Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Review: Kick-Ass 2

Release date: August 16, 2013
Running time: 103 minutes
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, ChloĆ« Grace Moretz, Morris Chestnut, Jim Carrey, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Who to see it with: A huge comic book fan


Kick-Ass was a surprisingly charming movie, one that seemingly came out of nowhere with a good, every man super hero story. Kick-Ass 2 tries to continue the story with both Kick-Ass (Taylor-Johnson) and Hit Girl (Moretz) now in High School and dealing with balancing their desire to do what is right with their desire to be normal. Initially, Kick-Ass asks Hit Girl to train him and eventually to partner up to fight crime, but circumstances cause both of these heroes to hang up their costumes for different reasons. The first thing you'll notice about Kick-Ass 2 is that the score from Kick-Ass is back and just as enjoyable as the first. I love the clear, blaring trumpets at the start of the film, and it started the movie off on the right note. Other familiar pieces of the soundtrack appear throughout the film, but the most important one is front and center right from the start.

The cast receives a definite boost in the second movie. Whereas the first movie was more about Kick-Ass trying to become a super hero and be taken seriously, this movie deals with teams of super heroes. Jim Carrey is the stand out from this group, but all the added heroes are fun to watch and add an interesting dynamic to the cast. Kick-Ass 2 is a comic book movie, through and through. There are little comic book-style speech and information bubbles that pop up throughout the film. And, just like a lot of comic books, everything about it is extreme: the story, the humor, the violence, the language, all of it is extreme. Most of the time, this infuses the movie with an over-the-top enjoyment. But other times this doesn't work, particularly with Kick-Ass's new slightly annoying arch-nemesis, the Mother F*%ker. Just like in comic books, there is gratuitous violence and language. And, parts of the story also feel forced, like when Hit Girl decides to give up her costume. However, Kick-Ass 2 is a true to form comic book movie, with all the highs and flaws that come with it. I think this movie will be polarizing, with many people thinking that the violence, language, or plot are too much. But I for one loved the movie despite its flaws. If seeing a film-realized comic book interests you, then

See it.
PS - There IS a stinger after the credits end. Make sure to stay for it.


I liked it but didn't love it. KA2's most creative and meaningful scenes are those focused on getting to know the superhero teams and their origins. They're a fun mix of personalities. Outside of that, the plot often alternates between an amusingly absurd teen comedy and an okay action movie. While the first KA didn't feel too over-the-top until its final act, the more extreme action sequences and Christopher Mintz-Plasse's crazier behavior sometimes make this one feel a little too unreal. The finale feels more like that of your average action film with ordinary guys surviving impossible situations. KA mostly avoided that problem, with its vigilantes beating bad guys with weaponry and smart tactics. I agree that some will find some of the humor to be in bad taste, but those who would be most offended won't see it in the first place if they know what they're getting into. Kick-Ass 2's crude humor and diverse superhero teams are fun, but the crazier action feels out of place.

Rent it.

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