KICK-ASS 2 Review

by     Posted 1 year, 99 days ago

kick-ass-2-slice

We make excuses when we’ve done something wrong, and Kick-Ass 2 is full of excuses.  It thinks it can excuse its misogyny because it has Hit-Girl.  It thinks it can excuse its misguided notion of heroism because the costumed characters occasionally do a non-violent good deed.  It thinks it can excuse the juvenile antics because it’s occasionally morose and “serious”.  And the action is a poor excuse for what director/co-writer Matthew Vaughn provided in the first movie.  Kick-Ass 2 writer-director Jeff Wadlow is all too happy to seize upon the violence and quirks of Vaughn’s film and discards anything that played up the joy of playing a superhero.

Dave Lizewski / Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is ready to take his superhero game to the next level, and he wants Mindy Macready / Hit-Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) to train him.  Their paths diverge when Mindy’s guardian Marcus (Morris Chestnut) asks her to give up her sociopathic crime fighting, and try to live as a “normal” high school freshman, which means trying to fit in with the popular girls.  Without a partner, Kick-Ass teams up with a bunch of new superheroes led by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey).  Meanwhile, Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) is out for revenge against Kick-Ass, and adopts the supervillain alter-ego, “The Motherfucker”.  He then proceeds to build a team of supervillains to take down Kick-Ass and his costumed cohorts.

kick-ass-2-christopher-mintz-plasse

Wadlow sets out to up the ante of the first movie without understanding that Vaughn’s film was a balancing act.  Wadlow seems to think that the reason the Kick-Ass was popular was Hit-Girl, the irreverent humor, and the violence.  To some extent, that’s true, but their execution was key.  Hit-Girl worked because of the juxtaposition of a pre-adolescent girl performing spectacular feats of violence.  The irreverent humor came from sharper comedy that wasn’t just a collection of vulgarity, but a nice mix of insanity like putting a guy inside a microwave or using the The Dickies’ “Banana Splits” while Hit-Girl massacres a room full of thugs.  And the violence works because of the staging, editing, and choreography.

All of that skill and understanding is absent from Kick-Ass 2.  Rather than trying to fix any shortcomings of the first movie, Kick-Ass 2 lowers the bar and still manages to get some laughs and thrills, but it mostly negates the strengths of Vaughn’s movie.  Hit-Girl doesn’t work because Moretz is now a teenager, and her sociopathic tendencies are no longer adorable (it would be like if Eric Cartman got older).  The comedy rests on stuff like giving characters names like “Night Bitch”, throwing in a lot of swearing, and a “sick-stick” that can make people vomit and have violent diarrhea the same time.  As for the fights, Wadlow subscribes to the “shake the camera as an excuse for the inability to stage decent fights” school of thought.  There are some decent hits and decent laughs (I am not immune from the concept of the sick stick), but everything pales to what Vaughn accomplished.

kick-ass-2-aaron-taylor-johnson-kick-ass-chloe-grace-moretz-hit-girl

The sequel badly wants to emulate Vaughn’s film, but Wadlow doesn’t have a fraction of the talent or understanding to do so.  Vaughn’s movie is childish in the extreme, but it also has a child-like joy emanating from Kick-Ass.  There’s nothing in the sequel like Dave trying on his superhero outfit and play-acting in front of the mirror.  Carrey’s Colonel Stars and Stripes doesn’t match Nicolas Cage’s “Big Daddy” because Big Daddy had a real relationship with another character whereas Wadlow thinks that all we need is a goofy actor playing an outsized superhero.  Carrey’s not bad, but he doesn’t hold a candle to Cage being burned alive and screaming, “Now switch to kryptonite!”

Kick-Ass may start from the point of “Why aren’t there superheroes in the real world?” but it quickly develops to the point of having the comic book world changing our reality rather than claiming that reality still exists.  Vaughn, co-writer Jane Goldman, and the cast all understood this.  But Kick-Ass 2 still thinks the real world exists.  At multiple points, characters reiterate that this is the real world with real stakes and that their costumed antics have no place in it.  Keep in mind, this is a world with a taser-like weapon that makes people projectile vomit and have explosive diarrhea at the same time.  Reality hasn’t just left the building in Kick-Ass 2.  It was never there to begin with.

kick-ass-2-jim-carrey-colonel-stars-and-stripes

Except Wadlow thinks that if he can add in heavy moments like characters dying in ugly ways, he’s added gravitas to a movie where a character named “Mother Russia” (Olga Kurkulina) can snap people’s necks between her muscular thighs.  That’s not gravitas or reality.  That’s an excuse to try and makeup for nihilistic, childish antics.  It’s having Kick-Ass walking down an alley, and narrating, “Maybe Night Bitch was right…” without a trace of irony or self-awareness.  Wadlow’s movie does have self-awareness, but it’s in the worst way when, rather than actually try to fix what’s wrong, it lets the flaws stand and then tries to throw up an excuse.

