Derek Winnert

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This article was written on 13 Aug 2013, and is filled under Reviews.

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Kick-Ass 2 – Film Review

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Aaron Taylor Johnson is back as Dave Lizewski an American high schooler by day, who fancies himself as a bit of a masked vigilante avenger by night. His alter ego of course, is Kick-Ass. Chloe Grace Moretz, the very young, cute little girl with a fast gun and a fast, foul-mouthed wit, is also along for the action again as Mindy, aka Hit-Girl.

Then there’s also Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who is still Chris d’Amico, aka Red Mist, aka now something I can’t print here, who forms his own band of crazies to track down and kill the band of masked crusaders, led by Jim Carrey’s Colonel Stars and Stripes, that Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl have joined.

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That’s about it plot wise. Except that Mindy’s having trouble with the other mean girls at her high school as well as with her guardian, police detective Morris Chestnut, who won’t let her sneak out on her own to do her masked avenging as Hit-Girl. Then Dave’s having trouble with his boring dear old dad (Garrett M Brown). And Chris’s having trouble with his crazy mom (Yancy Butler), at least at first, and with her guard Javier (John Leguizamo). Actually, Chris’s just having trouble, he’s a nut case.

Lots and lots of gratuitous violence and foul language follow the setup, in a blatant attempt to top the extremes of the first movie, which was already pretty extreme. Kick-Ass 2 has some deplorable attitudes. It makes guns seem fun and that’s bad. And it’s kind of nasty throughout, and that’s bad too.

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Fortunately, Johnson and Moretz are highly talented and remain likeable and involving. But Carrey is completely wasted in a non-role, while Mintz-Plasse is just weird and not funny this time. All the other actors fail to score very much in under-written stereotype roles. For example, what happened to Donald Faison’s role as Dr Gravity?

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Jeff Wadlow pens the screenplay and directs, extremely competently, catching the right comic book tone and atmosphere. He delivers some imaginative and exciting sequences, particularly handling the action adroitly.

But Kick-Ass 2 is not a very happy experience. When the violent action stops, it’s got nothing else much to offer. When people start talking, it goes kind of flat.

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It tries its damnedest to makes case that bad is the new good. But it doesn’t convince that masked vengeance and teenage vigilantes are good things at all. It wasn’t good when Charles Bronson did it in Death Wish and it isn’t now. Say it again everybody, vigilante violence equals bad. Just don’t do it. As for dressing up in homemade superhero suits, now that’s got to be a great thing. Get sewing, guys!

(C) Derek Winnert 2013 derekwinnert.com

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