Film Review: “Kick Ass 2”

The film does manage to mostly overcome the juvenilia to be an entertaining flick, but “Kick Ass 2” is strictly for big kids.


Review by David Feltman

“What did I tell you about taking the Lord’s name in vain?”

Despite the cliffhanger ending, “Kick Ass” never really warranted another chapter and the three sequel series that comic creator Mark Millar penned after the success of the first movie felt like just a cash grab. The subsequent chapters have so far failed to add anything substantial to the universe and “Kick Ass 2” was a particularly limp entry that attempted to play with “Avengers” like team ups, but never did anything interesting with the idea. That’s why it’s surprising that the cinematic counterpart is so much fun.

The film tries to squeeze some extra mileage out of the same premise: a group of wannabe superheroes that are more mindful of their Facebook posts and Youtube hits than real world consequences. But the enjoyment of “Kick Ass 2” lies more with the cast than the script. The strong ensemble does a remarkable job of adding depth to their characters. Chloe Grace Moretz’s pubescent Hit Girl may be equipped to slaughter multiple mobsters but is emotionally unarmed against cute guys and the mean girl clique at her new school. Jim Carrey plays a born again ex-mob enforcer that pulls double duty as paternal mentor and comedic relief while Christopher Mintz-Plasse continues his role as a disturbed nerd treading well outside his depth.

The cast is engaging and easy to empathize with, but the coarser elements undercut its work. Mintz-Plasse creates a loveable psycho that you can’t help but root for just a little, but when he rechristens himself “The Motherfucker” and names his evil gang “The Toxic Mega Cunts,” you’re pulled out of the moment enough to ask yourself, “Really?” The fact that Mintz-Plasse is dressed in his mother’s bondage gear when he dons the new moniker adds a clever Oedipal gag, but such moments too often come off as being crass for crass’ sake.

It’s funny that Hollywood is pinning the future of more mature comic book adaptations to the financial success of the overwhelmingly immature “Kick Ass 2.” Whether or not we may ever get to see something like Joe Hill’s “Locke and Key” make it to the big screen may partially depend on how many box office receipts a movie filled with poop jokes can bank. The film does manage to mostly overcome said juvenilia to be an entertaining flick, but “Kick Ass 2” is strictly for big kids.

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