Nowhere is this clearer than in the film’s treatment of women.  Kick-Ass 2 thinks Hit-Girl is the “strong woman” that can repudiate any claims of misogyny.  Rather than showing how Hit-Girl is “stronger” than the mean girls at her school, Kick-Ass 2 feels like Wadlow is carrying out a vendetta against all the women who have rejected him.  I don’t like getting personal against filmmakers, but the movie has a pervasive attitude of “All women are the same” that only comes from being spurned by women who wouldn’t give you the time of day.  Hit-Girl may be able to take down rooms full of thugs, but she’s no match for a dreamy boy band.  “It’s biology, bitch,” the queen bee mean girl tells Mindy in one of the year’s most stomach-churning lines.  The film seems to settle on “All women are bitches, but there are cool bitches like Hit-Girl and Night Bitch.”  Not only is this dim-witted, but Hit-Girl is more killing machine than young woman, and Night Bitch is more Kick-Ass groupie than superhero.  Also, when Dave gets dumped by his girlfriend early in the movie because she thinks he’s dating Mindy, it turns out his girlfriend was cheating on him.  If Kick-Ass 2 wants to end Dave’s relationship with Katie (Lyndsy Fonseca), that’s fine.  It doesn’t have to call her a cheating bitch on the way out.

kick-ass-2-chloe-grace-moretz

I will now proceed to point out one of the most misogynistic, awful scenes that basically sums up Kick-Ass 2 in a nutshell [Stop reading if you don't want this rotten moment "spoiled"]: The Motherfucker finds out Night Bitch’s true identity, and goes to her house.  There, he attempts to rape Night Bitch except…he can’t get it up!  HAR HAR HAR!  You see, attempted rape is funny if the rapist is impotent and has a tiny dick.  It’s not a scene against a woman (who is then beaten, and possibly raped, off screen by one of The Motherfucker’s goons at the supervillain’s request); it’s a scene criticizing the bad guy!  Don’t you get it?

Kick-Ass 2 shows Wadlow is the one who doesn’t get it.  He doesn’t understand you have work harder than mean-spirited, vulgar jokes with a heaping side of violence.  His movie looks at characters like Batman and Spider-Man and says, “Oh!  Heroism comes from inner pain!”  Kick-Ass saw superheroism another way.  It said “In the real-world, people can’t fly or shoot lasers from their eyes, but here’s a jetpack and some Gatling guns.  Go nuts.”  That’s not an excuse.  That’s an explanation of taking the bizarre nature of comic books and their relationship to violence, and then playing it for excitement and laughs.  Kick-Ass 2 can’t be excused, but it can fuck off.

Rating: D-

kick-ass-2-characters-poster




Like Us


Comments:

FB Comments

  • Nico

    Didnt you praised the movie like it was really awesome in the interview with Hitgirl´s actress?
    You said they all broght their A game and bla bla bla

    • JK1193

      Frosty interviewed Chloë, not Goldberg. But that type of behavior doesn’t surprise me. He interviewed Andrew Garfield for Spider-Man and praised his performance, but come to the review, dissed his performance right away, stabbing him in the back. Why hasn’t Goldberg done press junkets since then, I wonder why??? SMH

      • RiddleThemThis

        Are you joking me? Would you actually expect an interviewer to tell the actor that they believe the movie sucked during the interview and then continue to ask them about the film? Goldberg did what anyone would do, tell them they did a good job and then write how you really felt on paper.

      • Albert

        In that case, you simply should not give your opinion about the actor’s performance at all. Plenty of people do that while doing interviews. It is not an obligation or requirement to praise the performance of an actor every time you interview them.

      • Nico

        Sorry about the confusion, still one praises the performance (really taking time to do that when in other interviews he doesnt) and another writer basically sets the movie on fire while the actors are still inside screaming.
        Its not about being an asshole to the actor is about no being full of shit he could just not said anything about the quality of the movie and acting and say “i really enjoyed the movie, here is a question what do you collect?sorry i ran out of time”
        Still great website, but i noticed this in another movie that right now escapes my memory.

      • Nerdgasm

        This comment is dumb. It’s two different people. If they all followed one persons trumpet this website wouldn’t be good.

      • Harry Palm

        You can like an actor’s performance in a movie you don’t like. There’s been plenty of times I thought a movie was terrible, but an actor was good in it.

