Kick-Ass 2 Blu-Ray Review (Mania.com)

By:Tim Janson
Review Date: Monday, December 23, 2013
Source: Mania.com

Kick-Ass 2 is set a four years after the original film.  Dave “Kick-Ass” Lizewski (Taylor-Johnson) is now a senior in high school while Mindy “Hit-Girl” Macready (Moretz) is a freshman.  Dave begins to train with Mindy to become a true hero while Mindy is conflicted due to pressure from her legal guardian Marcus to give up the violent life.  Dave joins a like-minded group of citizen heroes to form the team Justice Forever, led by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Carrey).

After accidentally killing his mother, Chris D'Amico (Mintz-Plasse), formerly known as The Red Mist, inherits his crime-boss father’s estate and uses his wealth to assemble his own team of villains and swears vengeance on Kick-Ass for killing his father (as seen in the first film).  The group of pretend heroes quickly finds out that they are no longer playing a game as D’Amico’s thugs kill Colonel Stars and Stripes as well as Dave’s father.  Dave is determined to give up Kick-Ass for good until he is kidnapped at his father’s funeral forcing Mindy into action to rescue him.  Knowing that D’Amico has to be stopped, the pair teams with dozens of other would-be heroes to take on the villains in a climactic fight.  

While Kick-Ass 2 fails to live up to the high level of the first film it still manages to be an enjoyable, although standard action film.  Kick-Ass 2 lacks the heavy satire of the original and the shock factor of the violence and profanity has largely lost its comedic edge.  Carrey manages to pull off some notable moments although he would ironically distance himself from the film’s violence in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shootings.

The strength of the film lays with its leads Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloe Grace Moretz whose sincere performances trump the sheer incredulousness of the plot.  Mindy gets to be a real kid in the sequel, something we saw very little of in the original film.  She has to endure the same pressures as any teenager including ridicule and bullying by the school’s main clique of girls.  Like many kids she deals with the anxiety of trying to fit in to school life.  She once again is the highlight of the film’s main action sequences including the rescue of Dave from a van of D’Amico’s men and her battle against the giant female villain, Mother Russia.

Not all of the humor is lost.  The new superheroes only thought as far making their costumes and taking on catchy name like “Battle guy” and “Night Bitch” before becoming bewildered on what to do next.  Director Jeff Wadlow doesn’t have the same sense of sarcasm that Matthew Vaughn showed in the first film but there’s definitely more good than bad and Kick-Ass 3 is already in the pipeline to complete the series.

 
Blu-Ray Extras
 
Audio commentary with Director Jeff Wadlow and cast members Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Christoper Mintz-Plasse.

The Making of Kick-Ass 2 (49:00) – This five-part making of documentary looks at the development of the script, casting, weapons and stunts, creating the world of Kick-Ass, and shooting the final battle in the evil lair.  Features interviews with cast members although Carrey is excluded.

Alternate Opening (3:14) – Alternate opening with Dave having a nightmare where he is killed by some street thugs which prompts him to ask Mindy to train him.

Extended Scenes (14:04) – This collection of extended scenes cane be viewed with or without Director commentary and features: More scenes of on-the-street interviews with heroes; Mindy training Dave; Justice Forever team helping to serve the poor at a soup kitchen; Dave meeting with his friends at his dad’s funeral; and more from the climactic battle.

Big Daddy Returns: Unshot Scene (2:07) – This scene was storyboarded but never filmed.  Mindy gets a visit from her dad’s ghost during the attack at the cemetery.

Hit Girl Attacks: Creating the Van Sequence (5:15) – a storyboard to final film comparison in the scene where Mindy rescues Dave.


Mania Grade: B-
Rated: R
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jim Carrey, and Christoper Mintz-Plasse
Written By: Mark Millar, John Romita, Jr. (comic), Jeff Wadlow (screenplay)
Directed By: Jeff Wadlow
Original Year of Release: 2013
Studio: Universal Studios
Special Features: See Below
Series: