Spoiler Warning – I am going to talk about the characters, situations, and dialog in this movie. If you don’t want to hear about those things, skip down to the paragraph labeled “Final Verdict”. If you are not afraid of spoilers, read on.
Summary – What happens when ordinary people don personas and costumes to match, then take it upon themselves to fight crime? You get the movie Kick-Ass, a fun decent movie if you didn’t examine it too closely. What happens when the people who made the first movie think they can make more money? Kick-Ass 2. In this movie our hero has stopped being Kick-Ass and is leading a normal life again, but he misses the life. There are others doing what he did, those that took inspiration at what he did and are doing good on their own. On the other side, Hit-Girl is not settling into normal life all that well. She really never was a kid, so expecting her to just slide into high school was a little nuts. She shows up at school, waits until her guardian leaves, then goes to her hide out/armory and works out, works on equipment, or researches. At night, she fights crime with her brand of brutal and efficient tactics. The villain the son of the last movie’s villain, bitter at this death. He takes the family fortune and sets out to become the first super-villain and to kill Kick-Ass in the process. Add into this a plot where Hit -Girl tries to get into the cool crowd, another plot involving a group of super-heroes that Kick-Ass joins, and Kick-Ass’s father thinking he is doing drugs. There is a lot going on.
The Good – The good in this movie come is small chunks. Good lines delivered by Hit Girl and Colonel Star & Stripes, tender believable moments between Hit-Girl and Kick-Ass, and some really terrific monologging by the villain are the good parts. Hit-Girl is a pretty good actress, and at time she shines. When she is starting to accept her new life and she tells off Kick-Ass it is a wonderful scene. When she shows up at his house after a bad date, it is a wonderful scene. She just isn’t given that much to work with. Jim Carey is Colonel Stars & Stripes and he is so likeable and believable as a decent guy who is trying to make up for a bad past and trying to make life a bit better for people. Carey once again shows he can act in character roles. Finally the politically not even close to correct villain does a great job talking about his crew, his goals, and even his mother in scenes that the more sensitive will find hard to watch, but that I found really good. The movie has some fun sight gags, and a few more laughs here and there. That’s it for the good.
The Bad – This movie has two major flaws: who is the story about and tone. First, this movie is shot like a comedy, it feels a bit like a TV sit-com. The situations are silly – people dressed up like super heroes, a villain wearing woman’s bondage clothes, a 15 year old girl with an armed hide-out. Silly. A lot of the jokes are even silly. This feels like a light comedy. Then a secondary character is killed, graphically, slowly, with plenty of spurting blood. Now maybe the makers meant for you to feel the jolt of the death, but even then, it didn’t fit. At one point a villain kills 8 or so cops in truly comic fashion, yet your are frozen in your seat due to the graphic nature of each death. The movie continues putting silly juvenile jokes next to very real violence and it never works. The second major flaw in this film is that there are too many competing story lines. They barely relate to each other and the stories are all slowed down. You go through a long piece with Hit-Girl and the cool kids that barely resolves and it does not advance the story. You go through a long build up of Kick-Ass and the super team, but it only serves to make Colonel Stars & Stripe’s death feel stronger rather than add to the overall story. By the way, the movie could have been made without the Kick-Ass character and it would have been a better movie. You don’t get one whole movie here, you get two-thirds of two and a half movies all served on day old bread.
The Other – John Leguizamo is in this film. I haven’t seem him in quite a while and he is good as a gangster with a bit of a heart. The woman who plays the Russian villain is two parts sexy and eight parts terrifying. The audition dance by the cool girl is as good a pole-less pole dance as I have ever seen, but it was 5 times longer than the story needed.
Final Verdict – This could have been a good film if they had simple chosen to tell the story of Hit-Girl trying and liking to be a “normal” teen, yet being drawn back into her former life. It would have had emotional range, action, and an actual narrative arc. Kick-Ass and his crew could have been comic relief, like little funny sprinkles on Hit)Girls two scoops of thick rich story. But it was not to be. I cannot reccommend this movie, unless you have Kick-Ass movie posters on your walls and a green costume in the closet. I give it two stars and I might be being kind doing that.