    • http://www.gotham-news.com/ Pietro Filipponi

      Steve did the KA2 interviews, not Matt

  • http://www.gotham-news.com/ Pietro Filipponi

    Agree across the board. It felt like an amateur outing from a guy who watched Kick-Ass and managed to get the same actors on board for a fan film.

    One thing: It’s Krypton light, not kryptonite

    • Kenny Smith

      Yeah no it’s Kryptonite, it’s pretty obvious from the soundbite. Comics are a large part of the movie and it’s implied that Big Daddy used these as inspiration in his training. Hence, instead of saying “Switch to the strobe,” he said “Switch to Kryptonite.” 1) It’s a homage to the comic lore they’ve established, and 2) It’s code for a strobe light which does contain krypton. It’s the same code system he used when he said “Robin’s revenge,” again taken from the comics whereby Robin left his cape as a distraction as he flanked his target (in this case Hit Girl left the strobe as a distraction).

      • http://www.gotham-news.com/ Pietro Filipponi

        Yes the Robin’s revenge is a homage to the Robin fight against a blind martial artist but a Krypton light is a type of halogen bulb utilized in high intensity tactical flashlights for hand use or gun rigs

        http://www.americandivingsupply.com/American-Diving-Supply-Tactical-Divie-Light-p/adl-100.htm

        http://www.combathunting.com/img-aqptf.gif

      • Kenny Smith

        Yes I understand, “…2) It’s code for a strobe light which does contain krypton.” In terms of parallelism, it wouldn’t make much sense to say “krypton light” (a very weak reference) followed by “robin’s revenge” (a very explicit reference).

      • http://www.gotham-news.com/ Pietro Filipponi

        He says Krypton light, and Hit-Girl immediately uses a Krypton light. Not sure what the issue is.

      • TheDevil’sAdvocate

        He says Kryptonite. It’s in the subtitles of the film on the DVD.

      • Harry Palm

        No, he says “Switch to Kryptonite!”. He was using code words for strategies they had practiced in training. Kryptonite was their code word for turning on the strobe light.

      • Kenny Smith

        I agree it’s a minor point, but you brought it up. Honestly I think one could make the case for either interpretation (they’re both essentially the same), but all the evidence I’ve seen suggests “Kryptonite.” Either way, agree to disagree.

      • Harry Palm

        No, there is no case for either interpretation. He says “Switch to Kryptonite!”. Anyone that says otherwise is wrong. Case closed.

    • ThatMFer

      Do all the ‘research’ you want. But all anyone has to do is listen with their ears and have a basic understanding of the human language to know that Big Daddy says “Now switch to Kryptonite.”

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=CIMo8kuKHP4&t=137

      • http://www.gotham-news.com/ Pietro Filipponi

        Do all the justification you want, but all anyone has to do is watch it on blu-ray with the closed caption on and you’ll see he said krypton light

      • brNdon

        Krypton Light would not come out as easily as kryptonite. And of course a closed captioner could never make a mistake

      • TheDevil’sAdvocate

        It actually says Kryptonite…

      • Jake

        Just watched it on Blu-Ray with CC on. It’s kryptonite.

      • Harry Palm

        Man, you’re wrong. Just accept it. Here’s the clip from the movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eksxzLoPSpI

        He says “Now switch to Kryptonite!” and Hit Girl says “Kryptonite!”. The end.

  • Raptor Jesus

    Tell it, brother. We need more honest reviews like this.

  • Nick

    What an ASSHOLE. Im serious, this guy will always tell the actors, and actresses that this movie was great & five minutes later write one shit*y review. Im sorry for cursing but this guy really pisses me off. 10 out of 10 of the time…. the movie KICKS ASS!!!

    • http://www.collider.com/ Steve ‘Frosty’ Weintraub

      I do the interviews. Matt does the reviews.

      • Liderc

        So do you guys always disagree about every movie, because I don’t see you telling cast members their movie was shit, but Matt always says they’re shit.

      • brNdon

        You do the interviews. Matt does the “reviews.”

      • GunzOfNavarone

        Matt did a video interview a while back with Martin Sheen when The Amazing Spiderman was out and told him he enjoyed the film, he then slagged it off in a review 2 days later. I haven’t seen him in a video interview for a while but still.

      • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

        Watch the interview again and read the review. I told Sheen I thought he was good in the movie. I never contradicted that point. I honestly thought the actors were good as was the 3D and the action scenes.

        If you’re going to call my integrity into question, try not to be so lazy.

      • http://thenonessentials.blogspot.com/ Sean Chandler

        When are you going to be on the Collision to debate with Matt on his reviews?

