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Kick-Ass 2 - 12/8/2013 8:17:43 PM   
Empire Admin

 

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Post #: 1
RE: memory - 12/8/2013 10:06:19 PM   
UTB


Posts: 9999
Joined: 30/9/2005
A more modest succes than my "new favourite film'? That's good news.
Post #: 2
RE: memory - 13/8/2013 10:43:27 AM   
Dead Mike

 

Posts: 54
Joined: 7/7/2011

quote:

ORIGINAL: theonering

You gave the first film 5 stars,and yet this is a more modest success.


Did Owen Williams also review the original or is this another assumption that all of the Empire reviewers have exactly the same opinion?
Post #: 3
RE: memory - 13/8/2013 10:01:57 PM   
Osric


Posts: 259
Joined: 3/9/2006
From: Hebden Bridge
lol to the first commenter lacking basic reading comprehension
Post #: 4
RE: Kick-Ass 2 - 15/8/2013 12:04:32 AM   
dconev

 

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Joined: 14/8/2013
Kick-Ass 2 has nothing interesting to say, except — perhaps — around its outermost and glossed over edges

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Post #: 5
Kick-Ass 2: Kick Harder. - 15/8/2013 12:45:31 AM   
TheMightyBlackout


Posts: 274
Joined: 28/4/2012
From: Oxford, UK
I enjoyed Kick-Ass 2 very much, but I'd be fibbing if I said it was anywhere near as iconic as its forebear. It spends a little too much time moralising, and not quite enough having fun. But when it is enjoying itself, you can't help but be swept along for the ride.

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RE: Kick-Ass 2: Kick Harder. - 15/8/2013 4:33:08 PM   
Wild about Wilder


Posts: 1684
Joined: 9/4/2010
From: Hertfordshire
Though I enjoyed it you have to admit they wimped out on some of the comics major points & have to agree it did seem a wee bit watered down compaired to the original in tone, colour & even music. I think Vaughn was really missing from this you only have to see some of the extras on the Blu Ray version of Kick Ass to appreciate what he went through to make the original as iconic as it was.
All in all a high 7/10. You just get the feeling it could've been so much more?

(in reply to TheMightyBlackout)
Post #: 7
RE: Kick-Ass 2: Kick Harder. - 15/8/2013 4:36:11 PM   
AxlReznor

 

Posts: 1623
Joined: 2/12/2010
From: Great Britain
Although I haven't seen it yet, I have to say the original "wimped out" on a lot of the points from the comic, too. And it was a much better movie for it. Mark Millar's writing is full of fucked up, horrible moments with no redeeming features just for the sake of it, and Kick-Ass 2 had even more of those, so wimping out is absolutely the best thing the filmmakers could do.

(in reply to Wild about Wilder)
Post #: 8
RE: Good, but violent, fun - 16/8/2013 12:34:46 PM   
No Diggity

 

Posts: 33
Joined: 16/1/2013
Good film, but not a patch on the original. Its biggest flaw is the ending. In Kick Ass hit girl took out an entire building of bad guys,,,epic carnage to a flaked out soundtrack..in this, its a generic bunch fight thats over in a couple of minutes...ho hum...i kept waiting for the level of insanity to be raised...
SPOILER mother russia kicking cops ass was the highpoint of craziness 20 minutes from the end...
Post #: 9
RE: it's ok - 19/8/2013 8:40:05 AM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4039
Joined: 19/10/2005
Dave Lizewski is having a break from being Kick-Ass, but is being trained to be tougher by Hit-Girl, aka Mindy Macready. Then Mindy decides to retire from her Hit-Girl persona at the request of her new guardian, and bored Dave gets back into his superhero career, joining a team of fellow vigilantes called ‘Justice Forever’ and getting involved in a physical relationship with one of them, Night-Bitch. However, Chris d’Amico wants revenge on Kick-Ass for killing his dad. Unfortunately, his mother doesn’t seem to care, his bodyguard Javier just does as told, and his uncle Ralph just wants to take back control of the family business and have everyone lay low. Accidently killing his mother, he decides to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a super-villain known as The Mother ******, hiring his own gang in the process…….


Kick-Ass was a real breath of fresh air, a wonderfully anarchic, often down-to-earth yet still often outrageous take on the superhero genre that was sometimes insanely funny, but also had heart when it needed it. Though David Gillespie sings its praises elsewhere on this website, I felt that, whilst overall a success, it did have its problems. Too many situations and even lines came from other films, while the idea of an eleven year old girl swearing like a trouper, even if the actress is thirteen in real life [which hardly makes a difference really], has surely got to be questionable, even in this day and age where foul language is sadly the province of the very young almost as much as it is of the young. Nonetheless, with its often razor-sharp script which parodied conventions as well as providing believable characters, outstanding direction by Matthew Vaughn especially during the action scenes, and excellent performances, it was a film which all involved could be proud of, and it also proved that you don’t need a huge amount of money to make a good film of this type.

