Jim Carrey jumped atop his high horse earlier this year as the theatrical debut of his action sequel Kick-Ass 2 drew near.
The comedian, a sudden Second Amendment foe, decided at nearly the last minute his new film was part of the cultural rot related to violence like the school shooting in Connecticut. In short, he wouldn’t join the PR push behind its release.
Watching Kick-Ass 2, now available on Blu-ray, reveals the phoniness behind Carrey’s pose. Did the comic actor even glance at the screenplay, one chockablock with death, destruction, severed body parts and other grisly images that trump most R-rated features?
The horrors in Newtown weren’t the first gun-related tragedy the country has suffered, and we’ve been soaking in Hollywood violence for decades. Why rebel now? And, as executive producer Mark Millar pointed out, the first film was hardly a Disney affair.
It’s ironic because Carrey is both the best element of the sequel and its least utilized asset. In short, he’s barely in the film despite having more star power than everyone else involved. So why take a paycheck in such an ugly project in the first place?
The original Kick-Ass offered the element of surprise, a subversive take on superhero conceits and some electric action sequences.
Only one battle in the follow-up, a fight in a van traveling at a crazy pace, comes close to the dizzying frenzy found in the first film.
The sequel reunites Kick-Ass (Aaron Johnson) and Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz), but this time they’re joined by a team of superhero rookies led by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Carrey). The latter figure is a camouflaged do-gooder, a veteran looking to lead the team against the Motherfucker (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and his own squad of villains.
The film features a weak Mean Girls subplot, more goofy superhero names (Mother Russia!) and a reminder that some sequels simply shouldn’t be mounted without serious inspiration.
Kick-Ass 2 comes to fitful life in the final 20 minutes, what with that cleverly staged van scene and a fight between the armies of good and evil.
Yes, good and evil. Kick-Ass 2 touches briefly on a moral playing field, but its heart belongs to the stabbings, shootings and R-rated banter. It’s a thoroughly sour adventure, one Carrey should have avoided on creative grounds, not as a late attempt at addressing Hollywood’s thirst for screen violence and its potential ramifications.
The film’s Blu-ray extras include extended scenes, The Making of Kick-Ass 2 and a valuable look at the aforementioned van sequence. We also see how the film’s writer/director, Jeff Wadlow, tried to bring Nicolas Cage’s Big Daddy character back oh so briefly via a series of storyboard sketches.