‘Kick-Ass 2′ Review

Published 2 years ago by , Updated November 9th, 2014 at 6:54 pm,

Kick Ass 2 Reviews starring Aaron Taylor Johnson Chloe Grace Moretz Christopher Mintz Plasse and Jim Carrey Kick Ass 2 Review

Kick-Ass 2 is a good but not great followup to Vaughn’s surprisingly smart, stylish and witty original.

Kick-Ass 2 picks up sometime after the events of the first film. We find Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Mindy Macready (Chloe Grace Moretz) trying to re-acclimate to normal life as high school teenagers, instead of prowling the streets as Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl, respectively. However, old habits die hard and Dave soon finds himself under Mindy’s tutelage, as their circle of would-be vigilantes expands into a legitimate team, led by the wily Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey).

But every light has its shadow and Kick-Ass’ newfound place in a league of do-gooders inspires his former adversary Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) to become the world’s first true supervillain, The Motherf*cker. Chris eventually gathers demented psychopaths like Mother Russia (Olga Kurkulina) and Genghis Carnage (Tom Wu) as his enforcers, and sets out to avenge his slain father by destroying everything in Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl’s worlds – both inside and outside of their costumes.

With Kick-Ass, writer/director Matthew Vaughn took the deranged superhero origin satire envisioned by comic book creators Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr., and adapted it into a wittily satirical superhero deconstruction film, which was further enhanced by Vaughn’s unique stylistic signature and technical flair. Never Back Down director Jeff Wadlow has stepped in to handle writing and directing duties on the sequel, which – from the comic book source material, to the movie script, to the movie itself – is a much less sophisticated (but still pretty enjoyable) followup to the first film.

Christopher Mintz Plasse as The Motherfcker in Kick Ass 2 Kick Ass 2 Review

Christopher Mintz-Plasse in ‘Kick-Ass 2′

On the directorial side, Wadlow is solid at creating a second-tier superhero movie experience on a modest budget (around $30 million). He manages  to maintain the continuity, aesthetic, world and characters introduced in the first film, while expanding them in this second chapter. As stated, however, the direction isn’t as fun or sophisticated as Vaughn’s film (what with its many memorable sequences) – though only hardcore cinephiles are likely to take note. Everyone else in attendance for the action and Rated-R hijinks of the characters will get that – but some of that action is going to take place against some pretty flimsy-looking green-screen backdrops, and on the whole, there will be little that is epic or memorable about the film. “Suitable” is the word that best defines the movie Wadlow has turned in.

Similarly, the script is also a lot more straightforward and conventional than the wittily meta voice-over narrative of Vaughn’s film. Combining the Kick-Ass 2 comic book series and the Hit-Girl spinoff series into one narrative, Wadlow’s script tries to tell a tried-and-true story about self-realization and self-acceptance (“Be proud of who you are,” etc…) and does so in decent enough (if not slightly cliched) fashion. There are standout moments and clear character arcs for each of the principal players (Dave, Mindy and Chris), as well as some nice supporting characters who add to the fun. Drama, when needed, is never too heavy or out of place, and the comedy is consistent and pleasing for the most part.

Jim Carrey as Colonel Star and Stripes in Kick Ass 2 Kick Ass 2 Review

Jim Carrey in ‘Kick-Ass 2′

The dialogue is still a blend of Millar’s over-the-top raunch prose smoothed down for the movie masses and punctuated by some great crowd-pleasing one-liners and banter. In adapting the comic, Wadlow does a nice job of picking and choosing what to preserve and what to jettison; for example: one of the most controversial moments of the comic gets a smart “reinterpretation” in the world of Wadlow’s film. While clearly the work of a reliable, company-brand screenwriter, the screenplay retains enough of the comic book’s DNA to please the hardcore fan crowd.

The returning cast all get right back into the swing of things, with Johnson once again bringing both nerdish levity and strong dramatic chops to his role – arguably elevating Dave Lizewski above what Millar and Romita, Jr. created on the page. Christopher Mintz-Plasse gets to venture out of his “McLovin” screen persona and tackle something a bit darker, and while this is no Heath Ledger/Joker performance, he proves to be a good comedic villain who knows how to utilize his geeky nature for the best punchlines. The standout (once again) is of course the now-grown Chloe Moretz, who kicks ass and curses with such aplomb that it’s hard not to like her. This time, Moretz gets to explore the more “girly” and “vulnerable” sides of Mindy, and the result is some of the movie’s best moments, both on the superhero and civilian side of things (see: a Mean Girls-style lunchroom showdown).

