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Movie Opinion: Kick Ass 2 - How did they get it so wrong?

Like The Lone Ranger I didn't go to see Kick Ass 2 in the theatre because of its consistently bad reviews - despite being a big fan of the first film. Unlike The Lone Ranger, which I thought had potential if they'd done a few things differently, Kick Ass 2 almost completely misses the mark for what I hoped it might be.

SPOILERS: This is not a review. There will be spoilers right from the very next paragraph. Don't read if you haven't seen the film and still hope to go in not knowing what happens.

One of the most interesting things to me about this film, aside from the continuing story of the main cast, was Jim Carrey's presence, playing a character very different to anything I'd seen him do before. It's a character you barely get to know and, when he is killed about half way through the film, I was disappointed they killed off Jim Carrey rather than sad for the death of his character, Colonel Stars and Stripes.

Not only that but Colonel Stars and Stripes was really the only other credible superhero after Hit Girl on the side of the good guys. They really needed him in the battle at the end to make an unbelievable win for the good guys a little less unbelievable.

Jim Carrey could have added so much more to this film. I wasn't actually a big fan of his character, who comes across more of a thug than a good guy superhero. It's not that surprising that Jim felt he couldn't promote the film.

Beyond Jim, the first film set up Kick Ass and Hit Girl giving up the superhero life and going back to every day life. Hit Girl is living with Detective Marcus Williams, Big Daddy's best friend on the force from the previous film, entrusted with keeping her safe. That's fine.

We come into Kick Ass 2 with that premise but learn that Hit Girl is still being Hit Girl and Dave wants back in to the superhero life by becoming her sidekick.

It all starts to go south when Chris Diamico A.K.A. Red Mist, who is no longer Red Mist but takes on the ridiculous, whiney mantle of The Mother Fucker. A character who is a long way off from the "Wait 'till they get a load of me" villain he seemed to propose at the end of the first film.

Red Mist's new incarnation as the Mother Fucker might have worked better if it wasn't so obvious that the three main actors have all aged a few years. For a guy who's seen his dad killed, kills his own mother and hears his friend/assistant/body guard killed by his Uncle, he doesn't seem to take much from these experiences. Why the whole scene with his uncle is even in this film I'll never know as nothing substantial comes of it. It's treated as a small stepping stone to Chris realizing his potential as a super villain.

Mentally Red Mist's character never grows and he doesn't come across as a guy anyone would want to work for, even though he pays exceptionally well. Any one of the people in his gang could easily over power him and get hold of his money a lot faster. Especially since his uncle - who had more credibility as a bad ass in one scene than Chris does over two films - wasn't backing him up.

As a villain the Mother Fucker is unlikable in every way. Which is what you want in a villain but you also need to feel respect for them to be a true villain. Chris just doesn't cut it. Would have been far better to follow the uncle storyline with Chris still trying to earn the respect he just never had.

If you're like me, you really wanted to see more of Hit Girl in this movie right? Did you want to see more of her dancing in a faux fight scene? Did you want to see her being sweet ol' Mindy Macready trying to fit in with the 'cool' kids? Did you want to see her most awesome fight scene, not in costume? Did you want to see her get her ass handed to her in the climatic fight scene and only able to overcome a single protagonist via an adrenalin drug injection - despite, through two films she's shown she's a master at taking out multiple bad guys all bigger than her and barely raising a sweat?

What I like about Hit Girl in this film is that she doesn't feel she needs a team and isn't really that interested in having a side kick. She never involves herself with all the wanna be superheroes until the final fight and even then she goes for the toughest villain in the room and let's everyone else do their thing.

This film should have been all about Hit Girl Training Kick Ass to be a real superhero of her level whilst they worked on tracking down an actual crime boss (Chris' Uncle perhaps). Instead it was mostly about The Mother Fucker and his single minded and very poorly executed goal to get revenge on Kick Ass.

To top all that off Detective Marcus, who played a relatively important role in the first film is reduced to not only an ineffective guardian but also an ineffective cop. He never does anything even remotely credible to try and stop the violence. Then, when the police do start making a pro-active move they arrest all the good superheroes with no real evidence of any crime having been committed.

Even Kick Ass's own father, pretending to be Kick Ass, says that the police have no evidence and would have to let him go, yet somehow other members of the superhero team are out on parole despite doing less actual superhero work than Kick Ass in two films?

Marcus should have been trying to work the same case as Hit Girl and Kick Ass. Would have made for a good cat and mouse between them as Hit Girl and Kick Ass try to avoid being found out by Marcus.

At several points through Kick Ass 2 they showed Big Daddy's suit stored in a nice glass display case at some base that Hit Girl has (no doubt another safe house). I got the impression that by the end of the movie someone would be wearing that suit, but I didn't think it would be Kick Ass. Even then he was only wearing bits of it and it didn't really mean much. He was just wearing it.

There's no way Hit Girl would have let Kick Ass be Big Daddy's successor. Especially since he was partially responsible for the guys death. How interesting might it have been to see Jim Carrey play a character on the same level as Big Daddy and ultimately take on that role? I might have seen this movie in a theatre just for that.

I know this film is based on a comic book and that the first film kind of follows the characters origin story from the comics. I'm not sure if this sequel follows any comic book storyline. If it does then I can see how they might have ended up with this by trying to be faithful to a comic. If not then there was a much better film to be made with these characters.

It's a franchise that goes on and on about trying to be a superhero in real life yet this sequel looked more like a bad comic book movie than any effort to make it seem like a film attempting to ground its self in reality. Even though the first film had elements of escapist fantasy they blended much better with what the movie was trying to be.

In Kick Ass 2 we have a Super Villain that isn't even on the same level as Arnold Schwarzenegger's Mr Freeze in Batman and Robin. And there was nothing awesome about Mother Russia... could have stuck tubes in the back of her head and called her 'Bane'. The Hit Girl in Kick Ass 1 would've picked up a gun and shot her in the face.

On the plus side, if they did make a sequel with Hit Girl, this movie establishes her as being Hit Girl and not wrestling with trying to get back her childhood.  On the downside, the end credit final scene shows The Mother Fucker lives, suggesting he might be in a sequel. If that's the case then let's all hope having a shark eat your limbs off is the life changing experience that forces him to grow up into a real Super Villain.

There's an opportunity for a great third film with Marcus attempting to find Hit Girl to make good on his promise to Big Daddy. No doubt Kick Ass could be drawn in since he's the last one to know about where Hit Girl was heading.

If The Mother Fucker commissioned OmniCorp to make him into RoboFucker I might even be on board with that. Just so long as he man's up a bit and becomes a proper villain with actual purpose beyond avenging his Dad.



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