Friday, September 13, 2013

Kick-Ass 2 (2013) Review

Kick-Ass 2 poster
Chloe Moretz as Hit-Girl in Kick-Ass 2
Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl in Kick-Ass 2
Jim Carrey as Colonel Stars and Stripes in Kick-Ass 2
Christopher Mintz-Plasse as The Mother Fucker with the Toxic Mega Cunts in Kick-Ass 2
Dave and Mindy enjoy some hot chocolate as the eyes (and smile) of Nicolas Cage watch over them
Mother Russia in Kick-Ass 2
Lindy Booth as Night-Bitch in Kick-Ass 2
Chloe Moretz as Mindy Macready aka Hit-Girl in Kick-Ass 2
Purchase from Amazon: DVD - Blu-Ray

+Solid action
+Chloe Moretz's performance
-Bad writing
-Unfunny, tasteless humor
-Lackluster direction

Other films by Jeff Wadlow: Cry_Wolf, Never Back Down
Similar films: Kick-Ass, Super, Defendor

Director: Jeff Wadlow
Stars: Chloe Moretz, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jim Carrey
Genre: Superhero, Action, Black Comedy

Sequel to 2010's Kick-Ass, based on the comic of the same name by Mark Millar, with artwork by John Romita Jr. Does this sequel live up to the standard set by the first one?

Continuing where the last left off: Red Mist, now renamed The Mother Fucker, wants to kill Kick-Ass, who is being trained by Hit-Girl, who has retired her costume and is strictly coaching. With a group of other "superheroes," Kick-Ass joins a team called Justice Forever, who must inevitably do battle with the supervillain team, the Toxic Mega Cunts.

The plot follows the comic closely enough. Some of the things from the hyper-violent, tasteless comic have been toned down here: specifically the violence and gore. Quite frankly, I'm not at all a fan of the comics, so the more the film adaptation differs, the better. The only reason I liked the first Kick-Ass movie was because of its differences compared to the source material: whereas the comic tried to be deep and edgy and failed, the movie tried to be over-the-top and campy and succeeded. Does this sequel manage to surpass its source material as well? Well, not really, and if it does, it's not by much.

This film tends to be just as mindless, tasteless, and unfun as the comic was. The rape "joke" with The Mother Fucker and Nigh-Bitch in here is dumb, pointless, and most of all unfunny. It may not be as explicit as the scene was in the comic, but it's equally vulgar. Doubled with the fact that Night-Bitch as a character exists solely so this rape joke can be made. Think about it. They changed Night-Bitch from the comics and gave her a weird costumed sexual relationship with Kick-Ass. That's her entire character. There's no more depth to her than that. She exists to have sex with Kick-Ass and to allow rape jokes. Unfortunately, Kick-Ass 2 has many scenes like this that are just plain awful.

Perhaps one of the most nonsensical scenes is the one with Lyndsy Fonseca as Katie, Kick-Ass's girlfriend from the last movie. I guess the script had no use for her and wanted to get rid of her so what takes place is one of the most ludicrous and illogical scenes of all-time. Out of nowhere she accuses Dave (Kick-Ass) of cheating on her with Mindy (Hit-Girl), without even giving him time to explain. Didn't she know he was Kick-Ass? In the last film he told her. Why is she acting like she doesn't know? And then, to top it off, she implies that she's been cheating on him this whole time. What!? That makes absolutely no sense given the prior context of this character. Some of the sloppiest writing I've ever witnessed. Oh, and then there's a penis joke.

There's a disgusting diarrhea/vomit scene, which is very likely the worst thing I've ever had the displeasure to watch in a movie (I find it even worse that they had to use CGI for shit and vomit, which are like the two easiest practical effects ever). The scene with Chuck Liddell is absolutely cringe-worthy; the whole thing feels so forced and the humor in that scene just doesn't work at all. The boy band scene is almost equally cringe-worthy (I found out only afterwards that the boy band was actually a real band, called Union J). There's a Justin Bieber joke thrown in here also, which just screams "hey, look, we're hip too, guys!" The immodest dance scene (with a 17 year old girl, I might remind) was perhaps the very best example in the history of everything of something being completely and utterly pointless and tasteless.

None of that stuff is funny. There's no wit or sophistication or cleverness in there. It's vile, unnecessary, and lacks point. Far too many of the jokes in here failed miserably. It seems as if the film has a very twisted view of what it means to be edgy and cool, and in the end they achieve neither, instead only being forced and ineloquent. Crass and tactless even. The film is as delusional as its characters. The first film may have relied a lot on referential humor, but at least it was mostly funny and well crafted.

A lot of people complain about the coming-of-age high school scenes with Hit-Girl. While I didn't particularly like these scenes (especially the aforementioned ones), I didn't find them to be as bad as a lot of the other scenes in the film. At times I was thankful to have a break from sloppy rape jokes and Chuck Liddell, even if the alternative was to watch a girl go through high school.

The action in the movie is pretty good. Not as great or well choreographed as the action in the first film, but it was okay, despite some occasional cinematography hiccups that failed to compliment the action. The Mother Russia scenes(s) was really great. The van scene was, even if cliched, pretty good also. The violence wasn't quite as over-the-top and tongue-in-cheek as it was in the first one, which is a big disappointment, but it has its moments.

I'm glad we got to see a lot of Hit-Girl in here, she's enjoyable in and out of costume, even if she is little more than a little girl shouting profanities, and delivers some of the film's best action.

Justice Forever and Toxic Mega Cunts were huge letdowns--especially their final battle, which could have been way more epic in scale. In the comic it took place in the middle of Times Square; in here it takes place in an empty warehouse. If there's one thing the comic did better it was to give off an apocalyptic, this-is-it vibe, which the movie failed to capture even slightly.

The soundtrack, though not bad, is very disappointing compared to the wonderful soundtrack in the first film.

Chloe Moretz gives a show-stealing performance here. She carries a lot of the film. McLovin, ehem, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, does a solid job as well. Jim Carrey could have been better, plus he was underused. Everyone else was forgettable.

A pretty awful movie all in all. Jeff Wadlow's directing and screenwriting can't even come close to the first one's. The bad scenes far outweigh the good ones, and even the things that this film does well had already been done better in the first film. I'd pass on this one; I can hardly believe I made it all the way through this.

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