So onto Kick-Ass 2, and the first movie ended with the possibility of a sequel, while since then writer Mark Millar, whose graphic novel of the same name provided the basis for Kick-Ass, wrote not just Kick-Ass 2 but Hit-Girl, continuing the story of Mindy. Unfortunately, even if you bear those factors in mind, Kick-Ass 2, which is based on both of the sequel graphic novels, still feels like one of those sequels that are made because the first film made money, not because the people involved really wanted to continue the story and cared about the characters. It was the director of Kick-Ass Matthew Vaughn who picked Jeff Wadlow to write and direct this sequel, and I bet he regrets it now. It has little of the humour, charm, heart and idealism of the first, just mechanically rehashing most of its ‘beats’, often to a tedious level. In this film Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl both decide to take off their masks and leave being superheroes four or five times and it becomes laughable, but not in a good way. The characters fail to be rounded as they were before, while most of the comedy seems to revolve around people saying rude sexual insults to each other. The story is even more derivative and is further hampered by far too many scenes, even important ones, lasting just a few seconds, as if the film was hastily cut down. Actually, I think it seems unfinished.

After the first few minutes we have our first action scene, and straight-away it’s obvious that you’re not watching a film that is anywhere near the first one in quality. One of the best things about the original is that each action scene was different and even filmed in a different manner. Here, with one exception, all you get is a load of martial arts fights which is appallingly shot with the camera being waved around trying to keep up with what is happening and hyper-fast cutting. Here’s an idea for all those incompetent directors and cinematographers who feel it is ‘cool’ and ‘edgy’ to shoot action this way: how about pulling back, letting shots last more than a second and keeping the bloody camera still so we can see what the hell is going on? The Wolverine had that problem, and before that World War Z [though that film was bad in many other ways too], and so forth. What is especially sad about the employment of this style in Kick-Ass 2 is that the film contains one really good action sequence involving Hit-Girl assaulting a van that is shot properly. Silly but very exciting, it’s probably the highlight of the film.

Much of the first half alternates almost like clockwork between three plot lines. There’s Mindy trying to settle in at high school and clashing with the’ royalty’, many scenes reminiscent of Mean Girls but without that film’s wit. There’s Dave forming a band of superheroes in scenes which are occasionally amusing but were done much better in Mystery Men. Then there’s Chris becoming the first super-villain and also forming a group of like-minded folk, which leads to a vile bit of business where he begins to rape someone but can’t ‘get it up’. I’m assuming this scene is supposed to be funny. It would have been better if the rape had actually gone ahead than it being used as an attempt to get a laugh. The film also attempts to have its cake and eat it several times like having Chris give his hench-people racist names. I laughed a couple of times, but too much of the script consists of either would-be funny stuff which falls flat or dialogue which is almost the same being repeated from scene to scene. And there is one scene which is just totally bad on all levels. It involves ‘Mother Russia’ and some cops in cars, and the combination of bad staging, awful editing, inept special effects and pure stupidity results in truly atrocious filmmaking which is painful to watch. The effects are often amazingly shoddy throughout. We’re all used to crappy CGI blood, but why on earth was it thought okay to show people vomiting when you can see a gap between the mouth and the vomit?

Most of the time, Kick-Ass 2 is not as bad as all that. In fact, it’s generally average viewing that passes the time reasonably enough if you switch your brain off and don’t want to care about what is happening on-screen. It’s probably more brutal than the first film, though the violence usually has less impact. It’s actually been considerably toned down from the comics and almost as much happens off-screen as on it, which brings me to Jim Carrey. I wonder if his decision not to publicise Kick-Ass 2 was not so much because of a reaction to the Sandy Hook killings, but because he took one look at his performance and felt ashamed. I consider Carrey to be an excellent actor in both comic and serious roles, but he seems lost here, never getting a handle on his character. Thankfully almost every other major member of the cast does a very good job. Aaron Taylor-Johnson emits considerable sensitivity and looks like he’s done a considerable amount of working out since the last film to boot, while Chloe Grace Moretz seems to be getting better and better and I can’t wait for her take on Carrie White. The stunningly gorgeous Lindy Booth, whom I can’t understand isn’t a big star by now, puts in what is easily her most memorable film appearance so far.

