'Kick-Ass 2' too much of a not-that-good thing
“Kick-Ass 2” comes three years after the modest ($48 million) success of “Kick-Ass.” Covering much of the same ground, with a lot of the cute worn off or aged out Moretz) is no longer a pre-teen, Kick-Ass — Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) — strains to look like a high-school senior — the sequel is notable for some amusing bits, a few cool scenes, and its wince-worthy violence and staggering body count.
“This is the real world,” lectures Dave's long-suffering dad (Garrett M. Brown). “It has consequences.”
So, Dave suffers terrible beatings and Hit Girl delivers worse ones, with blood and bullets and worse. And the mobster's son once known as Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) rounds up a posse of evil henchmen, becomes a super-villain and kills or maims scores of cops and civilians.
And there are no consequences.
But here's what works. Dave and Hit Girl talk about teaming up. They go to the same high school, after all.
Hit Girl is hitting puberty and having second thoughts about this night-vigilante thing. She is thrown in with some mean-girl cheerleaders (led by an amusingly nasty Claudia Lee). And they try to teach her the joys of makeup, and making out with boys.
All the high-school stuff plays as wacky with a hint of reality about it.
Dave, meanwhile, finds himself throwing in with others who have taken to wearing costumes and prowling the night streets, looking for injustice. Because they call themselves Justice Forever. Jim Carrey is a bit out there as Col. Stars & Stripes, a born-again mob enforcer, Donald Faison makes a dopey Dr. Gravity and Lindy Booth is the tart who calls herself Night (rhymes with “witch”), who becomes Dave's paramour.
What's missing from this comic-book adaptation is Big Daddy, the father played by Nicolas Cage, who gave the first film that last dollop of heart and lifted director Matthew Vaughn's “Kick-Ass” right to the edge of zany. There's no villain with the presence of the first film's Mark Strong.
And Vaughn himself is also missed. Writer-director Jeff Wadlow's sequel lumbers from cool action sequences and funny segments into dead ends. And the violence is, if anything, more extreme and more real but lacking the “consequences” that were the point of Mark Millar's comic book.
That makes “Kick-Ass 2” more sour than sweet, a movie that jokes about comic book fanboys but stops short of mocking them the way the first film did. Coming at the end of a comic book-saturated summer, it would be too much of a good thing even if it were a good thing.
Roger Moore reviews movies for McClatchy-Tribune News Service.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 2-Minute Film Festival at Carnegie Museum of Art covers all genres
- Jim Caviezel to be honored by Jimmy Stewart Museum
- Alan Rickman happy to bring ‘A Little Chaos’ into his life
- Review: Lovely ‘A Little Chaos’ could have used a little more ... chaos
- DVD reviews: ‘Get Hard,’ ‘The Gunman’ and ‘While We’re Young’
- Review: ‘Laurent’ barely cuts deep enough for real exam
- Review: ‘The Overnight’ swings into nuanced humor territory
- Review: ‘Marie’s Story’ — a triumph that leads to tears