First things first, as with all sequels, if you haven’t seen the first one then see the first one. Secondly, if you didn’t like the first one, then don’t bother. Thirdly, this is a review of the movies, NOT the original graphic novels. Good, now that we have that out of the way, let’s get to this review.
The first Kick Ass follows the story of a high school comic book nerd, played humbly by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who sets out to become the world’s first super hero. Along the way he meets up with a real life badass Batman and Robin duo, Nicholas Cage’s Big Daddy and his daughter Hit Girl. In the end Kick Ass kills the bad guy, but not before Big Daddy dies.
While I enjoyed the first movie, at no point did I feel like it was doing anything overwhelmingly original from a story standpoint, but it provided R-rated humor and violence which turned out to be pretty entertaining. Kick Ass 2 is essentially more of the same. Hit Girl, played with spunk and style by Chloe Grace Moretz, again steals the show whenever she’s on screen. She’s witty, she’s cool, she’s everything you’d ever want in a real life super heroine. Unfortunately, her story in Kick Ass 2 revolves around her trying to be a normal teenage girl and cope with her new police officer guardian who wants to distance her from her dangerous hero lifestyle (Morris Chestunt replaces Omari Hardwick’s role from the first film). Thus, we’re robbed of the most entertaining aspect of Part One for much of the movie.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse returns as the son of the first film’s villain, this time named The Motherfucker. Yes, really, the Motherfucker. He’s creepy and crazy, but never really feels like anything more than a wannabe. His sidekick Mother Russia is the real intimidator. The Motherfucker sets out to avenge his father and become the world’s first super villain and take down Kick Ass’ new team, Justice Forever. There are plenty of familiar faces on the team: Scrubs’ Donald Faison is pretty funny as Dr. Gravity and Jim Carry (in a role he now denounces because of the film’s level of violence) is notable as Colonel Stars and Stripes.
The film has its entertaining moments, especially the intense final act, but the first hour is filled with the little things that make a movie feel droll; Mainly cheesy dialogue and stereotyped characters and experiences. Am I really supposed to believe that there are actual Mean Girls walking around high schools in 2013 and that they’d ditch a freshman in the middle of the woods for showing up the popular girl in cheerleading tryouts? It all amounts to one cliché after another which does nothing to fuel a pretty one-dimensional plot. The movie also contains one of my biggest sequel pet peeves: Don’t spend an entire movie, or movies, trying to create a love story just to cheaply get rid of her at the beginning of the sequel (i.e. Megan Fox/Transformers)!!!
At the end of the day, you’ll like the good guys, hate the bad guys and roll your eyes at the poorly written moments sandwiched between. For the most part though, there are far worse things you could watch in August (*cough* Percy Jackson).
FINAL GRADE: C+