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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
Making a film adaptation of a piece of literature can be difficult. Since it is a different medium, the writers/directors have to make decisions on what to keep in, what to take out, and what to add. Many times, the adaptation can be disappointing because of that. Luckily, this wasn’t the case of Kick-Ass 2. If anything, the film is leaps and bounds better than the book and was a very satisfying experience.
I think what helped this movie a lot for me was that much of what I objected to in the Kick-Ass 2 comic was deleted from the film. Gone were the toddler killings, gang rape, and animal brutalization. In some ways, the movie acknowledges its comic book counterpart’s intensities and thankfully subverts them. The Motherfucker’s (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) line about him not being that evil nicely winks at some of that criticism.
That said, the film is still very violent as would be expected. This time, though, the violence isn’t done for shock value as it somewhat was in the first film. The movie was smart enough to realize that you really can’t do all that again. I think what really makes the violence here work is that it never goes over the top and it always stays grounded. Unlike the first film, it never really breaks its own premise.
Jim Carrey is great as Colonel Stars and Stripes. One thing you can always count on Carrey for is that he always dedicates himself to a role. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him phone it in. Kick-Ass 2 is no exception.
The real star of the show is, once again, Chloe Grace-Moretz as Hit-Girl/Mindy Macready. She steals the movie and her character is way more interesting than anything Dave/Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) does (in fact, he is kind of an asshole in this film). Hit-Girl is great here for completely different reasons why she was great in the original. She is growing up and the film plays into that by having her encounter hormones and “mean girls” for the first time. Not having any sort of real childhood, she doesn’t know how to deal with it. In addition, she is struggling keeping her past buried. Though there are plenty of laughs in there, there is plenty of drama to keep me invested in her plight.
Grace-Moretz sells it. I truly believe that she is quite possibly the greatest young actress working out there currently. I really hope she doesn’t head towards a complete breakdown as many child starts tend to do. I want more Leonardo DiCaprio and less Lindsay Lohan from her.
If I had to criticize, there were two minor things about the narrative that bugged me, but I don’t want to get into it as it would spoil some key plot points, and I’d rather not spoil anything.
I had toilet level expectations for Kick-Ass 2, but I found myself enjoying it way more than I should have. It isn’t a perfect movie, but it is a good, enjoyable two hours. I don’t regret seeing it. Though this film wraps up everything nicely, and there is no need for a third movie, I am interested in what might appear in a potential next chapter. Count me in.