The first review I read of Kick-Ass 2 was not very positive. It was pretty harsh. But the dude never mentioned whether he liked the first one or not. So there is no confusion, and you can accurately weigh my opinion: I love the first Kick-Ass movie. I’ve read the comics, which I enjoy, but the movie is better.
It doesn’t really matter for the purpose of this review if I like Kick-Ass 2 more than the comics, but I do. Kick-Ass 2: The Comic is much darker in tone than the first mini-series. So I was a little concerned that Kick-Ass 2: The Movie was going to be darker in tone than the first film. It’s not. (See Joanna’s initial concerns here)
If you loved Kick-Ass, I have no reason to suspect you will not love Kick-Ass 2. The major difference, as far as characterization goes, between the film and the book is The Motherfucker. In the comic, MF is downright evil, it seems. The lines between comic fanboy and actually bad dude are no longer blurry for him. He rapes and is willing to kill anyone or anything, no matter age or species. Movie MF is still somewhat likeable. That is due in large part to McLovin (no, he now deserves to be called by his given name, Christopher Mintz-Plasse), but the character is definitely written a little different in the movie too. There are lines thrown in that almost make fun of how dark the comic got. So here, he’s just a kid who grew up reading comics and, much like our hero, he’s just trying to play the part.
And what about the ultra-violence that got all the media attention when Jim Carrey disavowed the film? Well, it’s not as violent as people might have you think. I mean, yeah, it’s violent. But in that fun movie way. Jim Carrey’s feelings are his own, and I will respect that, but I hope he is at least proud of his performance in the movie, because it was near scene stealing most of the time. And I’m not even a big Jim Carrey dude. The rest of the Justice Forever crew was good too. Donald Faison (aka the Immortal Murray from Clueless) is always a treat. Clark Duke, Lindy Booth, and, of course, Aaron Taylor-Johnson. All good in their roles. And obviously Chloe Grace Moretz still kicks some (not quite as) pint-sized ass. That goes without saying. Plus, John (Romeo + Juliet’s Tybalt, aka baddest badass dude you will ever see) Leguizamo plays the Alfred to MF’s evil Batman. But not really.
Nicholas Cage’s presence is missed. But, I mean, I miss his presence in every movie I watch, so that’s to be expected.
The bottom line here is that the movie is fun. It’s violent, there’s no getting around that, but hey, I watch horror movies, 80s action movies and Die Hard, and I’m betting you probably do too. I know a good review is supposed to pick apart the material and point out the flaws, even when the overall package is enjoyable. But there’s not much to pick apart here, in my eyes. Director Jeff Wadlow, like Matthew Vaughn before him, has managed to take a comic book that was based on the love of comic books and turn it into a movie about the love of comic books that is actually better than the comic books. Pretty mean feat, I say.