Night Bitch and Dr. Gravity in Kick Ass 2 Kick Ass 2 Review

As stated, there is a nice cast of supporting characters: Donald Faison (Scrubs) adds some  comedic relief as Kick-Ass’ new pal, “Dr. Gravity.” Morris Chestnut is a nice replacement for Kick-Ass actor Omari Hardwick as Marcus Williams, Mindy’s caretaker – while no one will likely notice Augustus Prew’s substitution for AHS star Evan Peters as Todd. Clarke Duke gets more to do (for whatever that’s worth); Lindy Booth is fun as the questionably-named “Night Bitch”; while Olga Kurkulina is dementedly fun as “Mother Russia” and Jim Carrey steals the show whenever he’s in the spotlight (which may not be as much as advertising would lead you to believe). By the way, John Leguizamo shows up in the film as Chris’ henchman/confident, and is as reliably funny as ever (a nice addition).

Overall, Kick-Ass 2 is a “good” but not “great” followup to Vaughn’s surprisingly smart, stylish and witty original. The sequel will be more enjoyable for those fans wanting to revisit the world and characters for another romp through a twisted version of the DC and Marvel comic book universes – but beyond that, all you’re getting is a standard action film with a B-movie feel. If it wasn’t Kick-Ass or Hit-Girl headlining, there would likely be little excitement and even less payoff from the Kick-Ass 2 experience.

As for what we ARE left with: As one audience member said while exiting the theater: “That was cool, but just make the next one a straight-up Hit-Girl movie. The rest is done with.” Indeed.

[NOTE: There IS an after credits "button scene," so be sure to stay in the theater.]

517864483 3 620 439 Kick Ass 2 Review

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Kick-Ass 2 is now in theaters. It is 103 minutes long and is Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, crude and sexual content, and brief nudity. If it makes you feel any better, the comic creators are already hard at work on the Kick-Ass 3 comic book.

Want to talk about Kick-Ass 2 without SPOILING the movie for others? Join our Kick-Ass 2 spoilers discussion. Want to hear the editors discuss the film? Stay tuned for our Kick-Ass 2 episode of the SR Underground Podcast.

Our Rating:

3 out of 5

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  1. Chloe Moretz best new (lol) young talent since Dakota Fanning came on the scene.

    Get down the bookies and place your bets…. Oscar within 5 years (depending on projects she picks)

    • Can’t wait to see what she does with Carrie!

  2. Whoa!! Lindy Booth is all kinds of hot in that pic!

  3. As one audience member said while exiting the theater: “That was cool, but just make the next one a straight-up Hit-Girl movie. The rest is done with.” Indeed.

    In all honesty, the first movie felt like a HitGirl movie. This one probably will too.

    3/5 is a good rating from ScreenRant. I thought that Kofi guy was supposed to be replaced. :)

    • That’s funny cause it’s based upon (partly) on the hitgirl solo adventure written by Millar as well as the Kick Ass 2 comic. A hit girl sequel would have been best.

    • He is! We’re replacing with new reviewer “Ofi Koutlaw.” Much better guy, that Ofi.

      • Keep Kofi around, please just rid yourself of that blathering waste of space Anthony Ocrapsio. An advocate for a ghostbusters 3 adaptation giving such poor reviews to The Wolverine is like Adolf Hitler being strongly against waterboarding.

        • ^I might spend the next few hours trying to wrap my head around this.

          • be sure not to injure yourself doing so.

            • Thanks for clarifying with your clichéd response. It made us realize both your comments are just unnecessarily cheap and hollow digs rather than legitimate attempts at humor.

              • Thanks for your added commentary ‘kid comedy’. “Us”? I didn’t realize a group of readers on this site were represented by a virtual attorney. I used no profanity nor do I think he will form some kind of teenage girl complex and hold up in his closet never to review a movie again.

      • Too bad. I really liked Kofi. I suppose Ofi will have to do.

  4. Didn’t know John Leguizamo was in this, now I want to see it even more.

  5. I’m pretty worried what I’m hearing about this movie because the first one was so friggin’ amazing. At least Hit Girl is apparently still awesome so there’s that at least.

  6. I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t even notice that was Jim Carrey when I watched the trailer, lol.

    • I think part of that was his insistence on not actually promoting the film because of the excess violence it celebrated (paraphrasing, I’m sure I did.) So they decided not to make it a point he was in the film.

  7. Kick-Ass is one of my favorite films. While I didn’t think Kick-Ass 2 was as good as the first, it was overall very enjoyable. A great continuation of the story. I’m glad the fans and the general public are overall satisfied with the film. I’ve read a lot of reviews posted on Rotten Tomatoes and I do not agree with any of then negatives.

    • this shows that flashy action is better than competent story telling

  8. Am I the only one who thinks this movie is a 5/5 (or 10/10 whatever) but still thinks the first one is better?

    • Since I did have a few things I really disliked in the film, I’d probably give it a 4/5 or 4.5/5. The first film is a 5/5 for me. I’m going to go a 2nd time tonight and see if my feelings change.

      • Well the film won’t change, I can pretty much guarantee that!

