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article imageReview: ‘Kick-Ass 2’ lands knockout in spite of weak punches Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Aug 16, 2013 in Entertainment
In ‘Kick-Ass 2,’ the self-proclaimed superhero joins a group of normal citizens inspired to fight crime in costume, while Red Mist obsesses about avenging his father.
Being a superhero in the real world is tougher than one might anticipate. It involves a lot more pain and sometimes the good guy dies. These were the lessons of Kick-Ass. The sequel, Kick-Ass 2, shines a light on the loneliness of a secret identity and the risk of sharing a secret.
Keeping his promise to his girlfriend Katie, Dave (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) – a.k.a. Kick-Ass – quit the superhero business. Mindy (Chloë Grace Moretz), – a.k.a. Hit Girl – on the other hand, is keeping her skills sharp on school hours and concealing her exploits from her once-again guardian Marcus (Morris Chestnut). But they both take 180 degree turns when Dave gets bored with civilian life and Mindy promises to hang up the mask. Not confidant enough to patrol the streets alone, Kick-Ass joins Justice Forever, a team of run-of-the-mill superheroes taking down real-life criminals under the leadership of Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey). In the meantime, Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) – formerly known as Red Mist – goes to the dark side and becomes the super villain Motherf*@ker, forming a league of hired muscle to avenge his father’s murder by killing Kick-Ass.
One of the distinctive elements of this franchise is its dark approach to a once light genre. The good guys don’t always win and never emerge unscathed. The costume doesn’t earn the wearer respect or inspire fear in offenders – it usually does the opposite, inviting a butt-kicking instead. It’s bloody and it’s harsh, coming closer to mirroring reality than most comic book movies. Though it does still follow tradition with the death of a parent inspiring the child’s life’s mission to seek revenge against the perpetrators and all others like him/her.
Universal Pictures
Building on some of the elements established in the first film, this picture takes the one-liner to a new level. In addition, the eccentric collection of heroes and villains provides built in comedy combined with a touch of realism. A couple wear matching tracksuit-costumes in memory of their son, while a man attempts to redeem himself after years of criminal behavior. On the other side of the coin is a man who enjoys inflicting pain on others and a woman who could defeat an army single-handedly. As a result, there is a significant variation in the type of action featured in the film, ranging from amateur bullying to cartoon violence to hard-core hand-to-hand combat.
The addition of Carrey to the cast provides a surprisingly serious tone to the story as he takes on the role of the experienced predator guiding his team of novices into combat. Mintz-Plasse is given free-rein to be more exaggerated than ever, which results in delicious over-the-top dialogue and an enormous ego. A little older, Moretz and Taylor-Johnson resume their character personalities flawlessly, appearing to have grown even closer during the ellipsis between the first film and the sequel.
Conversely, there are parts that simply don't work. As Mindy tries to adjust to life as a regular kid, she must contend with a clique of mean girls and face the ugly pain of rejection. This is so cliché, even Moretz appears bored by her character's so-called development. This, paired with Dave’s back and forth on the superhero gig, softens an otherwise gritty, outlandish follow-up to the 2010 picture.
Rein in expectations a touch before purchasing your tickets and stay until the end of the credits for a treat.
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse
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