Try to have fun, otherwise what’s the point? A review of Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

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When the first Kick-Ass movie premiered three years ago, I did not know it was a comic book before. After seeing the movie and loving it, I immediately bought the book and read it in a day. Shockingly, the book was very different from the movie and I have to say I liked the book more (not to demean the movie).  Before I saw the sequel to Kick-Ass (2010), I wanted to read the book. I did like the book, but not as much as the first one. This worried me going into this movie.

I’m glad to say I was pleasantly surprised. Kick-Ass 2 (2013) hit the ground running with a gag that reflected the first movie and made fans remember the humor in this film’s diegesis… Yes I just said diegesis, look it up.

The film revolves around the two main characters going down two very different paths. Dave Lizewski AKA Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is trying to do good in the world as his alter ego. He befriends a few heroes whom he inspired and discovers a group of heroes called Justice Forever based in New York City, led by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey). Meanwhile, Mindy Macready AKA Hit-Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) is grounded by her foster father, who tells her she needs to hang up the cape and live a normal life as a normal teenager. Naturally she rebels from this, only to be reprimanded by her foster father. Mindy faces adversity as she does not fit in with the other girls at her high school, but she soon shows them her own definition of the word justice.

As all of this unfolds, Chris D’Amico AKA Red Mist (Christopher Minzt-Plasse) is trying to exact revenge on Kick-Ass after what he did to Chris’ father in the last movie. Hence forth, Chris changes his name from Red Mist to The Mother #@!$&% and becomes the world’s first real super villain.

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The film boasts high octane action with shaky camera filming for a majority of the fight scenes. I’m not the biggest fan of shaky cam, to be completely honest. I think it’s nauseating and is a massive copout to hide possibly bad choreography for the fight scenes. Having said that, there was certainly plenty of blood and violence to go around in this movie. One scene in particular that I loved is the scene when Justice Forever busts an illegal brothel not many people make it out alive on the bad guys’ end. One villain named Mother Russia is very brutal. Her title is daunting enough.

I actually liked this movie more than the book that it’s based off of, unlike my opinion of the first movie compared to the book. I wasn’t very pleased with the ending of the Kick-Ass 2 book, but the ending of the movie I felt was more appropriate. Also the story took a different direction with certain characters that I liked and stayed the same with others that I hoped would stay the same.

I love that they have title cards in the top corners of shots like real comic books that say, “Meanwhile,” or, “Later that night.” I just gives it that comic book feel.

Kick-Ass 2 really expresses the idea that a lot of superhero movies try to get across but simply can’t. It sends a message that it’s not the mask that makes a hero, its the person under it. Superhero movies with the main characters possessing powers cannot really get this point across because those people have a special gift that really does make them different from everyone else. The heroes in the Kick-Ass world are 100% normal people whose only gift is the passion and drive they possess to help others. That is what makes a true hero. The only problem is that that’s what the first movie was trying to get across too, and this movie only seemed to be reiterating that. Is there perhaps another message the movie could have sent? A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush?

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

High octane action scenes, funny gags and dialogue, and a great theme. I only wish it sent a different message than the first film and didn’t use that shaky camera film style for half the movie. I will say Jim Carrey was awesome in this movie as Colonel Stars and Stripes. You can barely tell it’s even him. Honestly, if no one told me that was Jim Carrey, I would not have been able to tell you it was him. You’ll like this movie a lot if you saw and loved the first one. Be sure to read the comic book if you want to compare and contrast the two.

-Reed

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