So, my first review is of Kick-Ass 2 … and I am bitterly disappointed that this will be a negative review, especially being a fan of the orignal film.
This will include some spoilers – so if you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend going away and watching it and then come back.
Where to begin – this film did a lot of things wrong, and not much right, and I usually prefer it to be the other way round.
So to start off with we all know that sequels very rarely live up to the original film, however some are worse than others, and this one is just terrible! Kick-Ass 2 just doesn’t have the same shock factor as the first film, for starters a 15 year old girl swearing is nothing to find out of the ordinary … and to be honest I felt the Hit Girl character arc to be very slow moving and offered very little at all to the progression of the film. To be honest with you, I’d rather be watching the Hit Girl from the original Kick Ass movie wreaking havoc, not trying to fit in with a bunch of over exaggerated high school girls.
Another big issue with this film is the violence. Now don’t get me wrong I don’t have a problem with violence in films, what I do have a problem with is when it is done so poorly. In the original, where Vaughn (director of Kick Ass) was able to have the graphic nature of the violence which felt real, but played along with a sense of humour, Wadlow (director of the sequel) misses the mark and seems to be trying to make this so graphic, that he in fact goes too far and it just doesn’t seem real; and what humour is in there, just isn’t funny. For large sections I was thinking to myself, this is trying to be like Super (starring Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page), and is nowhere near the quality (although I was always a bigger fan of Super than the original Kick Ass anyway), and the last thing you want to do is draw a negative comparison to another film.
The scene in the high school cafeteria is a great example of how Wadlow gets things wrong … the ‘out of both ends stick’ as I refer to it just seems ridiculous, and the CGI diarrhea is probably the worst CGI effect you will see in the cinema all year, and what makes it worse is the scene isn’t even funny – which it clearly was trying to be. However the worst example of this is when Wadlow attempts to make a joke around rape … which absolutely falls flat, there was no laughter (as well there shouldn’t be), just a groan of everyone in the cinema agreeing this was poor taste and way off the mark.
To break up this negativity I will now discuss the few parts I enjoyed. I thought Jim Carrey did a great job as Colonel Stars and Stripes, and would have liked to have seen him on the screen a lot more than he was – and it didn’t surprise me to read that pretty much the 2 funniest lines in the film were improvised by Jim himself. It doesn’t bode well for the writers that this was the case! Also Donald Faison gave a good performance of Doctor Gravity, and was pretty much the only character that was relatable to in the whole film, but again didn’t see enough of the screen as he should have. In fact the scenes that featured the Justice Forever group were the most enjoyable parts but unfortunately were very few and far between.
But, for a large sections of this film, I just found myself bored, waiting for the scenes to happen that I knew were coming 20 minutes before they did. Almost every aspect of the film was predictable, from Dave’s dad being murdered to the shark attack. This film, unlike the original also lacked any real emotion. Now, the death of Dave’s father is emotional, and is probably the only time we get to see a character actually prove they have feelings. But nothing comes close to the death off Big Daddy in the original, which was immediately followed by the punch in the guts shot of the gone cold cup of hot chocolate on the kitchen counter. But, if you contrast this with the way the Justice Forever gang act after the death of Colonel Stars and Stripes, where their new friend and leader has been killed and decapitated – yet we see no emotion, the gang just sit in a coffee shop, suggest a collection for the Colonels sister to send some flowers, and that’s it, no-one seems even remotely upset … How can you not be affected by a murder and decapitation of your friend?!
The characters in this film have no depth – the three main characters are supposedly all driven by the commonality of the death of their fathers – yet this isn’t portrayed in any depth. You may also notice that there has been very little mention of Kick Ass himself in this review, and frankly this is because his character is so boring in this film, there isn’t much to say. Christoper Mintz-Plasse’s character was also boring and his insanity wasn’t funny enough, or dark enough … just leaving him sort of there in the middle, like a spoilt brat McLovin with a few red bulls in him. Although at least he was the playing the same role as in the original … I couldn’t help notice the not so subtle re-casts of Marcus (Mindy’s guardian) and Todd (the ‘why do I even feature in this move as I add nothing’ friend of Dave and Clarke).
All in all, a very disappointing sequel and one I shan’t be watching again in a hurry.
I’d give this a 3/10.
I’d love to know what you think, if you agree, disagree – please leave a comment with your thoughts.