mon 22/04/2024

Kick-Ass 2 | reviews, news & interviews

Kick-Ass 2

Kick-Ass 2

Kick-Ass 2 may find 'the real world' a tough place

The vigilante squad lead by Jim Carrey in 'Kick-Ass 2'

With this sequel to director Matthew Vaughn’s action-comedy based on the comic book by Mark Millar and John S Romtia Jr, writer/director Jeff Wadlow has done his best to make Kick-Ass 2 into a two-part franchise. It certainly doesn’t help that its release date puts it into a piranha tank of action films with bigger budgets and ideas.

Following on from the original, Mindy Macready (Chloe Grace Moretz - soon to be the new Carrie) is living with responsible surrogate father Marcus (Morris Chestnut), the best friend of her late crime-fighting father. Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is no longer lovable inept crime-fighter Kick-Ass but he does miss the action. No surprise, then, when he gets sucked back into an underground superhero squad. Being a vigilante, thanks to him, is everybody's new hobby. There is some to-ing and fro-ing while Mindy decides that she needs to be a normal high school student, but we all know how long that’s going to last. Expect shades of Mean Girls, purposely cheap SFX, etc.

The real story grabs at 85 minutes in, a point when fans who cherished Kick-Ass - and who downloaded it so many times for free - will find their minds a-wanderin' (even the youngest audience member seemed to appreciate the convenience of an aisle seat). Prediction: more tweets, Snapchats and texts will be sent during this film than during the original.

Christoper Mintz-Plasse is super-villain The Mother Fucker (pictured above). Previously Red Mist, the deaths of his father at the hands of Kick-Ass and his mother by his own anger have brought out the worst in him –  he's a stupid, spoiled child who needs to be something or someone special even when he's below average. Using his inherited wealth, he hires stereotypical and racially-titled baddies to fight as his own super-villain army: one bout with a proper MMA boxer shows him he has no skill for self-defense.

So the showdown begins. Kick-Ass vs The Mother Fucker starts its weary wind-up by murdering every interesting character in a predictable way. It's sad to see "good" characters die, even if that’s their main function. It's even more tragic when their passing palpably diminishes the quality of what's left to watch: their deaths should add poignancy and not signal that the story has already flatlined. Like a man who drives a Ferrari because he wants to be sneered at, one cannot call this comedy cynical or fascistic because that's what it wants. "Flabby", however, fits it fine.

Grace Moretz and Taylor-Johnson acquit themselves, but see Kick-Ass 2 if you must for John Leguizamo (pictured left) who, as The Mother Fucker’s "guardian", puts in a beautifully balanced if brief performance. See it too for the credible Garrett M Brown, reprising his role as Mr Lizewski. Most notably, Jim Carrey as Colonel Stars and Stripes slips uneasily into the mix as the leader of the vigilante group: his vocal and physical work outstrips the role that he has since disowned. All of these actors prove that a good player can transcend almost anything.

Not even Ed Wood set out to make a boring film. As any crew member will tell you, making a flawed film takes just as much heart-breaking work as making a hit. As the repeated theme within Kick-Ass 2 is “getting back to the real world”, this film will find that a difficult place indeed.

Overleaf: watch the trailer for Kick-Ass 2

Jim Carrey, John Leguizamo and Garrett M Brown prove that a good player can transcend almost anything

rating

Editor Rating: 
2
Average: 2 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters