Kick-Ass 2 Blu-ray Review
It’s been a few years since Kick-Ass and Hit Girl took down Frank D’Amico and his son Chris. Now, David Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson, NOWHERE BOY) is going to school and being bored out of his mind, while Mindy Macready (Chloë Grace Moretz, HUGO) is pretending to do the same.
The news is littered with wannabes, meaning Kick-Ass and Hit Girl aren’t on the streets and so not making good use of their costumes. Kick-Ass makes a proposition to his pint-sized friend: they team up and rid their city of the villains and scumbags. There’s only one problem: Hit Girl stole the show the first time around and so needs to train Kick-Ass to live up to his moniker. Soon after, he’s joins up with Justice Forever, which also includes heroes who go by names like Battle Guy and Dr. Gravity and Insect Man and Night-Bitch and, its leader, Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey, THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE).
Good timing, too, since Chris (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, MOVIE 43) is ready to become a villain (whose name literally is a more vulgar way of saying ‘one who has sexual relations with his mom’) and avenge his father’s death.
Never mind that point that Carrey refused to promote KICK-ASS 2 following the Sandy Hook shooting. Yes, the movie has a lot of violence, but so did the first, and so Carrey probably shouldn’t have signed on in the first place. (Like creator Mark Millar said, “A movie called KICK-ASS 2 really has to do what it says on the tin.”) The biggest issues with KICK-ASS 2 aren’t that it’s disturbing (which it isn’t), but that it shows why some movies don’t require a sequel, even if the final seconds of the original set one up.
Part of the reason for the original’s commercial and critical success was the over-the-top style and characters. It was also pretty smart for what it was, which is a satire on comic book movies and heroes. KICK-ASS 2 tries so hard to one-up the first in absurdity that the product ends up being goofy and, by the end, unwarranted. Director Jeff Wadlow (replacing the original’s Matthew Vaughn) incorporates a hectic style that leaves the viewer trying to catch up to the action, while the script lacks any amusing scenarios or lines—its idea of sharp wit is, “I’d rather be waterboarded than listen to Justin Bieber,” while its idea of a shocking moment is having a dog bite a man’s testicles.
Director Wadlow, whose previous credits include 2008’s NEVER BACK DOWN and 2005 slasher CRY_WOLF, also wrote the screenplay. While he gets the overall tone of the series (based on comic books by Millar and John Romita, Jr.), he seems to be unsure of how to please those that bought tickets both times around. KICK-ASS 2 just plain isn’t fun; it’s taken scraps of the original and blended them with elements from MEAN GIRLS, the worst parts of AMERICA’S FUNNIEST VIDEOS and the sorts of jokes even Kevin Smith would scrap.
KICK-ASS 2 BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: 2.40:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. KICK-ASS 2 is given a great high-definition transfer, with bright and lively colors (namely in the costumes) throughout. There is also an incredible amount of detail that highlights city streets, faces, clothes, and more. The one flaw that may irk viewers is that the highway chase/fight looks like even more of a green screen creation than it did in theaters.
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Spanish DTS Digital Surround 5.1; French DTS Digital Surround 5.1. Subtitles in English, Spanish and French. The dialogue is clean throughout, but it’s the sound effects and music cues found in the action sequences that are undoubtedly the highlight of this transfer.
Feature commentary with Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloë Grace Moretz, and writer/director Jeff Wadlow: Wadlow and some of his primary cast offer a solid commentary, offering up tidbits on KICK ASS 2’s production that fans will enjoy.
The Making of KICK-ASS 2 is divided into five sections: Upping the Game (7:06), in which Wadlow, Matthew Vaughn and more discuss early production; An Ass-Kicking Cast (12:06), on the cast (both returning and new); Going Ballistic: Weapons & Stunts (6:48), a look at various weapons and stuntwork; Creating a Badass World (7:57), about the production design and costumes; and Street Rules: Showdown at the Evil Lair (15:50), which offers a look at the final fight.
Big Daddy Returns: The Unshot Scene (2:07): Storyboards show the Big Daddy cameo that was never shot. Optional commentary by Wadlow is available.
Hit Girl Attacks: Creating the Van Sequence (5:15) is divided into three sections: “Storyboard Animatic,” “Stunt Previz” and “Final Film Comparison.”
Extended Scenes (14:08): There are 11 here, which can be viewed separately or as a whole. They are: “Real-Life Superheroes,” “Mr. Lizewski Works Out,” “A Half-Ass Kick-Ass,” “Fire That Fat Bitch,” “This Ain’t a Comic Book,” “It’s Called ‘Birth Control’,” “Promise Me,” “You Must Relax,” “Paying Respects,” “Eisenhower Gets It Started,” and “Hit Girl vs. Mother Russia.” Optional commentary by Wadlow is available.
Alternate Opening (3:14) with optional Wadlow commentary.