Kick-Ass 2 (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jeff Wadlow|
|Screenplay by||Jeff Wadlow|
|Based on||Kick-Ass 2 and Hit-Girl
by Mark Millar
John Romita, Jr.
|Music by||Henry Jackman
|Edited by||Eddie Hamilton|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Running time||103 minutes|
Kick-Ass 2 is a 2013 British-American superhero action comedy film based on the comic book of the same name and Hit-Girl, both by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr., and is the sequel to the 2010 film Kick-Ass, as well as the second installment of the Kick-Ass film series. The film was written and directed by Jeff Wadlow and co-produced by Matthew Vaughn, who directed the first film. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Chloë Grace Moretz reprise their roles from the first film as Dave Lizewski, Chris D'Amico, and Mindy Macready respectively.
The film was released on 14 August 2013 in the United Kingdom and Ireland and on 16 August in the United States and Canada. Matthew Vaughn's production company, Marv Films, produced the film alongside Universal Pictures.
The film was a box office success grossing more than double of its budget but failed to gross more than the first movie. The movie also received negative reviews, with many reviewers commenting on the pacing, strong level of violence and crude humor. However, despite not reaching anywhere near the level of audience acclaim that the first film received, audiences responded to the sequel much more positively than the critics.
Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), bored after having retired from fighting crime as Kick-Ass, begins training with Hit-Girl Mindy Macready (Chloë Grace Moretz) to become a proper hero. After accidentally killing his mother, Chris D'Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) is now in control of his family's money and reinvents himself as supervillain The Motherfucker, swearing vengeance on Kick-Ass.
Mindy's guardian, Marcus (Morris Chestnut), discovers she is still fighting crime and makes her promise to give it up. Dave's girlfriend, Katie Deauxma (Lyndsy Fonseca), has noticed Dave behaving strangely and breaks up with him, believing he is cheating on her with Mindy (She also reveals she has cheated on him). Dave resumes his life as Kick-Ass, joining the superhero team Justice Forever, led by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey). It includes Battle Guy (Dave's friend, Marty), Dr. Gravity, Insect Man, Night-Bitch, and the parents of a missing child named Tommy.
The team works at soup kitchens and patrols the streets before taking on the larger task of shutting down a brothel. Kick-Ass begins a relationship with Night Bitch. He and Marty try to get their friend Todd involved with heroics, but instead alienate him by calling his chosen identity, Ass Kicker, a copy of Kick-Ass.
Mindy, attempting to lead a normal life, tries out for the dance team at school, impressing the audience with her audition. Dave tries to convince Mindy to join Justice Forever, but she refuses, and promptly asks a boy to take her on a date. The date ends up as a cruel prank planned by bullies in her school, leaving Mindy abandoned in the forest to walk home alone. Dave consoles the tearful Mindy and encourages her to beat the bullies at their own game. The next day, Mindy does so with verbal put-downs and a crowd-control shock baton, resulting in her suspension from school.
Dave's father discovers Dave is Kick-Ass after finding his superhero costume. Meanwhile, The Motherfucker assembles a gang of supervillains and establishes an underground lair, including a tank with a live shark. He finds Colonel Stars and Stripes and has his henchwoman Mother Russia decapitate him before taunting Justice Forever on Twitter. He then tracks down Night-Bitch and attempts to rape her, though he is unable to attain an erection. When police arrive, Mother Russia kills all of the officers, resulting in a police clampdown on both costumed villains and vigilantes. When the police track Dave through his IP address, Dave's father claims he, not Dave, is Kick-Ass.
The Motherfucker, unconvinced the real Kick-Ass has been caught, learns from Todd, who had inadvertently joined The Motherfucker's group, that the man identified as being Kick-Ass is actually his father. The Motherfucker has Mr. Lizewski beaten to death in jail and sends a photograph to Dave, revealing his true identity as Chris D'Amico. A grief-stricken Dave vows to abandon his Kick-Ass identity, as he had promised his father. At his father's funeral, The Motherfucker's gang ambushes and kidnaps Dave. Mindy pursues their van, killing all but one of its occupants, rescuing Dave, and convincing him to confront The Motherfucker.
Dave and his superhero friends attack the villains' lair, where a brawl ensues. Hit-Girl is pitted aqainst Mother Russia, who initially seems to overwhelm the outclassed Hit-Girl. However, Hit-Girl tricks Mother Russia into injecting her with a syringe of adrenaline, which gives her the strength to kill her. Fighting on a rooftop, The Motherfucker nearly falls through a skylight, but Kick-Ass grabs him. The Motherfucker refuses help and falls, landing in his own shark tank, where he is mauled and left for dead.
Justice Forever decides to give up its superhero duties, helping people in their ordinary lives instead. Mindy tells Dave that because she is wanted for murder, she is leaving New York, but that the citizens need Kick-Ass. She kisses him before departing. Dave accepts the responsibility and begins training and upgrading his equipment.
In a post-credits scene, Chris, whose legs and penis were bitten off by the shark, screams for attention.
- Aaron Taylor-Johnson as David Lizewski / Kick-Ass
- Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Chris D'Amico/ The Motherfucker
- Chloë Grace Moretz as Mindy Macready / Hit-Girl
- Clark Duke as Marty Eisenberg / Battle Guy
- Morris Chestnut as Detective Marcus Williams
- Donald Faison as Doctor Gravity
- John Leguizamo as Javier
- Jim Carrey as Sal Bertolinni / Colonel Stars and Stripes
- Augustus Prew as Todd Haynes / Ass-Kicker
- Garrett M. Brown as Mr. Lizewski
- Iain Glen as Uncle Ralph D'Amico
- Lindy Booth as Miranda Swedlow / Night-Bitch
- Robert Emms as Insect Man
- Steven Mackintosh as Tommy's father / Remembering Tommy
- Monica Dolan as Tommy's mother / Remembering Tommy
- Andy Nyman as The Tumor
- Daniel Kaluuya as Black Death
- Tom Wu as Genghis Carnage
- Lyndsy Fonseca as Katie Deauxma
- Olga Kurkulina as Katryna Dubrovsky / Mother Russia
- Yancy Butler as Angie D'Amico
- Claudia Lee as Brooke
- Benedict Wong as Mr. Kim
- Charlie Clapham as Goth Kid
- Sophie Wu as Erika Cho
Additionally, comic book creators Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr., former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson's stepdaughter Angelica Jopling make cameo appearances in the film.
On 8 May 2012, it was reported that a sequel would be distributed by Universal Studios, and that Matthew Vaughn had chosen Jeff Wadlow, who also wrote the script, to direct the sequel. Later that month, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloë Grace Moretz entered negotiations to reprise their roles as Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl, respectively.
Chad Gomez Creasey and Dara Resnik Creasey performed uncredited work on Wadlow's script to make Hit-Girl more feminine and less crass in light of Moretz's older age.
In July 2012, Christopher Mintz-Plasse confirmed that he would return as Chris D'Amico who becomes the supervillain The Motherfucker. Mintz-Plasse expressed relief that a rape scene from the comic book would not be included in the film and went on to compare the gang violence in the story to the film The Warriors. That same month, it was announced that John Leguizamo would play a character named Javier, one of The Motherfucker's bodyguards.
In August 2012, it was reported that Donald Faison would play the superhero Doctor Gravity. Also that month, Yancy Butler was set to reprise her role as Angie D'Amico, Lyndsy Fonseca stated that she would return as Katie Deauxma in a smaller role, Robert Emms was cast as the former police officer turned superhero Insect Man, Morris Chestnut was confirmed to replace Omari Hardwick as Hit-Girl's guardian Marcus Williams, Lindy Booth was confirmed to play Night Bitch, a superhero seeking to avenge the murder of her sister, Andy Nyman was announced to play one of the villains named The Tumor, and Claudia Lee joined the cast as Brooke, the leader of a gang of school bullies.
In September 2012, Jim Carrey was cast in the role of Colonel Stars and Stripes, former gangster, born again Christian, and leader of superhero group Justice Forever. Also in September, Enzo Cilenti was confirmed to appear in the film. It was confirmed that bodybuilder Olga Kurkulina would portray the villainess Mother Russia. It was revealed that Clark Duke would reprise his role as Marty Eisenberg, who becomes the superhero Battle Guy, and that Augustus Prew would take over the role of Todd Haynes from Evan Peters, who becomes the superhero Ass-Kicker.
Principal photography began on 7 September 2012 in Mississauga, Canada. Once filming in Mississauga wrapped in late September, the cast and crew continued shooting in London, England, at Ashmole Academy. Filming concluded on 23 November 2012.
A few months before the film was released, Jim Carrey withdrew support for the film on account of the violence in the film and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Carrey wrote: "I did Kick-Ass a month before Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence. My apologies to others involved with the film. I am not ashamed of it but recent events have caused a change in my heart."
Mark Millar replied in his official forum, saying "Yes, the body-count is very high, but a movie called Kick-Ass 2 really has to do with what it says on the tin," and compared it to films by Quentin Tarantino, Sam Peckinpah, Chan-wook Park, and Martin Scorsese. Millar insisted the film concentrated on the consequences of violence rather than the violence itself.
Moretz also commented "It's a movie. If you are going to believe and be affected by an action film, you shouldn't go to see Pocahontas because you are going to think you are a Disney Princess. If you are that easily swayed, you might see The Silence of the Lambs and think you are a serial killer. 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."
Kick-Ass 2 received negative reviews from critics and mixed-to-positive reaction among audiences. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 29% approval rating with an average rating of 4.7/10 based on 154 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "Kick-Ass 2 falls short in its attempt to emulate the original's unique blend of ultra-violence and ironic humor." The film holds a score of 41 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 35 reviews, indicating "mixed or average" reviews.
