Saluting the joys of taking lives while joyfully obliterating the limbs of the loved, Jeff Wadlow’s sequel to the 2010 hit is indeed all about breaking bones in the most spectacular of ways.
Matthew Vaughn’s 2010 original was as equally violent, and it too proved quite shocking, but perhaps it’s excessive violence wasn’t so much as noticeable as it is here because it had a lot more to offer than pure shock value. That film, which introduced us to the powerless superhero characters Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Hit-Girl (Chloe Graze Moretz), supported its endless array of fight sequences with a really witty, smartly-written script and characters you couldn’t help but invest in and care about. What also worked for its ability to combine a sort of groundless in the unbelievable.
Take the adorable, very talented and über-flexible Chloe Grace Moretz out of ”Kick-Ass 2”, and there’s not a lot else to see here to enjoy – unless, of course, seeing people getting stabbed or decapitated is your idea of fun. In today’s times, when you only have to switch on the TV to see that such events aren’t just restricted to cinema screens but are happening more and more often, I don’t think anyone will argue it’s not exactly something they’d pick from the movie menu.
While director Vaughn, on the original, was able to divert attention to the film’s shock with his crafty libretto and compelling plot, Wadlow’s screenplay and direction is serviceable at best, seemingly interested in only getting the job done, so he can get back to turning the red up on more stabbing scenes. It’s all very A to B to C, with a stopover at D so someone can cut someone’s head off. The fights and shock-value action sequences are the main emphasis, and it’s a pity, because it only leads to squirming stomachs.
As a film, it’s OK. Moretz is drawcard; returning stars Taylor-Johnson and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, as hero and villain, respectively, seem to be having enough fun back in their super duds, but its tough teen Moretz who makes it all worthwhile. The actresses’ ‘Hit-Girl’ has a deeper storyline and a more credible arc than her co-stars, but had we spent more time with her and less with bloody limbs, the movie might have turned out more.. er, Kick-Ass.
Comedy king Jim Carrey is also rather impressive in the film, giving a performance that’s unlike anything he’s ever done, but he’s on the screen far less than we’d like.
A couple of others in the film are also quite enjoyable – Lindsay Booth as Night Bitch, I quite liked – but they’re brutally done away with before we can even get to know them.
There’s some fun to be had here, but it’s not through watching 50 people stab each other in harmony in an all-in-brawl stand-off.