Attracting controversy over the graphic violence and explicit language yet winning an enthusiastic fan following, Matthew Vaughan’s 2010 hit Kick-Ass, based on the comic book of the same name by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr, grossed over three times its modest $28 million budget and was destined to spawn a sequel. Based on the subsequent adventures of Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Dave Lizewski and Chloë Grace Moretz’s Mindy Macready, in their guises of Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl, it is scheduled for release this summer.
Michael Flett – I loved the first Kick-Ass beyond expectation because it was unprecedented and riotous and subversive, but this feels like a retread. I know trailers for sequels always play it safe to draw in the same crowd, so maybe there is more to this, but it doesn’t feel like a progression. So now we’re facing off against a supervillain and the cops want to crack down on both sides – wasn’t that just done in Dark Knight?
Chloë Grace Moretz can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned, and I do like Aaron Taylor-Johnson, too – he wasn’t called on to do much in the first film, but having seen him, and totally failed to recognise him, in Anna Karenina, he is actually a splendid actor, so hopefully this will ask more of him. I don’t care for Christopher Mintz-Plasse, though he was perfectly cast in the first film as a character as whiny and annoying as he is in person, but if he is to carry the villain role, he really has to do more. I expect a lot of people will object to Jim Carrey, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt – he is a good actor when he needs to be, it’s just unfortunate that the roles he’s best recognised for require him to gurn rather than to act. If he has a good script and a good director, he will rise to it.
Which brings me to my biggest misgiving – Matthew Vaughan isn’t directing, Jane Goldman didn’t write the script. Who is this Jeff Wadlow person? He has his work cut out for him to match the first film, and so far his resume is decidedly unspectacular. Still, like Carrey, given the right circumstances, he may surprise us all, but looking at this, all I can see is very ropey green screen in that final action scene.
Adam Dworak – It’s awful. There are two options, that the trailer is underselling the film, and the best pieces are being saved for release, or this is all Kick-Ass 2 is going to be about. It’s not funny, it’s not interesting, it makes me think of Spy Kids with swearing. It’s lost the edge and sharp humour of the first film, which had a very specific atmosphere, but this just looks generic. And it has Jim Carrey in it, and usually the quality of film he is associated with is fairly low. This trailer makes it look shapeless and mediocre, and I think I’ll be skipping this one.
Sam Read – For me Kick-Ass took a successful comic book that I had enjoyed but did not love and turned it into one of the most engaging, fun and memorable superhero films of recent times; something I loved at first viewing and continue to. However, a big reason for it having had such a deep impact on me came from that crucial element of surprise. To use a suitable metaphor; when I switched on the Batsignal I expected George Clooney to respond. Instead Christian Bale rocked up. In the Batwing. And he brought sandwiches. Awesome sandwiches.
The sequel’s teaser trailer leaves me cold. It shows off, flaunts almost, the presence of all those elements that combined so well in the first film; ultra violence, home-made vigilantes and juvenile humour? All check. But, it doesn’t wear its swagger well, seeming self-conscious and looking weary of the weight of expectations it previously operated without. It also seems as if the backbone of the plot will match that of the original Kick-Ass 2 comic and this is a something that concerns most. The changes to the core events made in adapting the original to the big screen are what elevated it above its source material for me. I found the second volume of Kick-Ass the comic unappealing because it surrendered the very human heart of its predecessor for set-piece after set-piece, each overloaded with the very things that I had been okay in the moderation in the original.
There are great films that have demanded a ‘go-big-or-go-home’ sequel and for me Kick-Ass was not one of those. Unfortunately, this trailer suggests that ramping things up is the name of the game, and I hope this escalation doesn’t remove what made the first film appealing which I felt the second comic lacked, the contrasting tales of Dave Lizewski and Mindy Macready. But as with the original film I hope to be surprised again, and for my cautious initial impressions to come back and roundhouse kick me firmly on the jaw! Now, bring it on!
Gordon Robertson – Yawn…
The talent that made the first one such good fun, Matthew Vaughan and Jane Goldman, are missing and that’s so evident from this trailer which goes down the predictable ‘let’s remake the first movie but make everything bigger’ route.
So we get a gang of Kick-Ass wannabe’s, Red Mist becomes the MotherF*cker and Hit-Girl’s kicking ass while swearing scene gets some car crashes. The tag line should read ‘Bigger, Bolder, Boring-er’
Glenn Jones – Although I agree with many of the comments about the trailer perhaps underselling the movie here, I must remind everyone that Kick-Ass 2 is not merely a sequel to its predecessor, it is also an adaption of a published comic book sequel. Having read that series, all I can say is if it’s as close to the comic as the trailer implies it is, the film will be both harrowing, and awesome. Don’t judge a comic book by its poor cover!
Dario Persechino – THAT LOOKS ****ING AWESOME!
That was my first reaction, when my brain finished processing the awesome I took away this…
Jim Carrey is looking like a more menacing version of Watchmen‘s Comedian. He has a properly grizzled/edge of sanity appearance that I can’t wait to see more of. Hit-Girl has grown up and seems just as badass. I’m glad this seems like a straight follow on with the same cast. Kick-Ass himself seems to have spent the intervening years working through every Men’s Health workout (I started planning a diet right after seeing that). The fight scenes look as entertaining as the last movie. The only possible weak link is the villain, a gimpsuit does not funny make, and even in the first film he seemed to have a touch of the Will Ferrells. With that much awesome in the trailer though I’m very hopeful and cannot wait to see it!
Kevin Gilmartin – With the disclaimer that I haven’t read the second book:
I don’t have too much to say about it as it doesn’t give much away, but I think it looks like good fun and that’s what Mark Millar does with his work, he makes it all very good fun and the trailer had Millar’s mark all over it.
I loved the first film, which was reasonably faithful to the source material, and refreshingly so after the travesty that was Wanted, so I’ll definitely catch this on release.
Chloë Grace Moretz is superb in, well, everything, and I look forward to her performance. Jim Carrey as the A-List replacement for Nick Cage, however, I’m less convinced about. That said Carrey can rise to the occasion with the right script (The Truman Show remains one of my favourites) so I’m not going to pre-judge, but I have a feeling that his role will be one of comic relief.
Wes May – Not sure how many of you besides me have read the second Kick-Ass graphic novel series, but based on the trailer it seems as though they’ve done a pretty great job of capturing the tone of it. The books have a mean-spiritedness to them that is tempered with humor, and I saw that in the first film and this trailer. Without the original film’s creators, I do worry about how to handle the vastly expanded cast of characters, especially with Jim Carrey playing a role in it, as I worry he will follow his normal path and chew so much scenery that there will be nothing left standing. Also, I’m not a fan of Christopher Mintz-Plasse. I’ve never understood his appeal, but he does seem suited to play the obnoxious, wanna be gangster daddy’s boy that will become the MotherFucker.
Fortunately, Chloë Grace Moretz returns as Hit-Girl, and I enjoy her in any role she plays. They’ve allowed the character to age, which is not something that has happened in the comic book. She’s still 10 or 11 years old there, which is ludicrous, as there is likely no way such a diminutive girl could do the things required of Hit-Girl. The sequel features a story that, if they stick with it, is going to be so over the top violent and crude and ridiculous that it’s either going to wildly entertain or turn us all off. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is looking…ahem…much more suited for the role this go round, judging by the shirtless scenes. Again, ahem… I personally can’t wait to see this one, too.
Kick-Ass 2 is released on 19th July in the United Kingdom and on 16th August in the United States