25 oct. 2013

My Review: Kick Ass 2 (5/10)

"I try to have fun. Otherwise, what's the point?"

Let me begin by stating that I was a huge fan of the first film which ended up being one of my top ten movies of 2010. It was very entertaining and introduced me to Chloe Grace Moretz whom I absolutely love. My high expectations for this sequel were tampered down a bit due to the bad critical reception it received, but I still thought I was going to like it based on how much I loved these characters. However despite being entertained during several moments, I still felt this sequel was a huge disappointment due to the fact that it had serious issues with the overall tone of the film. It never quite captures the spirit of the first film which did manage to balance the ultra violent action scenes with funny moments. Here the sequel suffers from a lower quality script which never manages to be as witty as the first film. There were several scenes that felt forced and didn't work. One of the key differences with the first film is that director Matthew Vaughn turned in this sequel to Jeff Wadlow who doesn't have as much experience and isn't as good as a writer as Vaughn. Having got that out of the way, I still have to admit I had a fun time with Moretz's character and enjoyed her scenes as Hit Girl. She makes this film tolerable, despite the fact that they almost messed everything up when they tried to focus on her character's adaptation to High School. That was the weakest part of the film as Moretz was playing way out of character here and this felt like a bad version of Mean Girls at times. The jokes were predictable and forced in that scenario. When the film focused more on the action I thought the story improved a little, but there are too many weak moments in Kick Ass 2 for me to give it a passing grade. The film isn't for everyone, and unless you absolutely enjoyed the first one like I did, than I wouldn't recommend you this sequel. 

This sequel continues to follow Dave (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) as he has inspired several other ordinary people to become superheroes. Dave has been feeling a bit lonely and decides to ask Mindy (Chloe Grace Moretz) to team up with him as they continue defending the city. Mindy is reluctant at first, but she decides to team up with Kick-Ass and begins to train him. After an incident, Mindy who is now in the care of her foster parent, Detective Marcus (Morris Chestnut), is forced to abandon her vigilante dreams and try to live an ordinary life. She promises Marcus that she will stay away from the vigilante life and try to adapt to her normal life as a High School student. Being on his own once again, Dave decides to join forces with several of the superheroes he has inspired. Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey), a former gangster and now a born again Christian, has been leading a patrol group of masked crusaders known as Justice Forever, and they are glad to have Kick Ass join them. As things begin to go smoothly for these superheroes, a new villain shows up claiming to want to kill Kick-Ass. The villain is none other than Chris D'Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) who wants to avenge his father's death. He has assembled a group of villains to destroy the city and begin terrorizing the members of Justice Forever. A final face off between them seems inevitable, and not all will survive.

Other than Chloe Grace Moretz's character the rest seem to be underdeveloped. She is the only one carrying most of the film on her shoulders, but when the writers decide to strip her off of her uniform the film falls flat. It's those shifts of tonality that the film takes at times that end up burying this otherwise entertaining flick. The secondary characters don't do much here either, with the exception of Jim Carrey's Colonel Stars who gives a solid performance. He doesn't get enough screen time, but he stands out in the few scenes he's in. Nicolas Cage is really missed here as his performance in the first film was perhaps his last greatest one. He hasn't done much since. The film could have used a little more of Hit Girl and less of Mindy, but I agree with the fact that having a 15 year old vigilante isn't as shocking as it was when she was younger during the first film. I still enjoyed her performance and think she has a great future ahead of her (I loved her in Let the Right One In and Hugo as well). However I did find most of the villains really obnoxious here. They were another weak part of this sequel. Neither Christopher Mintz-Plasse nor Olga Kurkulina brought anything to the table and their characters were dumbed down. The film never quite finds its identity and at times it sends mixed and opposite messages about violence and society. 

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