Kick-Ass 2 squeaked over the line for me for a very weak recommendation.  The stunts are good, the cast is solid and the pacing makes it sail along, but K-A2 undermines it’s own concept in various ways.  (spoiler alert)

Like the first movie, it’s supposed to be about a “real” superhero.  In the first movie, it was fun to watch these crazy kids fight actual criminals.  The second movie expands upon that idea, bringing in more people who just want to be superheroes.  That part of the movie works, but Nic Cage’s character’s ghost looms large here, even though he’s not in it.  For one thing, he was the only one with actual, real training.  Sure, Hit Girl was trained by him, but the storyline is mostly about Hit Girl trying to adjust to suburban life.  That probably worked well in the comic, but on the big screen it plays like a TV show.  It’s a plot that’s too small for a movie.

Chloë Grace Moretz, Hit Girl, doesn’t quite pull off the “too young for this violence” thing like she did in the first film.  At the same time, the movie is a bit too gruesome.  What supposed to come off as funny is kind of shocking, stopping scenes in their tracks.  Aaron Taylor-Johnson is also getting too old to play a high schooler and although Kick Ass is the center of the plot, he’s kind of drowned out by all the supporting cast.  On point is Clark Duke, who plays his friend Marty, as a wannabe superhero.  Christopher Mintz-Plasse, AKA: McLovin from Superbad, tries to carry the whole movie on his own as the world’s first supervillain.  He and Duke’s comic timing work in the movie, but run against the over-the-top violence and plot that just can’t come together sensibly.

One of the major scenes that undermines everything is a character called Mother Russia, who kills 10 cops in an orgy of cartoon violence that’s just too over-the-top.  Additionally, McLovin’s evil plan doesn’t make much sense beyond the revenge motive.  Rather than concentrate on that, the story tries to include a bunch of side plots that are probably from the comic.  I’ll bet money they worked in the comic book, but in the movie they just clog up the screen with more wasted time.

I give Kick-Ass 2 my weakest thumbs up.  If you can catch it on cable TV (I saw on HBO) for free and you’re a fanboy with nothing better to do, it’s okay.  It’s a rental at best.