Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Kick-Ass 2 - Movie Review

Yes, its true, your favorite not-quite-super heroes and villains are back with an even bigger adventure in Kick-Ass 2! Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse all reprise their roles in a movie that apparently only features actors with three names! Director and screenwriter Jeff Wadlow takes over where Matthew Vaughn left off in adapting the super popular Kick-Ass comic book series created by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.

Shortly after surviving their showdown with mob boss Frank D'Amico, Kick-Ass (Taylor-Johnson) and Hit Girl (Moretz) try to live the so-called normal life of teenagers attending regular high school classes. Of course, it doesn't take long before they are drawn back into the costumed lifestyle of bashing heads and saving kittens that has been such a big part of their young lives. While Hit Girl aka Mindy Macready is determined to go out on her own to carry the legacy of crime fighting built by her father Big Daddy, Kick-Ass aka Dave Lizewski prefers to join up with a new crop of costumed crusaders that have been popping up around the city including the very enthusiastic Mr Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey) and his unlikely team of do gooders.

While the heroes travel their own paths, their former nemesis Red Mist aka Chris D'Amico (Mintz-Plasse) is discovering that with lots of money comes a whole lot of power. he begins to use this newfound power to build an army of villains meant to take down not just Kick-Ass and Hit Girl, but also any other well intentioned citizen who chooses to put on a mask to fight crime. Leaving behind the moniker of Red Mist, Chris decides to take on a name more fitting of his new status as leader of his handpicked team of evil acolytes...The Mother F**ker!

With that kind of build up, you know this is going to be quite the adrenaline fueled thrill ride and Kick-Ass 2 does not disappoint in any way shape or form. Now, before you get too excited, I will say that this sequel should not be held in the same light as the original which is considered a brilliant and classic entry into the superhero and comic book movie categories. Where Matthew Vaughn did a superb job of balancing a well thought out story with in your face action in the first installment, Wadlow is clearly handcuffed by an inferior story and much lower budget. You can see where corners are cut in the big action sequences and you can tell that Wadlow doesn't have the same attention to detail or flair for the dramatic that Vaughn is so good at putting on the screen.

If you're wondering about the quality of acting or lack thereof, I will say just one thing...this movie is called Kick-Ass! Seriously though, there are a few cringe inducing scenes here and there and, once again, I have to wonder if there might have been a better option available to direct a movie like this. That being said, I'm just happy this movie got made at all as there were so many issues on the production side of things, it almost never happened. Vaughn was originally supposed to write and direct, but he stepped down from everything except for his role as a producer although you can't really blame him since he ended up taking on directing duties for a little movie called X-Men: First Class. No big deal.

If you are a fan of the first movie, I can pretty much guarantee you will enjoy watching this slightly downgraded sequel. Going in, I tried to keep my expectations low and was thankfully rewarded with an experience that turned out to actually be more than I was hoping for, all things considered. For my part, Kick-Ass 2 was a lot of fun and I had a great time watching this crazy cast of characters do their thing again on the big screen. One can only hope that their adventures might continue and, if the bonus scene at the end of the credits is any indication, we will definitely get to see more ass kicking, hard hitting, mother f**cking action at some point down the road.

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