Kick-Ass 2 fails as sequel, succeeds as stand alone

While I thoroughly enjoyed the first Kick-Ass film, I cannot say I have ever classified it as one of my favorite movies.  Still, the first film is a zany, violent gem in modern geek chic cinema.  Thus, my expectations for Kick-Ass 2 remained on par with my opinions of the first. I anticipated a contradictingly endearing and brutal movie, enjoyable though perhaps not up to classics’ standards.  My expectations were not met.

Kick-Ass 2 follows high school senior Dave, who fights crime as superhero Kick-Ass in his free time, and fellow superhero accomplice and freshman Mindy, also known as Hit Girl.  The two partner and train in an effort to build their strength, only to have Mindy give up the superhero game right as the villain Red Mist reappears.  Red Mist is seeking vengeance on Dave for killing his mob boss father in the first film.

Kick-Ass 2’s plot carries out through a series of chuckle-worthy hijinks and sentimental moments interspersed with colorful language and stylized action.  However, none of these elements pack the same punch as its predecessor.

The relationship between Mindy and Dave is lukewarm throughout the entire film.  After the loss of Mindy’s own father, I expected some type of strong bond to grow.  However, the film wastes a great deal of its time enforcing a gap between the two and resisting the development of a romantic relationship.

Side characters like Dave’s friend, Todd, and his girlfriend from the first film have been replaced by different actors.  The switch will likely annoy fans of the first film looking for consistency in the series.

The hilarious offensiveness from the first film comes off as a watered down version of funny in this sequel.

Despite all the criticisms, Kick-Ass 2 is enjoyable when comparisons between it and the first film are eliminated.

A group of new superheros is introduced in the movie, and they become a loveable, vital part to the plot.  Best of all is Jim Carrey, who plays a former mob boss turned good guy named Colonel Stars and Stripes.  To juxtapose the superhero clan is a funny, twisted group of super villains.  Mother Russia is a hulking ex-convict who can take down cops and create obscene weapons in the blink of an eye.

The film manages to surpass its quirky characters and invoke empathy within viewers as Mindy and Dave mourn for those they have put in danger with their secret lives of crime fighting.

If you want to check out Kick-Ass 2, do so without any preconceived notions.  Abandon thoughts of the first movie at the doors to the theater.  If you do, you’ll feel pleased with the next 103 minutes you remain seated.  If you don’t, you may want to go ahead and demand a refund for failed expectations.

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