever, The Mother Fucker’s gang (who refer to themselves as The Toxic mega-Cunts) does something even worse. This back and forth can only last so long before the two teams have a showdown to see if it’s good or evil who shall prevail.
When the first film came out, it was a nice change of pace so see a cartoonish, violent and vulgar story of a “superhero” when we had grown accustomed to things like Iron Man or The Dark Knight. Three years later, that same charm just doesn’t hold up. Maybe it’s because I became such a fan of James Gunn’s Super, which I saw shortly after Kick-Ass, that I couldn’t buy into the universe that this movie created where people weren’t just gunned down, whether they be heroes or innocent people. Jeff Wadlow’s directing of Kick-Ass 2 was a little too heavy-handed when it came to reminding people about comic books. The first film mostly just had the main characters reading them, this film would have characters who were talking in subtitles have the translation pop up in Comic Sans word bubbles and an arbitrary reference to Stan Lee. Most of the rest of the dialogue was just peppered with dick jokes, which you can only take so many of. There were maybe one or two entertaining action sequences, the rest all just kind of dull and boring.
Remember how great I said Hit-Girl was? Well, she still is, for the most part, and it’s pretty obvious that the filmmakers wanted you to remember that, too. The more interesting aspects of the story focus on Mindy trying to leave her crime-fighting life behind and blend in with the popular kids at school, only to realize that these high school girls could be just as evil as any villain she could face. It made a good audition reel for Moretz being in the upcoming Carrie, but they never found a successful balance between her story and the boring Kick-Ass story. Taylor-Johnson was adequate as Kick-Ass, despite looking like he was 30 years old, and Mintz-Plasse was successfully irritating as The Mother Fucker. A heavily talked about topic with the film was not only the addition of a big name like Jim Carrey, but also the fact that he completely reneged his performance and any publicity because of how violent the film ultimately was. It doesn’t really hurt the film, as the character he plays is relatively bland. It seemed like instead of finding a better actor for the smaller role, the opportunity to get Carrey involved was too good to be true, and they brought him in to play a somewhat goofy former mafia hit man turned born again Christian crimefighter. No thanks.
I was always surprised at how much of a reaction the line at the end of the trailer of the film got where Carrey says, “You got a dog on your balls!” Every theater had uproarious laughter, and I never even realized it was a joke. When that line came up in the theater, it got a huge reaction, as if no one had ever heard a grownup say “balls” before. That’s when it dawned on me that sometimes, audiences want exactly what is promised to them, nothing more, nothing less. With Kick-Ass 2, you get exactly what the trailer promises, nothing more, nothing less. If the things in the trailer look like fun to you, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy Kick-Ass 2 more than I did, but just like the comic book series sequel, I felt like the filmmakers were capitalizing on the name to try to give you a ton of stuff you’ve already seen before, but this time it’s three years late. Kick-Ass 2? More like…Suck-Ass 2! AM I right guys? Hello? Hey….you still there?