Mark Olsen of the Los Angeles Times said "Kick-Ass 2 is a lesser version of what it appears to be, an uncertain jumble rather than a true exploration of outrage, violence and identity." Olsen found Hit-Girl dealing with ordinary life more interesting than Kick-Ass trying to be a superhero, but feels the story is marred by bad jokes about bodily functions. He criticized Taylor-Johnson's performance as "a charisma-free zone". Manohla Dargis of The New York Times said "There isn't anything good to say about Kick-Ass 2, the even more witless, mirthless follow-up to Kick-Ass." Dargis further criticized the misogyny and the poorly delivered jokes, as well as the director's failure to grasp the terrible beauty of violent imagery. PopMatters said "Like the age old admonition that too many cooks spoil the broth, Kick-Ass 2 suffers from having too many characters and not enough time to deal with them all." Gibron wishes there had been more time to explore the supporting characters, like Mother Russia. He notes the echoes of Carrie White in the Hit-Girl high school sequences. He suggests a Hit-Girl film would be preferable to "limp, unlikable results offered [by this film]".
Justin Chang of Variety said "Kick-Ass 2 improves on its 2010 predecessor in at least one respect: It doesn't make the mistake of trying to pass off its bone-crunching brutality as something shocking or subversive." John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter said the "Sequel offers exactly the blend of R-rated nastiness and candy-colored action fans expect."
Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian said "The sequel to 2010's punk-superhero rampage has lost quite a bit of shock value – but Chloë Grace Moretz's Hit-Girl is still the coolest thing in a cape." Owen Williams, writing for Empire magazine, notes that despite the larger cast of characters this feels like a smaller film, and calls it a "faithful adaptation of its namesake source comic" and in the absence of Mark Strong he praises Mintz-Plasse for holding his own as the villain. He calls it a "more modest success than the first Kick-Ass" and gives it 3 out of 5 stars.
Jon Niccum of The Kansas City Star said "It's hard to defend this followup to the 2010 modest hit as a 'great movie' -- and critics will no doubt chastise the graphic violence -- but it delivers an oh-so-satisfying saga of revenge, laced with dark, kinky humor."
In the film's opening weekend, Kick-Ass 2 opened in fifth place, with $13.3 million, behind The Butler (in its first weekend), We're the Millers, Elysium, and Planes (all in their second weekends). This placed it below industry experts' expectation of around $15 million and studio higher hopes of as much as $19.8 million, in line with the first film. The film would gross $28.8 million in the United States and $32 million in other countries for a total gross of $60.8 million, much less than the first film's total of $96.1 million.
In April 2012 while Kick-Ass 2 was still in pre-production Mark Millar stated that a third film was also planned.[bare URL] In June 2013, however, he revealed that it was not confirmed and would be dependent on how successful the second film was. Later the same month he further elaborated that if it went ahead, the third film would be the final installment: "Kick-Ass 3 is going to be the last one... I told Universal this and they asked me, ‘What does that mean?’ I said, ‘It means that this is where it all ends.’ They said, ‘Do they all die at the end?’ I said, ‘Maybe’ – because this is a realistic superhero story... if someone doesn't have a bullet proof vest like Superman, and doesn't have Batman’s millions, then eventually he is going to turn around the wrong corner and get his head kicked in or get shot in the face. So Kick-Ass needs to reflect that. There has to be something dramatic at the end; he cannot do this for the rest of his life."
Moretz has shown interest in returning for a third installment and would also be interested in exploring Hit-Girl's dark side: "I want to see something we haven't seen yet. Now we've seen who Mindy is, now we've seen who Hit-Girl is, I think we need to meld the characters together and have Mindy become Hit-Girl and Hit-Girl become Mindy. Maybe her natural hair has a streak of purple in it, maybe she really does go kind of crazy and go a bit darker since she lost her father." She also added, "I would only do the third one if it was logical. It needs to be a good script and a director, probably Matthew (Vaughn). The third film needs to fully wrap up the series and has to be a good note to end on."
On 30 August 2013, Millar stated that the film is "in the pipeline". In May 2014, while at a press junket for Godzilla, Taylor-Johnson stated he is still up for a third film but he is not contracted for it and there are no plans for one currently. In the same month, Christopher Mintz-Plasse revealed he had not heard anything but expressed doubt that a third film would happen due to the second installment's disappointing box office performance.[bare URL]
In June 2014, Chloë Grace Moretz echoed her co-stars' sentiments when asked about Kick-Ass 3, stating that "I hope, I wish. That'd be fun. That'd be great. I doubt it but I would love it". She also cited the second film's lower box office gross as the key obstacle to the third chapter being produced and suggested piracy was a factor: "The hard thing is if fans want a third movie, they’ve got to go buy the ticket to go see the movie. It was like the second most pirated movie of the year, so if you want a movie to be made into a second, a third, a fourth and a fifth, go buy a ticket. Don’t pirate it.” In August 2014, Moretz reiterated her previous statements and said "sadly, I think I'm done with [Hit-Girl]". However, in early December 2014 Moretz posted a photo on Instagram showing her at a shooting range, operating a rifle, leading to some fans reviving their hope for KA3 entering production soon.
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- Official website
- Kick-Ass 2 at the Internet Movie Database
- Kick-Ass 2 at Box Office Mojo
- Kick-Ass 2 at Rotten Tomatoes
- Kick-Ass 2 at Metacritic