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Review: Kick-Ass 2

Aug. 15, 2013by: Chris Bumbray

PLOT: After inspiring a wave of new people to don costumes and fight crime, David Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) comes out of retirement, and once again becomes Kick-Ass. With Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) sidelined by a need to be a normal teenager, Kick-Ass joins Justice Forever, a superhero club run by a former Mafia thug, turned born-again superhero calling himself Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey). Meanwhile, wanting to avenge the death of his father, Chris D'Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), aka Red Mist, has decided to reinvent himself as a super-villain named The Motherf**ker, complete with his own army of psychos.

REVIEW: I have great news for everyone who loved the first KICK-ASS. While Matthew Vaughn isn't back as director (although he's still a producer), KICK-ASS 2 is just about as good as the first film, meaning- if you'll forgive the clich- it kicks ass!

I'll admit I was sceptical, with writer-director Jeff Wadlow's last credit being the teen MMA flick NEVER BACK DOWN. Wadlow has really picked up exactly where Vaughn left off and run with it, as if you'd seen it minus the credits and the knowledge that Vaughn wasn't back, you'd never think 2 wasn't directed by the same guy as the original. It feels like a pretty seamless continuation.

In a (slight) departure from the first film, Kick-Ass is no longer quite as hopeless in a fight as he once was, thanks to months of training by Hit-Girl, leaving him with a six-pack and some serious muscles to flex. Johnson's so perfect in the part, hitting just the right balance between being goofy and serious when the moment calls for it. The stuff with Kick-Ass and Justice Forever- which counts among it's members the drop-dead sexy Night Bitch and the wimpy do-gooder Doctor Gravity (played by SCRUBS' Donald Faison)- is terrific.

While he's distanced himself from the movie, Jim Carrey steals every scene he's in as the goombah-ish Colonel Stars and Stripes. Nearly unrecognizable under a layer of prosthetic makeup, Carrey seems to be having a blast busting heads and talking like a wiseguy, even if now he says he can't get behind the finished product. That's too bad, because he's great in it.

Having not read the comics, I can't tell you how closely it follows Mark Millar's series, but for the sequel, Hit-Girl's pretty much moved up to being the co-lead. Heck, they could have even called it KICK-ASS & HIT-GIRL (doesn't have quite the same ring as KICK-ASS 2 though), which would have been pretty accurate considering how their screen-time is divvied up. More of Moretz as Hit-Girl is always a good thing. Her side-plot- where she's ushered into life as a Mean Girl type high-schooler by a music video (a pretty hilarious, and accurate spoof of One Direction)- could have gone disastrously wrong, but ends up being just as much fun as any of the superhero business. That said, you can still expect Moretz to get into plenty of ultra-violent scraps. Like Johnson, the part feels tailor-made for her, and one she can probably keep playing for years to come.

Meanwhile, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who's gone on to prove himself as a pretty consistently funny guy since SUPERBAD (unbelievable that came out six years ago), chews the scenery as the diabolical baddie The Motherf**ker who- wouldn't ya know it- also turns out to be a real motherf**ker with the evil shenanigans he gets into. For the first two-thirds of the movie, KICK-ASS 2 is mostly going for laughs, but after a particularly nasty turn of events, it gets surprisingly dark, more-or-less closing out as a legit (if gonzo and crazy) superhero flick, albeit one with tons of R-rated ultra-violence. My only complaint here would be that the action scenes are maybe slightly less memorable than they were in the first movie (nothing matches Hit-Girl's introduction or when Big Daddy took on a warehouse full of thugs). Still, a few of them standout, such as a fun part where Hit-Girl fights baddies on a speeding SUV, which is a lot like an action scene out of an obscure, but great, eighties Donnie Yen Hong Kong flick IN THE LINE OF DUTY 4 (or is it 3? I dunno). Wonder if that maybe inspired Wadlow???

Overall, I really can't see anyone who liked the first KICK-ASS not digging this one too. It has the same manic, cheeky, ultra-violent but cartoonishly fun sensibility. Of course, the opposite is also true. If you hated the first one, this isn't going to change your mind. However, as far as I'm concerned the KICK-ASS series is the ironic breath of fresh-air the increasingly epic legions of superhero movies needs every couple of years. I had a blast.

Extra Tidbit: Stay past the end credits!!!
Source: JoBlo.com

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4:40AM on 08/25/2013
Easily the most entertaining movie I've seen this summer so far. I'm really glad I ignored the overall RT rating and went with the JoBlo rating instead when deciding if I should go see this in theaters or not. Night Bitch = Best T&A of 2013!
Easily the most entertaining movie I've seen this summer so far. I'm really glad I ignored the overall RT rating and went with the JoBlo rating instead when deciding if I should go see this in theaters or not. Night Bitch = Best T&A of 2013!
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6:32PM on 08/17/2013

It was great

8 out of 10 sounds about right, very entertaining.
8 out of 10 sounds about right, very entertaining.
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8:40AM on 08/17/2013
Really enjoyed it, here's hoping it does well enough for Part 3.
Really enjoyed it, here's hoping it does well enough for Part 3.
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12:36PM on 08/16/2013
"His name is kick ass? ....should be more like ass kick (nerdy dad laugh)"
"His name is kick ass? ....should be more like ass kick (nerdy dad laugh)"
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11:14AM on 08/16/2013
Someone went through and voted down every reply. Grow up.

