Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

Sadly, as much as it pains to me admit it: Jim was right.

Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is still the same old, lovable dork everybody remembered him as being three years ago. He still wants the ladies, he’s still awkward with his dad, and he still tries to save the day dressing-up as his alter-ego, Kick-Ass. However, times have changed since everybody’s favorite, real-life superhero came out and started saving the world, one dead drug-dealer at a time; now, it seems like everybody on the street who’s ever wanted to do something nice, is dressing-up as their own creation and getting ready to go head-to-head with the various baddies who run throughout New York City. Heck, they even have their own team, which is lead by the mysterious, but deadly force of nature known as Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey). Things start to get a little shaky however, once Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), aka, the Red Mist comes back to seek his revenge for his daddy’s death, but this time, has a new name and a dangerous posse along with him for the ride, wreaking havoc and disaster everywhere they show up. With Kick-Ass, the rest of his team, and Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz), D’Amico’s war-path of revenge may come to an end.

Despite it having its haters, I rather enjoyed the original Kick-Ass. It definitely had its moments where it went a little too far with its action, and definitely felt like it was a lot cooler than it actually was, but overall, it was fun, exciting, gory, and a nice change-of-pace from the usual, CGI-driven superhero flicks we usually get, and got that fine summer of 2010. Hence why I was looking forward to this sequel so much, even if it felt like the type of movie that didn’t need a sequel, nor did it really need to expand on its story. But you know what? It’s the summer; it’s action-y; and it’s Kick-Ass, so why the ‘eff not?!?

Just your typical, everyday teenagers; teenagers that will probably beat you within an inch of your life if you pull a butter knife on them.

Just your typical, everyday teenagers; teenagers that will probably beat you within an inch of your life if you pull a butter knife on them.

Well, here’s why not….

Nice transition on my part, I know.

Where I feel like this flick definitely hits its problems in, is its tone. The first movie took its violence seriously, but never too seriously to the point of where we couldn’t laugh or at least be amused by the image of some druggie getting decapitated. The point of Matthew Vaughn’s direction in that movie was to show violence in a form that didn’t make you feel guilty, but showed you violence that still meant something, without being overly-exploited. Here, under the new wing of Jeff Wadlow, it feels overly-exploited and nonsensical, which wouldn’t have been bad had the movie not tried taking itself so seriously at times. I get that the movie isn’t trying to condone these (sometimes) disturbing acts of violence, but at the same time, it doesn’t seem like it should really be glamorizing it all that much either.

But as the movie goes, it then continues to gets weirder with its view-point and its tone; which I thought wasn’t possible at all, but apparently I was dead wrong. What happens with this movie is that it gets very, VERY serious, and throws in pieces of action that would make any die-hard, action-junkie jump in the air, fists raised, but at the same time, also is too disturbing for anybody to really cheer for. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not pulling a Jim Carrey here and/or getting soft in my old age or anything, it’s just that I know when you can mix comedy and action together, in order to make the transition between the two seamless, and this movie’s transition is noticeable, if not off-putting. A scene by the end when one of these superheros named Night Bitch (witty, ain’t it?), gets attacked by the main group of baddies, and is shouting, screaming in fright, and looks like she’s about to be the victim of a very vicious, a very scary rape. I don’t know about you, but to put a “hinted” rape scene in any movie, whether it be a comedy or a drama, gets me feeling a bit uneasy, especially when it’s thrown into a movie like this, where it seems like they’re going for the yucks, but also the “Hoorahs!” and the “Yays!” of its heavy-male demographic.

However, I realize that I’m sounding more and more like a prude here, so I’ll just stop while I’m ahead of myself and before I lose my membership to Hardbodies Gym. Anyway, what I was saying about this movie is despite the tone being oddly “off”, the movie still has its moments of sheer fun and visual-grandeur, maybe it’s just not as smartly-written or as thoughtful as the first movie. Maybe so, but that said, it’s still a good movie that will have you all ready for the inevitable, final show-down between the goodies, and the baddies. Which is credit to Wadlow as the director, because even though we know where this story is going to go and how it’s most likely going to end, he throws in his own subtle-tricks of amping-up the story’s tension, little by little, piece by piece. For that, I have to stop busting his balls and give credit where credit’s due, but I also have to say that Matthew Vaughn was such a better director for this material; one that I hope they are able to get back if/when they make a third.

Look out, Aaron. You don't want to get caught wearing something of Nic Cage's.

Look out, Aaron. You don’t want to get caught wearing something of Nic Cage’s.

