Tripping Over Its Cape
By Adam Sturrock
Kick Ass 2 (2013)
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Writer: Jeff Wadlow (Based on Kick Ass 2 and Hit Girl the graphic comic book)
Cast: Aaron Taylor- Johnson, Christopher Mintz – Plasse, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jim Carrey
In 2010, one of my top five films was Kick Ass. It was dorky, gory, and at times, laugh out loud funny. It largely kept within the graphic comic book style of the fiction and was deliciously controversial just because it could.
In the sequel, we are reintroduced to the main cast minus Nick Cage but this time, everything feels old and less sharp compared to the original and ultimately, it fails to deliver.
With the previous events of Kick Ass leaving Mindy (Moretz) orphaned and now under protection by a police friend of the family, Detective Marcus Williams (Morris Chestnut) who acts as a surrogate father to her, she must now decide between being Hitgirl and growing up in reality. After promising to her Dad that she’s give up fighting crime, she reluctantly goes to school, only to not go and visit her old house. The inclusion of teenage angst into he mix is a main factor of why she has also given up being a vigilante; she wants to meet boys, go to parties and listen to/worship Union J (shudders). While the film title suggests it will continue with the focus on Johnson’s Kick Ass; Mindy and Hit-Girl make sure this is not the case and to be quite honest, the film excels during her scenes due to its smart commentary.
Dave (Johnson) is confined mostly to a backseat role this time, having kindled a longing for fighting crime, he joins up with an assortment of average-joe crime fighters, one of whom is Colonel Stars and Stripes, played by an under-used Jim Carrey. Alongside his trusty dog, Eisenhower, Stars and Stripes is an interesting addition to the mix; darkly comical but brilliantly different from the archetypical ADHD characters that Carrey is known for playing as – unfortunately we do not see much of him, nor do we see much of the supporting cast for us to invest in them.
Chris D’mico (Mintz-Plasse) returns but this time as a slightly geeky crime lord and supervillain, the aptly named, The Motherf*cker alongside a cringeworthingly named troupe of supervillains (including the Tumour, Mother Russia and Black Death). Mintz Plasse admittedly excels to an extent as the main antagonist but it still feels like he is painfully sticking to the geeky McLovin typecast that he is always using; it’s getting old.
The action is still in your face graphic but the controversial scenes that made the first so well known have been toned down and when it attempts to recreate what it is known for, it feels forced and less satisfying.
All in all, what we get is a superhero sequel without the punch, that trips over too many gags and lacks the character of the first film.