Kick-Ass 2 opened last Friday to a disappointing 28% on Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer; however, 76% of the audience
say they liked the film. The average rating among the audience members is exactly the same as its predecessor, Kick-Ass. Both films have an average 3.9 out of 5 stars on the popular review aggregator. Critics loved the first film; it received a 77% on the Tomatometer. So what exactly did the critics miss the second time around?
Kick-Ass, released in 2010, was based off of the British comic of the same name by writer Mark Millar and illustrator John Romita Jr. The first film was considered a commercial success, bringing in over $95 million at the box office. It received mainly positive reviews from critics. There was some controversy over the violence and language in the film, but that is nothing new. The film brought a new light to superhero films and was a comedic success as well.
Upon hearing about the plans for a sequel, many fans were delighted. Aaron Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse all reprised their roles as Kick-Ass, Hit-Girl, and Red Mist respectively. Jim Carrey joined the cast as the badass Colonel Stars and Stripes, the leader of a team of homemade masked vigilantes known as Justice Forever. Things seemed to be going smoothly for the film until June of this year, when Carrey tweeted about his feelings on the film’s violence: “I did Kickass a month b4 Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence.” Carrey refused to participate in any further promotion of the film.
Carrey apparently set off a chain reaction of people feeling bad about the large amount of violence in the film, as following his disinvolvement with the film, critics too complained about the film’s allegedly gratuitous depiction of violence – but I think they missed the point. Towards the end of Kick-Ass 2, after an intense all-out battle between the good guys and the bad guys, Kick-Ass asks, “Did we finish something that only started when I put on this masks?”
A moral of the movie was that when we take matters into our own hands, whether it be violently or not, there are consequences. When Chloe Grace Moretz spoke out about her co-star Carrey’s objection to the film she said, “It’s a movie and it’s fake, and I’ve known that since I was a kid… I don’t want to run around trying to kill people and cuss. If anything, these movies teach you what not to do.” Is it possible that a 15 year old girl got the point of this when adults and critics were blinded by recent events?
Mark Millar hopes for a third and final film to finish out the trilogy – and as for how it all ends Millar won’t say. Does Kick-Ass die? That would be the most realistic ending to this realistic superhero saga. Death is the ultimate consequence to someone without the powers of Superman or the money of Batman.
Kick-Ass 2 was everything the first one had to offer plus more. It is just a damn shame that due to unforeseen events critics couldn’t see that.
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