  • King_Leer

    Alright, that settles it: a review this rabidly negative from Goldberg=one ticket to see it from me. That last line is the best advertising I’ve seen yet for the film.

  • Death

    I thought the first movie was just fun enough and had just enough heart to justify its immaturity. From everything you said and I’ve seen, it sounds like this movie would mostly just piss me off. Now that Hit-Girl is a teenager, her vulgarity is mostly just weird (it was cute coming from a 10 year old, yes). I’ll probably end up seeing it because my friends want to, but not really looking forward to it.

  • Bigzilla

    You seem to be an expert with regards to what Jeff Wadlow is thinking. You should’ve been an entertainment psychiatrist. Perhaps then this movie would’ve turned out better.

    • scottish_punk

      Goldberg…entertainment psychiatrist? God help us.

  • Ramone

    Ug, I feared it KA2 would veer into this terrirory. This and Mark Millar’s recent comments seal the deal. I’ll skip this one entirely.

  • Nate B.

    Since nobody in their right mind will go to or avoid something based on a Collider review, I’ll go and judge for myself.

  • Alex

    You are so wrong, the movie is way better! it deserves an “A”

  • disqus_aETADV0o9o

    I am a HUGE fan of Kick-Ass 1, it’s one of my favorite movies of all time. Kick-Ass 2 is not as AMAZING as KA1 was, but i can easily say i fucking loved it and enjoyed the hell out of almost everything about it. If you love Kick-Ass 1, you should love Kick-Ass 2. I’m so glad this movie got made.

  • Smash-It Sid

    Pretty hilarious how people are getting at Matt for saying the director doesn’t get it, when they haven’t seen the movie for themselves.

    As someone who enjoyed the first Kick-Ass (both the movie and the comic) and as someone who’s actually SEEN Kick-Ass 2, I’d have to agree with Mr. Goldberg on this one. But of course, I’m no one to tell anyone else what to think, so do watch the movie for yourselves. You might find yourself at least understanding where he’s coming from, even if you don’t agree with hi- oh lord what am I doing on the Collider forums how did I get here SOMEBODY LET ME OUT OH NO FUCK I’VE BEEN INFECTED I’M TRANSFORMING INTO ONE OF THEM HEEELLLLLPPPP…..

    …….

    …….

    HURR FUCK MAT GIRLDBURF FACKUNG FAGGERT *vomits all over myself*

  • Bobby

    You sound like the guy at the party that says stuff like ‘I can’t believe a man would cheat when he a funny strong woman at home’ just to impress the one girl in the room, we get it you LOVEEEEE women; you understand them and want them to be treated equally, they’ll fuck you now they’ve read this.

    Also I doubt the director was actually trying to say rape was funny you goon

    • Bobby

      Also High school mean girls are only in this movie? Jeff Wadlow you started this craze about teenage girls being mean you bastard!!!!!!

      And please condemn straw dogs aswell theres a rape in that and what about American History X?

      • Nerdgasm

        You’re are pretty dumb. You misunderstood what he was saying. You just wanted to try and act bigger and better than the reviewer cause apparently you just stating “I’m smarter than Goldberg” and throwing out a couple of movies [Where the rape scenes are not done in the same context or light.] doesn’t make you cool or smart. Read the review again please.

      • Bobby

        Sorry :(:(:(:(:(

        Please explain how I am dumb? You didn’t make your point at all. I never said I was smarter than the reviewer, didn’t claim to be smarter or cooler but at least I explained my point.

        What so Sam Peckinpah didn’t glamorize rape at all in straw dogs? The woman was kissing her rapist back you doofus

  • Mike

    I actually agree with Goldberg’s general consensus on movies, I just wish he wouldn’t be so much like, well… us. It’s just these damn rants and tangents that he throws in there that really detract from the professionalism of the reviews.

    The rants can also be a bit misguided: in this review he really seems to tear into Wadlow (arguably past the point of professional critique), especially about all this misogyny business. Now, I haven’t seen this movie yet, but from pretty much everything I HAVE seen and read from trailers and the like, this seems to be a fairly straightforward take of Mark Miller’s KA2 comic… if your beef lies anywhere, it’s probably with Miller.

    I think a shake-up of some sort is in order, if only because every Goldberg piece these days turns the comments section into a discussion about Goldberg, instead of actually talking about the article itself. Anyways, that’s my two cents; I’ve been reading Collider for 3 years now and I figured it was time to finally throw my opinion into the mix, though I definitely won’t make a habit of it.

