Kick Ass 2

A fairly entertaining movie on its own but when compared to its predecessor, it was clearly a rung (or two, or even three at points) below. Hard to imagine saying this, but without Nicholas Cage, this show suffered. An adult was needed to ground the fantastic realism of this High Schoolers-as-Superheros flick and sadly, Morris Chestnut (Hit Girl's guardian), Garrett M. Brown (Kick Ass's father), and Jim Carrey (as Kick Ass's surrogate Big Daddy), are lacking the screen gravitas to grab your attention in a sort of campy way that this show demands. The plot itself is a natural sort of progression from the first installment, but it tried too hard to shoehorn the theme in an adult (read: less comic-book way) way. Unfortunately, that led to a silly "Mean Girl"-esque interlude that could have been so much better, a wannabe Avengers team-up that was just redundant, a total waste of Iain Glen, and a ridiculous arc for Red Mist/The Motherfucker. In additional, the violence was noticeably toned down as was the swearing, but despite all the criticisms on that, it was precisely those aspects that made "Kick Ass" such a spectacular success. Sweet innocent Chloe Grace Moretz violating the pride of grown men and putting them down with harsh vitriol. That was lacking here, but when it came out, the show really stood out. I think that is more a testament to Moretz and this amazing character that she and Matthew Vaughn had created. Sadly, her Lohan-esque "Mean Girl" turn was a total mis-step, and that whole 2nd Act was snooze fest. As for Aaron Taylor-Johnson, he is more mopey this time round, which I guess is his interpretation of growing up. His lines lacked the crackle (though this will be more the fault of writer/director Jeff Wadlow) the funny was just taken out of him. Sure, he is more buffed up now, and more realistic as a "Superhero" wannabe, but his storyline was just so forced. He tells us what he is feeling, but we do not really feel it. Therefore, we do not accept his predicament as well as we should. A short word on Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Poor chap's character evolution was so schizophrenic. They should have stuck to either being campy like in the beginning (one of the few genuinely laugh out loud dark moments) or serious and dramatic with the oh-so-wasted-and-I-am-just-here-for-the-moolah Iain Glen. Pity. Wadlow did a competent job in directing, but as aforementioned, his script left much to be desired. And the climatic scene at the end was such a let down compared to that very memorable last 20-30 minutes by Vaugh. At least one good thing was that the soundtrack still kicked ass! Stay on till after the end-credits!

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