Saw the movie last night. It was a blast.
Night Bitch quickly made me stop mourning the loss of his gf from the first one.
Someone went through and voted down every reply. Grow up.

Saw the movie last night. It was a blast.
Night Bitch quickly made me stop mourning the loss of his gf from the first one.
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7:02AM on 08/16/2013
It has a 27% RT critics rating. I.e. a shitload of critics need to have a stick removed from their anus. Personally I doubt this is just as good the first one but 27% is major bullshit, which sounds like a character from the movie.
It has a 27% RT critics rating. I.e. a shitload of critics need to have a stick removed from their anus. Personally I doubt this is just as good the first one but 27% is major bullshit, which sounds like a character from the movie.
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5:52AM on 08/22/2013
yay I was trying to figure out what the deal with that was too. I haven't seen the movie yet but that seems pretty crazy. I'm gonna stop lookin there for movie reviews, and stick to the guys who actually watch films for the enjoyment here at joblo. stupid critics!!
yay I was trying to figure out what the deal with that was too. I haven't seen the movie yet but that seems pretty crazy. I'm gonna stop lookin there for movie reviews, and stick to the guys who actually watch films for the enjoyment here at joblo. stupid critics!!
2:45AM on 08/16/2013
Saw this the other night. It's good fun, and Jim Carrey is excellent in it. I'd say it's probably not quite as good as the original and has waaaayyyy too much expository voiceover, but it's still a bloody entertaining movie, and has some hilarious new characters.
Saw this the other night. It's good fun, and Jim Carrey is excellent in it. I'd say it's probably not quite as good as the original and has waaaayyyy too much expository voiceover, but it's still a bloody entertaining movie, and has some hilarious new characters.
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+3
8:41PM on 08/15/2013

Loved Kick Ass

Can't wait to see this. This and Elysium were my 'must see' movies this summer.
Can't wait to see this. This and Elysium were my 'must see' movies this summer.
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6:57PM on 08/15/2013
Kick-Ass 2 is better than the first in my opinion. Carey needs to do more films like this.
Kick-Ass 2 is better than the first in my opinion. Carey needs to do more films like this.
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6:34PM on 08/17/2013
He really was great in this, I really don't care about his opinions on the violence, what's important is that he was in it and he was very good.
He really was great in this, I really don't care about his opinions on the violence, what's important is that he was in it and he was very good.
+0
6:39PM on 08/15/2013
Sounds like this is pretty accurate to the comic to a point. They changed things for the first film, and I am guessing those things stick here. It sounds like they also took quite a bit from the Hit Girl comic, since all that stuff about her adjusting to normal life at school comes from that (and pleasantly so). I'm excited for this. Loved the first movie, loved the comic, and I have no doubt this will be awesome as well.
Sounds like this is pretty accurate to the comic to a point. They changed things for the first film, and I am guessing those things stick here. It sounds like they also took quite a bit from the Hit Girl comic, since all that stuff about her adjusting to normal life at school comes from that (and pleasantly so). I'm excited for this. Loved the first movie, loved the comic, and I have no doubt this will be awesome as well.
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4:52PM on 08/15/2013
I'm about to see this movie in a few hours. I'm excited!
I'm about to see this movie in a few hours. I'm excited!
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3:18PM on 08/15/2013
Wasn't even going to bother, but this review kinda got me in a mood.
Wasn't even going to bother, but this review kinda got me in a mood.
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2:06PM on 08/15/2013
I saw it last night holds up well to the first one. Also the bit with the boy band union j, that ain't no spoof they were on the uk X factor a few years after one direction. God knows how much Simon Cowell paid to have that in the film
I saw it last night holds up well to the first one. Also the bit with the boy band union j, that ain't no spoof they were on the uk X factor a few years after one direction. God knows how much Simon Cowell paid to have that in the film
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2:15PM on 08/15/2013
No shit? They suck yo!
No shit? They suck yo!
1:50PM on 08/15/2013
Not understanding the harsh reviews this sequel is getting on RT. Loved the first one and if this is basically a carbon copy of the first, I'm more interested in reading everyone's review on the box office take on Sunday.
Not understanding the harsh reviews this sequel is getting on RT. Loved the first one and if this is basically a carbon copy of the first, I'm more interested in reading everyone's review on the box office take on Sunday.
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2:15PM on 08/15/2013
If you dug the first one I'm 99.9% sure you'll like this.
If you dug the first one I'm 99.9% sure you'll like this.
1:41PM on 08/15/2013
I am glad to hear that. This is one of my most anticipated movies of this year.
I am glad to hear that. This is one of my most anticipated movies of this year.
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1:01PM on 08/15/2013

I hope its good!