Watching Kick-Ass 2, I developed an even better appreciation of Kick-Ass then I had before. It was a delicate balancing act and navigated some difficult waters, but somehow, for the most part, they pulled it off. Consequently, Kick-Ass 2 feels like the movie Kick-Ass could have been if things hadn’t gone so right. Even the soundtrack, which reuses some of the original score themes but includes far less other music, isn’t anywhere near as good. It partially entertains, but is sunk by laziness [example: why bring back two strong characters from the first film and do nothing with them?], callousness and just plain poor filmmaking. The spark is gone.

Rating: 4.5/10


< Message edited by Dr Lenera -- 19/8/2013 8:44:45 AM >


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Post #: 10
RE: it's ok - 19/8/2013 10:10:22 AM   
AxlReznor

 

Posts: 1623
Joined: 2/12/2010
From: Great Britain
Three years have passed since the release of the original Kick-Ass, but three years is a long time when your USP was a foul-mouthed little girl. Said little girl has inevitably gotten older, but that doesn't stop Chloe Moretz' Mindy McCready (aka Hit Girl) from being the most interesting, well-rounded and best performed character in this sequel. Frustratingly, Hit Girl seems to be the only character that any time has passed for, as Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) and his group of friends, who were all 17 years old in the original movie are all still in high school.

That's one of a couple of problems Kick-Ass 2. The other big one being that this is the follow-up to one of the most fresh and original action/comedy movies in recent memory... quite frankly, the sequel was never going to be able to live up to that, because this time around we've seen it before. So to make up for this, new director Jeff Wadlow appears to have compensated with one of the most extreme cases of sequel escalation I've ever seen. There was plenty of dark humour in the original, but this time the humour is even more outrageous, and even darker... in some cases, they're pushing the boundaries of good taste, like when an attempted rape is brought to an abrupt end, but it could be argued that it wouldn't really be Kick-Ass without some of that. It's certainly less outright spiteful than the comic was. There are also plenty of dark moments that aren't played for laughs, one in particular brings out the best in Aaron Johnson, as you can really feel his pain through the screen.

Of course, with such a mixture of darkness and comedy, the tone is going to flip flop around a lot. I've seen this come up a lot as a negative in reviews, but ever since Bonnie & Clyde, I've enjoyed movies that can have you laughing one second, and having your jaw drop on the floor the next. It's a good effect.

The other way the sequel has escalated is of course, in the number of costumed characters on the screen, with Kick-Ass joining Jim Carrey's Colonel Stars And Stripes (he's great, by the way. I wish he was in it more), and his Justice Forever team - including Battle Guy, Night Bitch, Doctor Gravity, Insect Man and the grieving parents collectively known as Remembering Tommy - facing off against Chris D'Amico's rechristened Mother Fucker and his Toxic Mega Cunts (subtlety isn't his strong suit) - including Black Death, Genghis Carnage, The Tumor and the hulking Mother Russia. The escalation certainly works, with some entertaining brawls, particularly at the end, but the best action scenes definitely go to the two characters who actually know how to handle themselves in a fight - Hit Girl and Mother Russia.

Mindy spends most of the film retired as Hit Girl, trying to live a normal life at school and fit in with the self-professed "cool kids" at school, in a sub-plot that reminds of Mean Girls. It's actually a refreshing change of pace from all of the darkness elsewhere to check in with Mindy every now and then, even if the end of that subplot belongs in a post-American Pie teen movie more than it does in a Kick-Ass movie. But it's also clear that we're just waiting for Mindy to stop trying to fit in, embrace her destiny and start kicking ass again. Thankfully, when that time finally comes it doesn't disappoint, and both of her action scenes (one where she takes on a moving vanful of the Mother Fucker's thugs, and one where she faces off against Mother Russia) are undoubtedly the highlights of the film. Once again, the movie should have been called Hit Girl, because despite Dave now having some martial arts training, his fight against The Mother Fucker pales in comparison.

Oh, and the sub-plot with Todd would have been a lot more interesting if they hadn't recast him. I've never seen Augustus Prew in anything else before, but he was awful in this. A definite low-point of the film.

