Kick-Ass 2 Review: More Superheroes, More Fun, But Less Smart

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Kick-Ass 2 finishes off the summer 2013 superhero season in a way that summarizes how the whole summer kind of went.

After The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises took the genre to new heights in 2012, superheroes more or less treaded water in summer 2013. Kick-Ass 2 is the embodiment of treading water, yet doesn’t pretend to be anything else.

Iron Man 3 and The Wolverine both had some spectacular moments, but in the end they are hardly more than filler for The Avengers 2 and X-men: Days of Future Past. Meanwhile, Man of Steel was another half-hearted stab at Superman.

Kick-Ass 2 runs along the same path, showing us what happens to Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) after the events the surprise hit original.

The heroes are still at it, and Hit-Girl is still significantly more effective, once again stealing the scenes asking her to be vulgar and ultra-violent (a gimmick that has yet to lose its luster). But her story slows to grinding halt when she decides to do the normal high school girl shtick. Too many scenes felt poorly lifted from Mean Girls, but without sidestepping the clichés. At some points it even feels a little sexist.

Kick-Ass looks to start a team, only to find that one already exists.  Led by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey), Justice Forever is the Avengers of the Kick-Ass world. The founding members include a the reformed mob hitman, and devout Catholic leader, a set of parents wearing their missing son’s face on their costume, a gay teen refusing to wear a mask because it’s “too much like being in the closet again”, and a hero that goes by Night Bitch. This is where Kick-Ass 2 has its fun, letting the heroes, and Carrey, chew the scenery around them.

But superheroes do need villains, and Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) makes due on his promise. He assembles a counter team of villains to fight the heroes.

Yes, you’ve heard the story a thousand times since X-men came out in 2000. But there’s some good action and clever gags that will definitely keep you entertained throughout.

It dabbles in cliché far more than the original, and the dialogue is pretty atrocious, but Kick-Ass 2 is still mindless fun that expands on the original enough to have been worth making. Grade: B-

By Matt Dougherty

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