Cry_Wolf director Jeff Wadlow takes over for Matthew Vaughn to bring us Kick-Ass 2 three years after the first film surprised us all with its fresh approach to a tired sub-genre. Kick-Ass delivered with its ability to poke fun at an entire genre, while also becoming a part of it, while Kick-Ass 2 goes into full-on spoof-mode. Kick-Ass 2 is unfunny, full of horribly shot action that’s cheap and pointless and most of all the film is bloated and does nothing with its core characters. Jeff Wadlow has succeeded in making yet another disaster on film, only this time he shits on pre-established property.
Dave/Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is done being an everyday superhero. He enjoyed his time fighting crime on the streets, but he knows that his fighting skills are lacking and that eventually he’s going to have to hang up the cape in exchange for a high school textbook. The transition hasn’t been too hard for him, but he’s bored and quickly losing interest in almost everyone and everything around him.
Mindy/Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) faces the exact opposite problem. She can’t seem to fit in at school, because the only thing she knows how to do is kill. Dave tries to get Mindy to train him to become a better superhero, but Mindy’s “father” wants her to live a normal life of a teenager, which means going to school and making friends and chasing boys.
The two switch roles, with Dave attempting to actually become a full-fledged hero, while Mindy hits the schoolyards in hopes of becoming a normal girl again.
Meanwhile, Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) has renamed himself as The Mother Fucker and has his heart set on killing Kick-Ass once and for all and becoming the world’s first super villain.
Ugh, Kick-Ass 2 is awful. Cry_Wolf and Never Back Down director Jeff Wadlow has written and directed one of the single worst films of 2013 and while doing so he’s taken a gigantic shit on everything that producer Matthew Vaughn set up in the first film. The core characters that we once cared for are replaced with cookie-cutter morons and the violence that was once over-the-top, yet still backed up with on-screen importance is now replaced with cheap-looking CGI blood effects and sequences that hold absolutely no weight whatsoever.
Kick-Ass 2 is the very reason why people shrug when they hear about a sequel getting confirmed. Kick-Ass was my personal favorite film of 2010 — a film that I’ve watched countless times theatrically and over another dozen times at home. I shrugged when I heard about a sequel and I downright cried when I found out that Jeff Wadlow would be at the helm.
Wadlow has a tendency for making bad films. Kick-Ass 2 is him taking perfectly good material and stripping it down of everything that worked and replacing it with human feces from top to bottom. Nothing that worked in Kick-Ass is present in Kick-Ass 2. Everything is diluted down to being completely moronic and sometimes even offensive.
The film’s biggest sin is reducing the character of Hit-Girl to nothing. She’s basically a walk-on role and that hurts the film almost immediately. Kick-Ass himself was never all that interesting, but in Kick-Ass 2 he quickly becomes an actual annoyance. The only saving grace is Jim Carrey.
Carrey’s highly-discussed cameo role is what keeps the film from completely stalling numerous times towards the beginning and middle. He’s sadly only in the film for short bursts, but his involvement alone makes it slightly watchable.
But Wadlow being the genius that he is decides to keep Carrey’s involvement to a minimum, while also pushing out Hit-Girl around every corner. He instead chooses to focus on the film’s various horribly-named bad guys and a handful of pointless good guys too. The film’s main plot focuses on both Kick-Ass and The Mother Fucker building their own respective teams of heroes and villains, which makes way for a final warehouse battle that can only be described as chaotically filmed and amateurishly executed.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloe Grace Moretz manage to take fifteen giant steps back as the film’s two leads. Neither one of them seem to be all that interested in the film’s general direction or their characters, which makes for dialogue that is literally forced out of them. It’s almost as if the actors knew the film was awful, yet they stayed on board simply for contractual reasons. I would not be surprised if Wadlow had to make them read their lines at gunpoint.
Kick-Ass 2 is by far one of the worst sequels in existence. Director Jeff Wadlow has absolutely no skill or talent behind the lens as a director or with a pen and paper as a writer. He somehow manages to take everything that worked surprisingly well in the first film and remove it and replace it with nothingness. The film’s action is barely watchable and worst of all has no rhyme or reason, while the dialogue is cringe-worthy and mostly hits on a middle school level.
Kick-Ass was made for those that love the superhero sub-genre, but were craving a little bit more. Kick-Ass is that R-rated film that knew how to pay homage to an entire wave of films, while also poking at it at wisely and yet still providing the audience with a fresh and entertaining story.
Kick-Ass 2 is the complete opposite. It’s a film that knows nothing about superheroes or what makes characters interesting or action entertaining. Jeff Wadlow has done a perfect job completely ruining any chances of a Kick-Ass series actually working and actually having a reason to exist.
Run far away.
Kick-Ass 2 – 4.5/10