The original film had it’s tongue firmly in cheek as it parodied, paid homage to, and then transcended many superhero movies, however Kick-Ass 2 feels far less sure of itself. Jeff Wadlow’s direction and writing can’t balance the elements of humour, violence, emotion, and storytelling like Vaughn’s could, and the film therefore comes across as tonally inconsistent and less subtle than it’s predecessor.
At times it acts like a straight superhero movie rather than a parodic version of one, what should be emotionally charged moments feel hollow, and there’s at least one questionable use of comedy to treat serious issues. Having said that, Kick-Ass 2 is still an entertaining, shocking, and funny movie that’s definitely worth catching if you are a fan of the first film, it’s just not as controlled; the violence, crudity, and superhero references being turned up to the max, seemingly as a reaction to the intimidating task of topping the first movie.
Chloë Grace Moretz is unsurprisingly a highlight, she comfortably takes Hit Girl to some new places and handles the material very well. In fact she betters it. It’s a shame that her character was written fairly poorly this time around because Moretz clearly has talent going spare here. Aaron Taylor-Johnson does a decent job returning in the role of Kick-Ass, he isn’t giving too much to do development wise though and so is overshadowed by Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s ‘The Motherfucker’, who is a lot of fun to watch as he takes the journey towards becoming a fully-fledged super-villain. The other actor that’s worth mentioning is Jim Carrey; he delivers a solid performance as Colonel Stars and Stripes, but isn’t given enough to play with in order to match Nicolas Cage’s presence as Big Daddy in the original film.
Ultimately the film panders to what it thinks we want, and as a result it often feels a little unoriginal and seems to be pushing too hard, and therefore misjudges several scenes slightly. That said, I had a good time generally with the film. There’s a lot of fun to be had here, just be prepared for a slightly more unintelligent approach than that found in Kick-Ass. It’s very apparent that the true strength of these films lies in Moretz – if there’s going to be anymore films that come out of the Kick-Ass franchise then make Hit Girl the central character. She outshines Kick-Ass in every-way.
What is the film’s greatest strength?
Moretz’s excellent performance.
Its greatest weakness?
That Hit Girl comes across as a slightly weaker, more watered down, and conventional version of her character.
Would I see it again?
I’m sure I shall see this one again once it’s released on DVD, but it doesn’t have the same rewatchability that the original has.
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