In 2010 Mark Millar’s ultra-violent comic book fantasy Kick-Ass, a parody of sorts, was a breath of fresh air and a necessary antidote to an overly crowded superhero genre that had swept up the Hollywood box office. It’s greatest strength was its ability to walk the very fine line between satire and vulgarity (think 11-year-old with Samuel L. Jackson’s potty mouth) without swaying too much to either side. Arriving at the tail end of the blockbuster season and maligned by critics around the world, Kick-Ass 2 attempts the same feat with horrible results. It’s an ugly, incredibly tasteless and dubious sequel unworthy of even being associated to the original. If there is a movie audience that finds a clumsy powerless superhero with a trivial nemesis named The Motherf**ker entertaining, it certainly isn’t me. This might be easily be the winner of the biggest disappointment of the year title.
Dave Lizewski: You and me, like Batman and Robin.
Mindy Macready: Robin wishes he was me.
Jim Carrey recently made headlines after withdrawing his support for Kick-Ass 2 due to its violent content. Truth be told, it makes every bit of sense why the comedic actor would distance himself from the film. His reasoning, however, seems a bit off. In all honesty, Carrey, whose role could be compared to an extended cameo, probably realized that the film would be unsuccessful. There is no shame in withdrawing your support for a film that employs silly antics like high school girls projectile-vomiting on themselves. No shame at all.
Make no mistake about it, the cheaply produced over-baked sequel Kick-Ass 2 is a step down from the original – several even. It attempts shock tactics without offering the audience so much as a smile. There is certainly nothing funny about watching a villain, who is as painfully unfunny as his ridiculous name, attempting to rape a superhero named Night B*tch. Nor do I see the amusement in watching a thug named Mother Russia horrifically murder a group of policemen with a lawnmower. Not even Tarantino will find that amusing. Yet, even if you are desensitized to the grotesque violence, there are a number of other problems that will prevent you from enjoying Kick Ass 2.
Colonel Stars and Stripes: Yeah there’s a dog on your balls.
Picking up a few years after the original, Dave Lizewski (Kick-Ass) and Mindy Macready (Hit Girl) are trying their really hard to concentrate on living normal lives away from their costumed personas. At the advice of her legal guardian, Mindy, who is now a fully hormone-addled teen, is struggling to put aside her urges to fight crime and focuses on blending in with the popular girls at school. Soon she is drooling over boy bands and joining the girl’s dance team. It’s not long after that her subplot takes a Mean Girls-inspired turn. In the meanwhile, Dave is searching for a new partner to fight crime – because heaven knows he can’t do it on his own. He soon encounters a group run by Colonel Stars and Stripes called Justice Forever, a team of wanna-be superheroes. While Kick-Ass is busy sexing up one of his fellow superheroes in the team, an old enemy plots his revenge. Red Mist, who has killed his mother and inherited the family fortune, takes on a new persona and puts together a super-villain squad of his own.
Dave Lizewski: What’s the matter, Chris? S**t hit your shorts?
Chris D’Amico: Yeah, and I’m gonna wipe my ass with your face.
There are an abundance of new characters here, all of them underdeveloped and uninteresting, including the two main characters. Hit Girl steals the glory from Kick-Ass, who seems like a guest in his own title film. He is completely forgetful and uninteresting. Whatsmore, he makes the silliest decisions of any of the characters in the movie. When audiences pay to see a film called Kick-Ass they expect a film about the character. Instead, most of the time and energy of the film is spent chasing after The Motherf**ker’s twisted journey and Hit Girl’s sad high school drama.
Kick-Ass 2 feels like an inferior misfire, a cosplay dress up of the original if you will. It’s painfully bad.