I'm really curious how this one plays out. First one sits in the 70s at RT and the new one is in the 30s. But I'm hearing good things for the most part.
I'm really curious how this one plays out. First one sits in the 70s at RT and the new one is in the 30s. But I'm hearing good things for the most part.
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12:47PM on 08/15/2013
Glad to hear it doesn't suffer from sequelitis, and the change in writer/director didn't hurt it. A friend of mine was talking about Unbreakable and how it examines superheroes and comics culture in a different way from Kick-Ass. Maybe Unbreakable is like classical music, and Kick-Ass like punk rock.
Glad to hear it doesn't suffer from sequelitis, and the change in writer/director didn't hurt it. A friend of mine was talking about Unbreakable and how it examines superheroes and comics culture in a different way from Kick-Ass. Maybe Unbreakable is like classical music, and Kick-Ass like punk rock.
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12:37PM on 08/15/2013
I wish Carrey would have done his PR blasting of the movie AFTER I saw it. Now I'll just be thinking "Oh, he didn't really want to do this" while I watch his scenes. Sad.
I wish Carrey would have done his PR blasting of the movie AFTER I saw it. Now I'll just be thinking "Oh, he didn't really want to do this" while I watch his scenes. Sad.
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12:50PM on 08/15/2013
Yea totally, but it seems like he had no problem cashing the pay cheque for it though
Yea totally, but it seems like he had no problem cashing the pay cheque for it though
1:01PM on 08/15/2013
I think he did want to do it. But when it came time to do PR, he was feeling like maybe it wasn't something for him to be proud of with real-world events resonating with him.
I think he did want to do it. But when it came time to do PR, he was feeling like maybe it wasn't something for him to be proud of with real-world events resonating with him.
1:43PM on 08/15/2013
Carrey better be great in this. He made himself look like an even bigger douche w/ the way he's acted lately . . .
Carrey better be great in this. He made himself look like an even bigger douche w/ the way he's acted lately . . .
5:51PM on 08/15/2013
He's just a lazy person looking to get out of publicizing the movie.
He's just a lazy person looking to get out of publicizing the movie.
6:42PM on 08/15/2013
I think Carrey may have been skeptical about the film, but still enjoyed filming it. He certainly looks like he had fun in the trailers. I think the violence that happened in the country after the filming of the movie pushed his skepticism into that territory of not being able to condone it. Granted, at this point, he really doesn't have much going on, but I'm pretty sure if he was interested in nothing but the money, he just would have shut up and disappeared instead of saying anything.
I think Carrey may have been skeptical about the film, but still enjoyed filming it. He certainly looks like he had fun in the trailers. I think the violence that happened in the country after the filming of the movie pushed his skepticism into that territory of not being able to condone it. Granted, at this point, he really doesn't have much going on, but I'm pretty sure if he was interested in nothing but the money, he just would have shut up and disappeared instead of saying anything.
-1
12:37PM on 08/15/2013
Big Daddy taking on a warehouse full of thugs was my favourite scene by far from the first movie...in second place....was Kick Ass's first fight. Hit Girl's in the dark gun battle and her hallway gun fight could possibly be in second place too :o) I got so hyped up by the trailers...and reading the history behind the movie that when I saw it...I wasn't so impressed...let down a little, perhaps too. I enjoyed it...just nowhere near the level of hyped up-iness I'd reached when I went in to
Big Daddy taking on a warehouse full of thugs was my favourite scene by far from the first movie...in second place....was Kick Ass's first fight. Hit Girl's in the dark gun battle and her hallway gun fight could possibly be in second place too :o) I got so hyped up by the trailers...and reading the history behind the movie that when I saw it...I wasn't so impressed...let down a little, perhaps too. I enjoyed it...just nowhere near the level of hyped up-iness I'd reached when I went in to see it. This time, I've stayed away from all but one trailer. I didn't even want to read this review but couldn't resist.
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12:12PM on 08/15/2013
Excited for this one. Liked the first one, but didn't love it like most of the fans. I'm just disappointed that Nicolas Cage isn't back as Big Daddy since he was my favorite part about the first film. But maybe Carre will fill that void by stealing every scene that he is in.
Excited for this one. Liked the first one, but didn't love it like most of the fans. I'm just disappointed that Nicolas Cage isn't back as Big Daddy since he was my favorite part about the first film. But maybe Carre will fill that void by stealing every scene that he is in.
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11:23AM on 08/17/2013
"SWIIIITCH...TO KRYPTONIIITE!"
Best line reading ever.
"SWIIIITCH...TO KRYPTONIIITE!"
Best line reading ever.
5:01AM on 08/19/2013
You only like good comic book movies such as the green lantern, i hope you get hit by a bus.
You only like good comic book movies such as the green lantern, i hope you get hit by a bus.
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