"Kick-Ass 2" falls flat on its rear
Published: Monday, September 2, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 2, 2013 23:09
The first “Kick Ass” was a great exploitation film and possible satire of the superhero genre. Everything was so over the top and absurd from the acting to the mindless graphic violence, but it all came together and managed to be likable, even if you are left unsure which one the film was aiming for at the end. After reading interviews with the directors and producers, it seems that, unfortunately, they are convinced they have created a franchise of real superhero films comparable to “The Dark Knight.”
In a way the title is accurate because this film is really just a big middle finger and ass kicking to an audience expecting to be entertained. I suppose after you make a film like “Kick Ass” with such graphic sequences to please the fan boys it’s mandatory to up the violence for the sequel. However, “Kick Ass 2” seems to think it is a real movie about real things. The film keeps reminding us that these are real people without super powers and that they can die and expects us to buy into the action with higher stakes and take it seriously with the intensity of a Christopher Nolan superhero film or even the latest “Spiderman.” It is a tad bit counter-productive to bring in these themes and then give us an action sequence where a 15-year-old girl gives herself a shot of adrenaline and proceeds to stab a gigantic female Russian bodybuilder with a shard of glass 457 times at a speed not even Superman or The Flash could dream of exceeding. As I mentioned, the worst part about this is not the failed attempt at exploitation, but the failed attempt to create a real drama. Jim Carrey’s recent disassociation with the film over the violence led the director to defend his film as a work with anti-violent messages and themes, comparing it to the work of names like Scorsese, Tarantino and Peckinpah. If he had said Robert Rodriguez and told me there would be a crossover “Machete” I may have believed him.
The irony of Jim Carrey’s disassociation is that his role was one of the film’s redeeming qualities. His performance was one of his best in recent years, but his character is not given enough development or time to really matter. The same applies to most of the cast who are actually intentionally written to be walking archetypes and offensive stereotypes to get a laugh out of the audience. The film’s plot is absurd. The subplots are worse. There’s a 30-minute plot line about Hit Girl wanting to be a normal teenage girl and being crushed by the popular queen bee in an R-rated “Mean Girls” fashion. It could almost be satire, but again the film needs to take it so over the top that it becomes the very thing it may have been trying to mock. None of this really matters since the whole thing was awful to begin with. The acting and dialogue in this subplot were the worst of the entire film, but we cannot let the rest of the film off the hook, as it was almost equal. A lot of jokes are made that are not funny. A lot of them are offensive and a lot of them are offensive in that they are trying to be offensive, but are just plain immature. The film really feels geared towards a 12-year-old male audience. It has mindless action, vulgar language and immature humor, but there is really not much more to offer. Although I find a guilty pleasure in silly action movies, “Kick Ass 2” pretends to be something else and takes it so far that not even that pleasure can be fulfilled.