So to sum up, it doesn't have the privelege of being a surprise that the first movie had, so it never manages to recapture what made it so special, but it does make up for it with a lot of fun. Some people may be put off by some of its humour, but then Kick-Ass has definitely never been for everyone. (7/10)

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 11
RE: Kick-Ass 2 - 26/8/2013 1:12:38 PM   
Filmfan 2


Posts: 1054
Joined: 30/9/2005
Pretty enjoyable, but not a patch on the original. There was too much of an attempt made to recreate some of the scenes from the first film (the scene where the poker game gets smashed up tries to recapture Hit-Girl taking out the apartment, complete with wacky music choice, springs instantly to mind, and much of what made Kick Ass so enjoyable failed to light the movie up the same way this time around. I actually turned to the person I was with when seeing this in complete incredulity when that Union J scene popped up. That was so jarringly out of place and product placement like that doesn't belong in a movie like this, it really took me out of the film.

I really hope they leave it there, but I suppose if this makes enough bank...

< Message edited by Filmfan 2 -- 26/8/2013 1:15:40 PM >


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Post #: 12
NOT MUCH KOP (unfortunately) - 3/4/2014 5:44:10 PM   
ROTGUT

 

Posts: 400
Joined: 14/7/2008
Matthew Vaughan didn’t direct this time and boy does it show. The first Kick Ass was pretty good. Unfortunately, this film suffers from all the classic symptoms of sequelitis…..lousy script, lousy direction, run of the mill plotting, run of the mill violence and action - even Jim Carrey seemed a bit subdued. Hit Girl grows up and goes through all the usual boring teenage trials and tribulations at high school (yawn), Kick Ass is still a nerd and all his friends are all still nerds and the villains are pretty much played for laughs. Depressingly, not much thought has been put into any of this. The story is just a patchwork of badly written incidents, the characters all lifeless caricatures and the director (who he?) seems content just to amp up the violence and the rock music while ladling on the extra gore. If they want to do another one all involved need to up their game. TWO STARS




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Post #: 13
All the gear but no idea. - 23/4/2014 2:41:16 PM   
Nicky C

 

Posts: 703
Joined: 31/5/2006
Kick-Ass 2 has all the ingredients but it doesn't know how to sell them. There's nothing wrong with this movie except the director doesn't have any interesting ideas about where to put his camera ... but that's a massive problem. The complete lack of cinema manages to suck all the life out of the performances and action instead of enhancing them. I was quite angry about how boring this was because I could see how there was a good movie trying to get out. You suck, Wadlow!

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Post #: 14
For True fans of the Kick Ass series! - 21/7/2014 4:51:59 PM   
dannyfletch


Posts: 651
Joined: 25/5/2008
From: Bromley
I'm not gonna jump on the critic band wagon and slag off Kick Ass 2 just because it wasn't directed by Matthew Vaughn! Jeff Wadlow actually does a very sturdy job in the directors seat and this picks up nicely from the first installment with suitably over the top/violent action, some hilarious jokes (the sick stick had me in stitches) with some great support from Jim Carey. For true fans and not the ones who don't understand or appreciate the Mark Miller source material!

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Post #: 15
For True fans of the Kick Ass series! - 21/7/2014 4:52:22 PM   
dannyfletch


Posts: 651
Joined: 25/5/2008
From: Bromley
I'm not gonna jump on the critic band wagon and slag off Kick Ass 2 just because it wasn't directed by Matthew Vaughn! Jeff Wadlow actually does a very sturdy job in the directors seat and this picks up nicely from the first installment with suitably over the top/violent action, some hilarious jokes (the sick stick had me in stitches) with some great support from Jim Carey. For true fans and not the ones who don't understand or appreciate the Mark Miller source material!

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Post #: 16
For True fans of the Kick Ass series! - 21/7/2014 4:52:44 PM   
dannyfletch


Posts: 651
Joined: 25/5/2008
From: Bromley
I'm not gonna jump on the critic band wagon and slag off Kick Ass 2 just because it wasn't directed by Matthew Vaughn! Jeff Wadlow actually does a very sturdy job in the directors seat and this picks up nicely from the first installment with suitably over the top/violent action, some hilarious jokes (the sick stick had me in stitches) with some great support from Jim Carey. For true fans and not the ones who don't understand or appreciate the Mark Miller source material!

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Post #: 17
For True fans of the Kick Ass series! - 21/7/2014 4:53:06 PM   
dannyfletch


Posts: 651
Joined: 25/5/2008
From: Bromley
I'm not gonna jump on the critic band wagon and slag off Kick Ass 2 just because it wasn't directed by Matthew Vaughn! Jeff Wadlow actually does a very sturdy job in the directors seat and this picks up nicely from the first installment with suitably over the top/violent action, some hilarious jokes (the sick stick had me in stitches) with some great support from Jim Carey. For true fans and not the ones who don't understand or appreciate the Mark Miller source material!

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Post #: 18
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