If you feel like watching Kick Ass 2, make sure you don’t do it for the dialogue. Like the first Kick Ass film directed by Matthew Vaughan, this sequel is ultra-violent and extremely fast paced; however, unlike its predecessor, this movie induces incredulity rather than providing the shock factor which had made the first film so original. The sequel by Jeff Wadlow takes everything that was good about Kick Ass and turns it up a notch. Unfortunately, there can be too much of a good thing. The result of this amplification is an ineffective blockbuster action movie loaded by its clichéd formula for success: sex, blood and swearing.
The movie sets off with 15 year old Mindy Macready (played by Chloe Moretz) facing the challenges of high school life while trying to maintain her alias “Hit Girl”, fighting crime with Dave Lizewski, alias Kick Ass (played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson), by her side. When her guardian forbids her from continuing on such a dangerous path, Dave finds his own superhero team, comprised of an interesting set of characters including Colonel Stars and Stripes (played wonderfully by Jim Carrey). Together they face numerous challenges, including Kick Ass’s multi- billionaire arch enemy Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) who is seeking revenge for his father’s death in the previous movie.
Often, the audience is left to wonder whether the movie is intended to look trashy or really is trashy. The unhappy combination of overly dramatic close ups and melodramatic music that envelops some of the scenes makes the acting seem over-the-top, rather than supporting the character’s emotions. In one instance, the director decides to cut from a “so-outrageous-it-makes-it-look-funny” shot of a character spewing vomit and faeces to the dramatic moment of Kick Ass’s father finding his superhero costume… let’s just say the scene is not very effective.
While the movie lacks in the drama department, some of the stunts are undeniably epic as CGI works well here. When one super villain named Mother Russia tackles 5 police cars and sends a lawn mower through one, leaving her victims in a gory mess, one cannot help but be in awe of the film makers’ expertise in relation to action spectacles. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always compensate, for example, when an important character dies, there is no emotional reaction from Kick Ass or his friends, who have spent the better part of their days and nights training and solving crime in his company. However, there are some silver linings in this movie if you look hard enough. Overall, Kick Ass 2 does offer a typical battle of good versus evil; the scenes of “Hit Girl” in the high school send the positive message that being different and helping others is a much better way of spending your life than aiming to be popular. As Hit Girl says: “Maybe our pain is given to us for a reason. Maybe we’re supposed to turn it into something good, to help the world”