        • Actually, it did. My second time watching it, I decided to give it a 9/10.

  9. Great movie!! I saw it last night. Chloe moretz is a complete BAMF. She rocks in anything she’s in and she kicks ass in this movie.

    And I’ll add se plays awkward so perfectly.
    Aaron Johnson am Jim Carey were great. Carey needed this role in my opinion. It felt fresh. And even though Lyndsy fonseca was only in it for five minutes she was great at making a scene and ever so beautiful.

    Great movie. Not a good as 1 but jut as enjoyable!

  10. I never liked Hit-Girl in any of the movies. So meh.

  11. why are there always so many 5-stars on the polls? It’s just not possible that that many people have already seen it, and already come to this site and given it a 5 star.

    • Lots of people have already seen it because of advance screenings all over the United States. I saw it this past Monday.

  12. I’ll be seeing this Sunday…
    I’ll admit I rank Kick-Ass so high mostly because it was such a surprise. I seriously had zero expectations for it so when I rented it one day I was thrilled by what I saw.
    So in a way I’m kind of expecting to not like this as much because I figure I know what’s coming.
    My question is how is the music?
    I really got a kick out of the score and songs in the 1st movie (especially Joan Jett) so I’m curious how this compares?

    • Soundtrack isn’t nearly as good. Mostly generic orchestrated hero-type music.

      • Well that’s a bummer…

      • I liked the score of the first one. Is the musical score in Kick Ass 2 anything like it?

        • Hard to beat some Mt. Eden – Omen during the big fight scene from the first movie.

  13. Not very interested now that Im sensing it’s just an okay sequel that doesnt have the same pizazz as the first. Most sequels are a diluted result so it’s not a great surprise. Will wait for it to show up on cable tv or netflix.

  14. Absolutely loved it. Movie of the year. Hands down.

  15. I just watched this today and it was just meh. It’s not as good as the first but it was alright. Chloe Moretz was the star and I expected more out of Jim Carrey’s character. His performance was just average and the coolest, funniest parts of his character was pretty much shown in the trailer. Aaron Taylor-Johnson was okay but not as good as Moretz. It felt like she really wanted to do the part whereas ATJ was just there to be there. Mintz-Plasse’s role felt too over the top and it present some “Really” moments with the crowd. Overall I also would have given a 3/5 stars for this movie. It’s okay, but not as great as the first and it was something I could have just waited for the DVD

  16. loved it!! If u loved the first one you will love this one

  17. how well choreographed are the fights and how bloody/gory is the movie ? b/c if it’s as bloody/gory as the comics then i’m in :P

    • @Jwalka. Excellently and very. On pure entertainment scale it was easily the best time me and my wife have had at the movies this year (and we’ve been about 35 times so far since January so that’s saying something!).

      I’d say it’s the ultimate popcorn flick/date movie. It deftly balances high school melodrama, superhero thrills, gross-out horror, house of Apotow comedy and some genuine affecting drama.

      If I was 12 this would 100% be the greatest thing I have ever seen.

      Most of the negative reviews I’ve personally read have really focussed on the violence and supposed amorality of proceedings. Those of us with a firm grip on reality, who enjoy the catharsis and invention that comes with cartoon violence, will walk away very satisfied.

      So much fun.

  18. I can easily say that this was the most disappointing movie of the year for me. This one doesn’t come anywhere close to the charm and ferocity of the original. The movie struggles to find any traction, and I found myself cringing at the dialogue from start to finish.

    Who wrote this script? People don’t talk like this! The characters don’t have conversations: they take turns monologue-ing to one another. It also felt to me like the movie couldn’t make up it’s mind if it wanted to be an adult action film or a raunchy tween film.

    Seriously, this may be the first rated R movie that caters to a crowd that isn’t old enough to see R rated movies.

    It appears the 80s cliche high school bullies are making a come-back. Even the most evil high school b**tches on this planet wouldn’t act that way. It’s mind numbing.

    Oh, and now that Mindy (hit/girl) is a teenager, the potty mouth bit doesn’t resonate the same as it did when she was a little kid. Now she sounds like any other person her age.

    The movie certainly has it’s moments, but they are so few and far between that they don’t make up for the numerous short-comings. Not one of my favorite films this year, to say the least.

    • Agreed.

      I was talked into watching it earlier and I agree about it being the most disappointing movie of the year so far (this coming from someone who was disappointed at MOS).

      Sure, I thought the first wasn’t as good or as clever as it liked to think it was but this sequel was even worse and I was really hoping it would’ve been an improvement.

      • We tend to differ in opinions quite frequently. While we both agree this movie was garbage, I didn’t expect a movie that was better than the first. I went in expecting it to not be as good, and I still left disappointed.

        I feel like the original movie had a heart and a soul, while this one is nothing more than a hollow shell of what came before it and at no point could decide what kind of movie it was trying to be.

        Case in point: The movie kept changing identities over and over. One minute I’m watching an adult based drama, the next I’m watching a poorly executed “Mean Girls” rip-off, and the minute after that I’m watching slap-stick of Russo Bros. quality.

  19. This film was fun and very enjoyable. The tone and mood of the comic was greatly represented in the film. Some would argue that the film dragged a little but I felt it moved completed solid. I feel the pacing of movie gave each character great time for development and growth, not with just their selves but with each other as well.

    The characters and their concepts were amazing. Hit Girl does her thing like normal but I liked seeing her in a different light this time. Kick Ass impressed me this time around. I mean he just seemed much more confident, which makes sense, being that this is a sequel.

    Jim Carry gave a solid performance as Colonel Stars and Stripes. Dr. Gravity was done justice, great job by Donald Faison. The whole squad of characters of Justice Forever were well done.

    Justice Forever was the stars of the film but the villains of the film were the entertainment. The Motherf*cker was a solid villain, while never leaving his comedic humor, he still expressed agony, vengeance, and regret. The other villains to me did a good job as well. John Leguizamo was great.

    The show stopper for me was Mother Russia. Easily my biggest surprise of the whole film. While all the other characters have a dash of humor and reality to them. She seem to come straight of the pages of Captain America. I loved her.

    I could go on about the cast and the character of the film which were all great. The thing that impressed me most is the bonds and connections that all the characters had. Never really feeling rushed on me.

    My biggest concerns were that the messages of the film seem force fed on me. Like just repetitive, I understand consistency but dang. Just my opinion.

    Easily one the most entertaining and complete films this year. Humor, sex, slight drama, violence, and action. I was cool with this film.

  20. I loved it. I thought it blew Kick Ass 1 out of the water. Aaron Taylor is more believable as superhero as he looks much bigger and Hit Girl trains him. Chloe Grace was the star of the show by far. She is beautiful, She Kicks Ass, and she delivers great humor. “Maybe i’ll jam my foot up your snatch” the only thing i didnt like was the end SPOILER ALERT because everyone split up and Hit Girl moves away. Telling Kick ass that he is now the superhero this city needs not her. They made it seem like there will not be part 3 and if there is that hit girl wont be a part of it and like i said she made the movie. I want more.

  21. 28% positive in rottentomatoes, don’t get it. I loved the original and I loved the sequel. It was very entertaining with Hit Girl once again stealing the show, although Carrey was great also. I don’t understand how you could be a big fan of part one and trash this very good followup. One of the best films of summer for me.

    • i agree 100% I dont understand either how everyone loved the first one then didnt like part 2. I dont understand how these so called experts can give reviews saying “aims high but falls short” ” A mean and brutal miscalculation” “Kick Ass 2 is neutered, feels kid friendly” Its totally ridiculous. If you liked the first one you WILL love the 2nd one I promise.

  22. so far there’s some positive comments in here, I`m down to go see it

  23. Just got back from seeing it. It was decent.. nowhere near as good as the first. Lots of pretty dark scenes… funny crude humor to stay interested enough.

    3/5. I’d say watch it at home.

  24. Personally, the bashing and negative comments this film is getting is unwarranted. Yes, Kick-Ass was better in all aspects, the music, the meta voiceovers, the humor, but this film wasn’t that bad. I actually enjoyed it a lot, although, I do agree that the Mean Girls spin on things can be jarring but I guess its because Hit Girl owns this movie as much as Kick Ass and deserves a look into her own private life as a teenager. One thing I can’t stand is how the snitch weasel Todd (the other friend, Ass Kicker I think) didn’t even get called out or feel remorse or guilt for being the cause of what happened to Dave’s dad. And the movie goer mentioned in this review, bring on Hit Girl the movie! Take my money!

  25. Awkward moment when Kick-Ass (kissed) Hit-Girl a 15 year old girl kind of rare in films, but the movie was ok. I wonder what happens next KA3

  26. The best thing about this movie was Jim Carry dying in such awful ways. the movie was almost as fun as the 1st beyond that. its worth spending the few bucks to see it.

  27. movie was fun to watch. worth the money as long as you dont take it too seriously(i’m not sure why you would). Chloe was great again. I am excited to see her as Carrie. I would love to see a Hit-Girl movie. That would be awesome.

  28. I loved this movie! Not as good as the first which is one of my favorite movies of all time. But still pretty good. Chloe Grace Moretz was once again the best thing about it. There should be a Kick-Ass 3 but make it all about Hit Girl.

  29. I think Kick Ass 2 the movie and the comic just created a new movie stereotype. Normally, when bad guys shoot at a good guy, they miss. But in Kick Ass 2, when bullets are flying at both the main character and the bad guys, somehow only the bad guys get hit. Seriously, that van scene, how does Hit-Girl know exactly where to shoot?