Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
Really Jim Carrey?  You're going to dawg out your own movie 'Kick Ass 2' for being too violent?  Come man, that's not cool.  Wait a minute, I'm getting a text from Mr. Carrey right now, because we're tight like that… and he's telling me to watch the movie first then pass judgment on him.  Fair enough.  And now that I've seen 'Kick Ass 2', as Jim asked me to, I guess I kind of owe Jim an apology.  This was one violent ass movie, inferior to the first on most levels, but not without its merits as entertainment.

Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor Johnson) and his dulled nerve endings have hung up the Kick Ass costume as the city is now teeming with nutjobs in costumes patrolling the streets, pretending to be superheroes.  Problem is Dave is bored. 

Mindy Macready (Chloe-Grace Moretz) has also kind of stopped being Hit Girl, tricking her guardian Marcus (Morris Chestnut) into believing that she's actually going to high school when he drops her off every morning, but instead she ditches class and she trains and trains and trains some more, just like Big Daddy wanted her to.

The last main holdover from the last film is Chris D'Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) who used to be the hero Red Mist until Kick Ass blasted his dad out of a skyscraper with a rocket launcher, and now he's now determined to prove a villain and hate the idle pleasures of these days.  Now Chris is sporting fetish leather wear and has called himself a very dirty name.  Sure, we might've used that word before in an article or two but we're trying to turn a new leaf over here.

Simple enough.  Dave is bored, wants to be badass like Hit Girl, so he trains with her in the ways of legitimate kickassery.  Problem is Marcus really wants want Mindy to at least give high school a try, which kind of works, Mindy becoming down with the Mean Girls in the school, then it kind of doesn't work which gives the audience a teaser of what we might expect from young Ms. Moretz's role in the upcoming 'Carrie'.  And do we really need another 'Carrie' movie?
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With Hit Girl clocking out for the time being, Dave needs to team up with somebody which leads him to a crew of whackjobs led by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Carrey) and they do good work.  Chris D'Amico also needs some villains and they do even better work.  For Evil!  In fact they cause Dave some great personal harm, which invariably leads to a big showdown between good guys and bad guys, featuring the triumphant return of Hit Girl, and a warehouse chock full of dead people. 

Director Jeff Wadlow was faced with a rather daunting task when taking on the sequel for the first 'Kick Ass'.  Matthew Vaughn's film possessed elements that were pathologically violent, funny, and subversive, among other distasteful elements, and they had to be combined in a way to make it not nearly as distasteful as all of it actually was.  For the most part, that worked in the first movie, but even the original 'Kick Ass' at times couldn't resolve it all.  I don't care how you try to justify it, but Big Daddy was a child abuser. 

'Kick Ass 2' on the other hand completely fails at resolving these subversive, distasteful issues.  It's a fine line to attempt to straddle rape and rampant murder and make it watchable in a way that doesn't make the audience uncomfortable, and that didn't happen this time around.  Admittedly, when a character gets raped or a loved one gets murdered or a another hero gets gutted and decapitated, it's going to be difficult in any circumstance to make light of that, but this movie did try.  I think that one of the issues, amongst many, is that these events didn't have as much of an effect on the characters in the film that they should have, as they just moved on to the next action set piece as if little had happened.

Now with all of that being said, I still enjoyed the movie on a few levels.  A lot of this enjoyment can easily be pointed to the existence of Chloe Grace-Moretz who inhabits the character of Hit Girl about as well as any movie actor has inhabited their alter ego… ever.  Maybe they should've made her the next Batman.  It couldn't have caused any more grief and strife among Batman Fan than the guy they did name.  Any time Moretz is in the scene, 'Kick Ass 2' is a joy to watch.  Same goes for Jim Carrey, who for the little time he is in this movie, is an awful lot of fun to watch in this movie.  This isn't to say that Aaron Taylor-Johnson is a slouch as Kick Ass, just that he's pretty much relegated to straight man status to Moretz's Hit Girl.  Also, the filmmakers might've wanted to whittle down the dimensions of Johnson's neck, via CGI trickery, since this is a dude who obviously works out a lot and as such I didn't buy into the fact that the kid couldn't do a pull up.  And despite the misguided nature of an awful lot of the plot elements of the story in this one, there is still a healthy amount of cleverness embedded in this misguided story.  It clashes with itself in a number of instances, the cleverness and the cluelessness, but it is still there to be unearthed.

Despite some flaws, glaring ones, we can't and won't write off 'Kick Ass 2' as a complete loss because there was a lot of good stuff in this movie.  Jim Carrey… I see where you were coming from my man, a place of honesty from the heart.  But dog, you still killed it in this movie.  Sorry. 
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