Though we all know he’s one sexy mofo underneath that whole, “I’m a total geek! Just look at my glasses and frizzy hair” facade, Aaron Taylor-Johnson is still serviceable as Kick-Ass, even though he isn’t given much heavy-lifting to do with this story. Instead, that honors given to Chloë Grace Moretz who not only steals the show when she’s being the feisty, fiery, little bad-mouthed gal that she is known as with Hit Girl, but also when she’s just living the life of a 15-year-old, high-school freshman. Yes, believe it or not, Moretz is getting a bit older and it’s about that time for her to start taking on more mature roles, and if this counts as the beginning for her, well, then she’s off to a pretty good start. Not only is it funny to watch her try to fit in with “the cool clan” of her grade, but to watch as she fails, time and time again. Sometimes it’s hard to watch because of how true it is about certain social-cliques within high-school, but Moretz’s unabashed sense of knowing that she can whoop any of their asses, makes it all the better just to sit back, and wait for her to extract her revenge whenever she sees fit. And when she does, trust me, it’s going to be deserved, if not disgusting. VERY disgusting, that is.

While Nicolas Cage isn’t here to steal the show like he did in the first one as Big Daddy, Jim Carrey is more than able to take his spot and do a little bit of scene-stealing as well, even if it isn’t the type of performance you’d expect from the guy. Not only is Colonel Stars and Stripes a bit of a nut when it comes to violence and the way he uses it on his victims, but he’s also a bit of an endearing figure, especially when we find out that he’s an ex-mobster, now turned born-again Christian. It’s a very strange role for Carrey, one that he doesn’t go too over-the-top with, but still owns and has a great time with. Shame that he abandoned any type of love or support for this flick, because the movie could have really benefited from it. And even though he’s still treated as more of a joke than he was in the last one, Christopher Mintz-Plasse is still enjoyable to watch as Chris D’Amico, now with his new name: The Motherfucker. Not much originality lies in the pens of those script-writers, but at least they know how to make a joke work a couple of times.

Consensus: Though the first one added an extra feeling to its punch, Kick-Ass 2 still delivers on the action, the violence, the humor, and the fun turns from its cast, but also doesn’t know whether it wants to be a serious superhero movie with disturbing bits and pieces of violence thrown in it, or a comedic superhero movie, with disturbing bits and pieces of violence thrown in it.

6.5 / 10 = Rental!!

"When the camera's are on, I'm your best friend. No need to worry. But when they're off, ehh, go fuck ya self!"

“When the camera’s are on, I’m your best friend. No need to worry. But when they’re off, ehh, go fuck ya self!”

Photos Credit to:


51 responses to “Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

  1. Jordan Rath August 16, 2013 at 4:47 am

    Great review. I was always pretty concerned about the change of director in this one because the second graphic novel does get pretty intense.

    As you know, I loved the first Kick-Ass…one of my favorites actually for some reason or another. Hoping that this doesnt leave me too disappointed but it seems I should temper my expectations a little bit.

  2. keith7198 August 16, 2013 at 5:21 am

    Nice review. This is yet another 2013 movie I have absolutely no desire to see. I know it’s a popular property but its not my thing. Sounds like I haven’t missed much here.

  3. Nathan Lee James August 16, 2013 at 5:50 am

    Awesome review! I’m actually really psyched to see this one, but not sure when I’m gonna make it out to the theater at the moment.

  4. sidekickreviews August 16, 2013 at 6:49 am

    That’s a good point about the tone of the movie. The comics also had sensationalistic violence with some moments that made me laugh. Nice review, I’m rethinking if I should watch it the theaters or wait for the home video.

  5. Three Rows Back August 16, 2013 at 7:11 am

    Yeah, your review seems to reflect general opinion that this hasn’t got the class of the first film. Strong review.

  6. angie chui August 16, 2013 at 8:26 am

    I am super stoked about this movie. I am seeing it this weekend 😀

  7. Terry Malloy's Pigeon Coop August 16, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Nice review Dan. I’m looking forward to this. I liked the first one, thought it was good fun. Reviews aren’t hugely positive though so i’ll be tempering my expectations a little.

  8. theipc August 16, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    I didn’t go on and read this because I plan to go see this tomorrow. your opening sentence makes me sad. Hopefully I like it more than you did. Hopefully.

  9. ianthecool August 16, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    The Mother F’er? Really? And the hero is called Kick Ass. Honestly….

  10. J.Ward August 16, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Thanks for this review – I am one of those who didn’t enjoy the first, so did not plan to see the second. I think your review helps solidify that opinion. I felt like the first one spent most of the time yelling at me about how cool it was. Seems like this one is doing more of the same. I’m interested to see if big fans of the first like this one.

  11. Filmbird August 16, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Great review, hit the nail on the head. I agreed with you especially about the tone of the film. I’ve reviewed it too if you wanted to check it out.

  12. samtotally August 16, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    I’ve been planning to watch this movie this weekend all week now. Great review. When will there be a sequel that is better than the first movie? I think I’m gonna die searching!

  13. Rodney August 16, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    Don’t chuck out that gym membership just yet, Dan. You gotta see the 300 sequel coming out soon, and you want your bod to be rock hard for that!! LOL!!!

    I’ve been reading some reviews on this film, and from what I can gather the film isn’t terrible, it’s just disappointing by comparison to the much more awesome original. Just a shame Matthew Vaughn decided to go off and do something else….

