MOVIE: ** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
Aaron Taylor-Johnson as KICK-ASS
Christopher Mintz-Plasse as CHRIS D’AMICO
Chloë Grace Moretz as HIT-GIRL
Jim Carey as COLONEL STARS AND STRIPES
Donald Faison as DOCTOR GRAVITY
Lindy Booth as NIGHT BITCH
Clark Duke as MARTY EISENBERG
Morris Chestnut as DETECTIVE MARCUS WILLIAMS
Directed by: Jeff Wadlow
BY KEVIN CARR
One of the greatest burdens a movie adaptation of a comic book faces is fans inevitably comparing it to the original source material. Sure, books and plays face similar problems, but there’s a special drama associated with developing a comic book or a graphic novel into a film. And unfortunately for everyone involved, the perfect adaptation rarely finds enough of a mainstream audience to legitimize itself.
The first “Kick-Ass” was a surprisingly fun but dark film with plenty of social commentary and great performances. Because it made money back against its relatively small budget, a second film was made. However, in trying to stay true to the original source material (which drew from multiple graphic novels, muddying the focus), “Kick-Ass 2” collapsed under its own weight.
You can go here for my full review of the theatrical film, as well as a plot synopsis and radio coverage. The short version is that all the good juju that the first “Kick-Ass” developed was squandered in this unnecessarily violent sequel.
There are mixed messages abound, both for the character of Hit Girl as well as Kick-Ass. On one hand, the movie glorifies the over-the-top excessive violence. This would be okay for a tongue-in-cheek shoot-‘em-up. However, it also tries to make poignant points about school popularity and being yourself. It also minimizes topics like rape and murder, both trying to make them hard-hitting on the characters but throwaway scenes in the same process.
“Kick-Ass 2” is a misfire of superhero proportions, probably working much better in the graphic novel format but finding a hard time to be believable in any extreme – whether it be a true-to-life superhero story or an over-the-top slug-fest.
There are some decent special features on the disc, including extended scenes, a feature commentary and the featurettes “Upping the Game,” “Creating a Badass World” and “Going Ballistic: Weapons & Stunts.” Features exclusive to the Blu-ray include an alternate opening, an unshot scene with Big Daddy returning, plus three featurettes: “An Ass-Kicking Cast,” “Street Rules: Showdown at the Evil Lair” and “Hit Girl Attacks: Creating the Van Sequence.”