Have you even been a fan of a movie or television series that changed directors, creators or writers mid-stream? Be it slight or grand, there’s always a noticeable difference after the transition. Unfortunately, the one between Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2 is rough. But while Kick-Ass 2 is definitely a lesser film, it sure is a very fun letdown.
Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughn is off producing the sequel to his X-Men: First Class, but the majority of his Kick-Ass cast has returned for the follow-up. Aaron Taylor-Johnson returns as Dave, the average high school teen whose masked vigilante character “Kick-Ass” has caused many other masked crusaders to stand up to crime. When his side-kick Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) quits the crime fighting business for a Mean Girls high school experience, Dave must align Kick-Ass with the superhero league “Justice Forever.” Lead by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey) and including Dr. Gravity (Donald Faison), Battle Guy (Clark Duke) and Night Bitch (Lindy Booth), Justice Forever offers Kick-Ass an outlet to continue kickin’ ass.
Meanwhile, fueled by getting revenge on Kick-Ass, Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) leaves behind the faux hero Red Mist to become the world’s first super villain, The Mother$@!*er. With his group of henchman villains and his dead daddy’s deep pocketbook, the D’Amico and his bad guys have a lot more going for them than Justice Forever, so Kick-Ass is going to need a lot of inspiration and help in walking away from this scenario alive.
Kick-Ass was a great superhero flick because it functioned as a film; it was very well-made – the screenplay was solid, the gritty tone was well-balanced with humor and the directing and editing was fantastic. Kick-Ass 2 is lacking in all of those areas. The screenplay is wasted. The dark tone is not paired well with its mostly non-existent humor. There’s still plenty of fun to be had, plenty of unexpectedly vulgar dialog to be heard, plenty of gory violence to be seen – but it’s missing the heart, soul and strong filmmaking style of Kick-Ass. It stands on its own, but doesn’t compare to its predecessor. If Kick-Ass played in the Major League, then Kick-Ass 2 would be in the Minor League. Kick-Ass 2 doesn’t perform as well as movies in the Major League, but it’s still fun to watch.
Photo credit: Universal