  14. sohansurag August 17, 2013 at 5:07 am

    Does it really have that issue (the one you’ve mentioned in the consensus)?
    I thought as its based on the Mark Miller comic sequel it’d no issues as to what it was.
    Ah well, will have to see it myself.

  15. Chris August 17, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Nice review, Dan. I’m gonna seriously need to rewatch the first Kick-Ass at some point, because I’m conflicted as to whether I like this one better or not. It’s not great, but it was a hell of a lot better than I ever honestly expected.

  16. Hypersonic55 August 17, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Well while I can see where you’re coming from in your review, I actually really liked the film. The film gave me everything I needed from a Kick-Ass, it had violence, a good plot and humour, great characters and an absurd over-the-top moments. I think it was just as fun if not more fun than the original.

  17. The Conductor August 17, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Nice review, Dan. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the first one, but I really enjoyed it. It’s a bummer that you felt the new one doesn’t match the first one, but I’m still really looking forward to checking it out. It has an incredibly solid cast!

  18. Mr Rumsey August 17, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Spot on review! We agree on pretty much everything I think – the attempted rape scene just made me feel very uncomfortable for the remainder of the film. It wasn’t handled very well in my opinion.

  19. Chip Lary August 18, 2013 at 4:54 am

    Believe it or not, they toned down the violence from the book A LOT. Motherfucker’s actions were far more evil in the book. The aborted rape that made you a little uncomfortable? In the book it was not only successful, it was a gang rape from all the villains there, AND it was Katie that was the victim, not the new female hero. And before going into her house he killed a bunch of children that were playing outside. Like you said, they play the character for laughs a lot more in the movie. It’s like Wadlow didn’t dare go to some of the places that Millar or Vaughn did. It IS a fine line to walk between having the violence and having some humor in it and maybe Wadlow didn’t have the guts or the skill to try to pull it off.

  20. Dan (Top 10 Films) August 18, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    In some ways I’m glad this one isn’t getting great reviews. Kick-Ass didn’t need a sequel yet the financial success of the original meant the studio had to milk the product. Shame this one isn’t up to scratch but not surprising.

  21. theartisticpackrat August 19, 2013 at 6:46 am

    Nicely written review. Wasn’t a huge fan of the first movie but did enjoy it a bit. Also, being a comic book guy, I’ve strangely never read the source material at all.Maybe I should put it on the list.

  22. Pingback: Kick-Ass 2 Review: F*ck You, Rotten Tomatoes | Rorschach Reviews

  23. apuffofjack August 20, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Good review, but I have to say I was bitterly disappointed with this film, and did give it a bad review. I just felt the novelty and the spark had gone from the characters, and it suffered deeply from a sense of familiarity with some of the more shocking elements. I loved the first, and seeing a film brave enough to put an 11 year old girl in a costume and say the C-Word thrilled me, but now, when she’s older and more familiar, it just gets a bit boring sadly. Huge letdown.

  24. apuffofjack August 20, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Good review, but I have to say I was bitterly disappointed with this film, and did give it a bad review. I just felt the novelty and the spark had gone from the characters, and it suffered deeply from a sense of familiarity with some of the more shocking elements. I loved the first, and seeing a film brave enough to put an 11 year old girl in a costume and say the C-Word thrilled me, but now, when she’s older and more familiar, it just gets a bit boring sadly. Huge letdown.

  25. Lights Camera Reaction August 20, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    I hated the first one, so I was pleasantly surprised by Kick-Ass 2. I do think a lot of the criticism its getting is unfair.

    Nice review. I was surprised by how little screentime Carrey had.

  26. Tim The Film Guy August 20, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Good review, its not quite as good as the first film but still plenty of fun 😀

  27. Pingback: Kick-Ass 2 (2013) Review | Tim's Film Reviews

  28. Evan Crean August 21, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Great review Dan. I didn’t quite understand why so many people complained about the violence in this film since it seemed about the same as the first one. I get what you’re saying about the tone of it being more serious, and that being an issue. I also love the first Kick-Ass, however I was very disappointed by Kick-Ass 2. I thought all of the female characters were horribly written, especially Hit-Girl. For someone who is so mature and no b.s. it makes no sense why she would even bother trying to fit in or to engage in the same catty behavior as her peers. Her whole portion of the movie felt more like a crappy Mean Girls sequel than one to Vaughn’s flick. I was also really bothered by the implied rape scene, especially when right after, the character admitted to it being her fault. WTF? Ugh. Jim Carrey is wicked entertaining though and surprisingly grounded. I also really liked Donald Faison and John Leguizamo’s characters. They saved the movie for me.

  29. kpcancerkid August 27, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Great review! And thanks for checking out my blog. I loved the first Kick-Ass for all its weirdness but I wasn’t very sure about the sequel. I felt the same way – it didn’t seem to need the sequel. Glad to hear it wasn’t a total bust.

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