Kick-Ass 2

I heard a mom calling this comic
Kick-Butt to her small child in a comic
shop last month.
"You Can't Fight Your Destiny."

Hello everyone, welcome back to The Tagline! Today as promised I will be talking about Kick-Ass 2, the sequel to 2010's film Kick-Ass, itself based on a comic book series of the same name, originally released in 2008. Kick-Ass 2's plot line vaguely coincides with the events of the Hit-Girl and Kick-Ass 2 comics, though the differences in detail are substantial enough that I won't be using the events in the comic as a metric for what goes on in the movies (and that's okay to do get over it seriously it's an ADAPTATION not a SCREEN CLONE). The film chronicle's Kick-Ass' attempts to step up his game and become a "real" superhero, joining the ranks of costumed do-gooders who were inspired by his actions in the original film. Meanwhile Mindy/Hit-Girl is forced into retirement by her adoptive father Marcus, and is subsequently drawn into a Mean Girls style high school nightmare. While all this is going on, Chris D'Amico, formerly Red Mist, has vowed revenge against Kick-Ass, and so assumes the persona of The Motherfucker, forming his own group of supervillains using the considerable wealth left to him by his dead father. What follows is every bit as violent as you would be led to expect from the first film.

Chris Turk as Gravity Dude (only half a joke).
So as I mentioned in earlier posts, I was initially filled with dread about seeing this movie thanks to a pretty generous negative reaction from critics. I had just been looking at numbers though, and not really what was being said. What I found on closer inspection was that a lot of reviews seemed to be the typical herd mentality, "Well other people are saying this, so I guess I should also have that opinion to maintain my level of pretentiousness" situation. Most of the negative reviews have a lot of nothing to say, using empty, "It wasn't as groundbreaking as the first and is far less of a meta-commentary" rhetoric to support their assertions. It makes you sound clever right? You must know so many things I don't Smarty McCriticperson. Or if you wanted to sound like a real hipster you said, "It just is a complete bastardization of the original COMIC upon which it was based." Now you have maaad comic street-cred too, so people will really listen up. We will ignore that the first Kick-Ass movie that critics liked so much also took a variety of generous liberties with the source material. It was okay then, but NOW I AM OFFENDED.

Justice Forever catches a cab, or something.
So let's talk about the originality meta-jerkoff bullshit complaint first, because it was the first one that came to my mind. Kick-Ass 2 definitely retreads ground that the first movie trail-blazed, I'm not going to tell you it didn't. I would have to wonder though if anyone would be happy if it did NOT do that. I think the complaint then would be, "it's too different from the first to even be CONSIDERED a sequel" or, "This movie is simply trying too hard to be different". I might think that second one if it had gone through some complex contortions just to stay new, rather than trying to strike a tone even with the first film, which is more or less what it did. As far as the first Kick-Ass being some sort of satire of comic book violence, I think you can honestly question how much the author of the Kick-Ass comic intended it to be a commentary to begin with (given that some of his other works include stretches of the Judge Dredd continuity) and certainly question if that was the intent of the first movie's director. I would also be dubious of anyone claiming that they enjoyed the first Kick-Ass mostly because of how clever its commentary of comic book violence was, rather than because they liked watching Nicholas Cage and Chloe Moretz murder people in superhero costumes. What I mean to say is, if this category of complaint was your big issue with the movie, you are probably either a liar or an idiot. Possibly both. Let's move on.

That gun probably weighs as much as her.
Are there things that you could take serious, legitimate issue with in this movie? Sure there are. If you don't have a healthy enjoyment of ultra-violence and profanity, you will have a really hard time enjoying this movie, and that's totally reasonable. I would say you'd have had the same problem with the first movie too though. If anything, I think that Kick-Ass 2 strikes a graver tone in regards to the consequences of one's actions and choices. In Kick-Ass there were not a lot of negative consequences that resulted from Kick-Ass' actions or decisions. He became internet famous, got a hot girlfriend, and blew a guy up with an RPG. The only... "good guy" who died was Mindy's dad, and that was due to his own actions, what with him waging a one man war against a mob boss. In contrast, Kick-Ass 2 is up to its neck in grim consequences. People die in this movie. Lots of people die. Some of them are people you like. That's a big part of what the movie is about. Actions having consequences. There's still the vulgar banter, the colorful action, but its tempered by the things that happen in between.

He really is a great actor, I can't tell he's upset at all!
In short, I think that if you really enjoyed the first movie, it is likely that you'll enjoy this one too. It isn't JUST more of the same, but that is on offer here. I find something terrifically disingenuous about saying you loved the first but that this one was somehow colossally worse, and suspect that there is some internet-grade lying going on. Jim Carrey also notably withdrew support from the movie after the Sandy Hook shooting, which was not super surprising given his already noted stance on gun control. I just find it surprising that he would then be in the movie at all, given that he had to have known what was going to happen in the film based on the script, and his actually being in the movie. To suddenly say it was not okay after the fact also seems like a maneuver to me and that's pretty uncool. I also am not seeing anything to suggest he donated his earnings from the movie to the school or families of victims anywhere, so I guess he didn't feel that bad.

That got a little heavier than I intended, sorry about that! Join me again on Thursday, when I will be a lot less grave in my discussion of maybe the most surreal and homo-erotic Christian allegory musical ever produced! No I'm not kidding it's all of those things!
I bet he's longing for the comfort of his Red Mist costume about now.

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