Movie #8: Kick-Ass 2

kickass2

From all the negative reactions to this movie in theatres, I was expecting a very disappointing movie (especially after I loved the first one so much), but I guess that lowered my expectations enough that I actually kind of enjoyed it. While the first movie was something of a landmark, this one is a bit more like a pale copy, but there are still some fun action sequences and an OK story. This time around Hit Girl/Mindy (played again by Chloe Moretz) is trying to have a normal life after the death of her father, Big Daddy, who taught her the life of a costumed vigilante. She tries to fit in with the cool kids/pretty girls in school, but as you might predict, she runs afoul of a certifiable clique of Mean Girls (who knew that movie was so seminal that the subplot is replicated in movie after movie to show the harsh life of an American teenage girl). Meanwhile, after starting a movement by donning a costume and fighting crime, Kick-Ass/Dave (played again by Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is trying to seek out other newly-emerging costumed heroes to form alliances (and dare we say, “a league”). He meets up with a group led by Colonel Stars-and-Stripes (a born-again mob enforcer, played by Jim Carrey), and Dr. Gravity (played by Scrubs‘s Donald Faison). They and a bunch of other men and women in silly, colourful costumes band together to fight crime. Unknown to them, evil is also forming a team, led by the former Red Mist, son of the previous movie’s defeated villain, now rebranding himself as Motherf—er (after donning some of his own mother’s S&M gear), uses his father’s ill-gotten wealth to fund himself an evil army. As you can probably tell from his description (even without the descriptions of his henchmen: Black Death, Mother Russia, Genghis Carnage, and The Tumor), these characters are pretty much over the top. It seems like it’s going to be more of a satire, but that’s part of the problem. The tone of this sequel is very wishy washy. While it sets itself up to poke fun at all this good-vs-evil heroism, it also repeatedly tells the audience that it’s getting serious. There are some violent scenes which are really on the scale of a full-fledged modern super-hero movie (the kind where major damage is par for the course, and life-and-death stakes are for real). All the music and bravado seems to echo that feeling. When there is a final showdown between all the costumed good-guys (who’re just average people with a few fighting lessons from the Colonel) and the ex-criminals hired by Motherf—er, there’s no way that they’d win (or even survive) so we don’t know whether the movie is going to stay real or not. The first Kick-Ass movie started out as satire, then evolved into something more serious before you knew it. This one just can’t decide and kind of fails to become either. (3.5 out of 5)

8 down, 42 more to go (oh boy…)

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