Studio-Provided Plot Synopsis: His heroic antics having inspired a citywide wave of masked vigilantes, Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) joins their ranks to help clean up the streets, only to face a formidable challenge when the vengeful Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) transforms himself into the world’s first super villain in this sequel written and directed by Jeff Wadlow (Never Back Down). Dave/Kick-Ass and Mindy/Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) are about to graduate high school and become a crime-fighting duo when their noble plans are foiled by Mindy’s strict parents. Now, as Mindy hangs up her Hit Girl uniform and navigates the treacherous high-school social scene, Kick-Ass begins patrolling the streets with Justice Forever, a fearless group of urban watchdogs fronted by former mob thug Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey). They’ve got the criminal element on the run when Chris D’Amico lays his Red Mist persona to rest, and reemerges as The Mother Fucker, a powerful criminal mastermind with a loyal legion of henchmen. The Mother Fucker is determined to avenge the death of his late father, who previously perished at the hands of Kick-Ass and Hit Girl. Now, as The Mother Fucker and his minions begin targeting the members of Justice Forever, Hit Girl realizes that the only way to save Kick-Ass and his new friends is to emerge from her forced retirement, and fight back with everything she’s got.
My Thoughts: I quite enjoyed the original Kick-Ass. It wasn’t a perfect film, but there was enough that was different about the film to make it fun, in a perverse way. Unfortunately, Kick-Ass 2 doesn’t quite work as well as its predecessor. Among the problems: Dave is such a bland protagonist. Between Kick-Ass and Hit Girl, I’d be surprised to find someone who prefers watching the former over the latter. Bigger problems lie with Jeff Wadlow’s approach. In the original, Matthew Vaughn knew how to set up a fight sequence. Wadlow, however, is a big fan of choppy sequences that appear to mask limitations in fighting. Of course, we’ve seen Kick-Ass and Hit Girl fight, so audiences know that Taylor-Johnson and Moretz are more than capable of fighting. Also, while there’s still some subversive and shocking content, it feels like the film pulls back from being as outrageous as the original. Carrey’s performance is surprisingly understated, although way too brief for my liking. And for the one thing I truly enjoyed: an increased presence for Hit Girl, with some excellent work from the always-impressive Moretz. I’m not necessarily looking for a Kick-Ass 3, but the film does have me ready for Moretz’s take on a classic character in Carrie later this year.