    • Nerdgasm

      There’s tons of differences between the comic and the movie. It wasn’t as straight cut as the first.

  • AlexTheKaiser

    Woow, quite an emphasis on the so called “Misogyny” of the film. Are you by any chance Anita Sarkeesian or that bitch with the red hair that interrupted that meeting in Canada?

    And by the way, if you didn’t enjoyed those things that you complained about in the movie then you would hate anything written by the comic’s author Mark Millar, because the excessive violence, the swearing and the overall tone of it it’s much more darker than in any Kick-Ass movie by far.

  • bradglucky

    A D- ? You must really watch some great movies like Fellini or Tarkofsky eh? Come on, the first half of this film rocked!

  • Alexson Philip

    *sigh* A lot of the morons who are complaining about the reviewer getting angry at Wadlow for the misogyny are the typical morons who have misogynistic tendencies and spit in the direction of social justice. If you really think someones reason to discuss a major issue in our world and how this film is filled with it, is because they want to impress women, then it’s probably you who would do such a thing.

    • Smash-It Sid

      Wh. What. An actual INTELLIGENT comment on the Collider boards?!? IMPOSSIBLE

      [Thank you. Honestly]

  • Alexson Philip

    Nice review though man. I think the sequel looks to be fun, but I do have a problem if a film thinks rape is funny…Oh well…I’ll give it a library check out anyways.

  • Pingback: It’ll Only Hurt A Little: Kick Ass 2 Review | Pixcelation Entertainment

  • Nate B.

    Goldberg’s just a pansy without a clue, Kick Ass 2 was the best comic book movie of summer 2013, not saying much considering the competition I know (Meh of Steel and Iron Man 3) but it was very entertaining and a worthy sequel for sure.

  • poppincherry

    Who the fuck is Eric Cartman?

  • poppincherry

    Why the hell do you douche bags always deviate from the conversation of the movie, huh? One guy strays and starts talking about his testicles hurting and from that we end up with a dozen fucking comments from balls sacks to why the hell didn’t my mom buy Any’tizers.
    Man, bite me!

  • Mezmero

    This is another one of those reviews where Goldberg just
    dosen’t get it. Why can’t you just enjoy the movie for what it is.
    KICK-ASS is made to be violent and filled with profanity. If a bitch
    cheats she is a cheating bitch,so I don’t understand your dislike
    of the directors view on that. I hope you don’t get VD Matt because
    your too forgiving,these hoes lie and KICK-ASS 2 was not meant
    for you.

  • Mezmero

    This is another one of those reviews where Goldberg just
    dosen’t get it. Why can’t you just enjoy the movie for what it is.
    KICK-ASS is made to be violent and filled with profanity. If a bitch
    cheats she is a cheating bitch,so I don’t understand your dislike
    of the directors view on that. I hope you don’t get VD Matt because
    your too forgiving,these hoes lie and KICK-ASS 2 was not meant
    for you.

  • Chuck

    Hit Girl worked big time here again and this film is very GOOD! B+ from me!

  • Chuck

    Hit Girl worked big time here again and this film is very GOOD! B+ from me!

  • cloud720

    Matt, you say that the director feels that all women are the same, but I don’t think that is his idea at all. It is important to remember that there aren’t many women in this movie. The characters that you are referring to are teenage girls. The whole point of the scene was for Mindy to have a way to relate to these teenage girls. I am sure that when the scene was written the writers thought to themselves, “well what do teenage girls have in common? I’ve got it, thief love for boy bands”. It was a joke at the expense of teenagers, not a commentary on women.

    And Matt, I don’t think the movie ever explicitly says that Dave’s girlfriend cheated on him. She said the other guy had a bigger night stick. It could just be me, but I took it as she saw it but that didn’t mean that she cheated on him. Maybe she walked in on him at a awkward time, maybe a friend showed her a picture. Could be anything, but your mind went to she is a cheating bitch.

    and finally, the can’t get it up joke was a nod to the comic book where an actual rape took place. There was a nod to the mother fucking shooting the dog too. I don’t fault the director for reference the source material while trying to be less offensive.

    okay last thing. The actress playing hit girl isn’t 10 anymore. If I understand you correctly a sociopathic little girl is cool? If I cared to go through your reviews I am sure I can find somewhere where you make reference to a sociopathic male being cool. I have the feeling that you only have a problem with a sociopathic young women. If I am right, what does that say about you?

    • cloud720

      To be clear I don’t believe all teenage girls like boy bands, and I don’t think a single joke implies that the filmmakers believe that either.

  • Pingback: It’ll Only Hurt A Little: Kick Ass 2 Review - Pixcelation Entertainment

Click Here