Oops, Maybe Jim Carrey Was Right
Kick-Ass 2 asks the question: what do you get when you take a wry satire of superhero movies like Kick-Ass and remove all of the satire? Well, mostly you just get a weird shitty superhero movie that kind of feels like it might’ve been shitty on purpose. Congratulations?
Kick-Ass 2 is kitschy, over-the-top, and by turns mildly amusing, obnoxious, nice to look at, stupid, and possibly offensive, but mostly it’s just pointless. I don’t know if something can be “more” or “really” pointless, but if so, Kick-Ass 2 is really really a lot pointless. Like infinity plus one pointlessness. Now I know, “Pointless” is often an unfair charge to level against a movie, because if the movie’s entertaining, no one worries about what the “point” was. What’s the point of a strip club? You go to see a show and they give you a show. And that’s fine. But “pointless” has scarcely applied so perfectly as it does to Kick-Ass 2, a movie that does nothing so effectively as make you wonder why you’re watching it.
Now, you don’t wonder “why am I watching this?” when you’re engrossed in a story. You wonder it when you’re watching something set in a confusing, heightened unreality where it always feels like someone’s trying to make a statement, but no statement exists. Imagine if Jonathan Swift had penned a sequel to A Modest Proposal where you couldn’t tell if he was serious about cannibalism. That’s Kick-Ass 2, a weird, fake satire. LET THEM EAT BABIES. I THINK.
The sad thing is, a lot of talent went into making this movie. It has some of the prettiest cinematography and set design I’ve seen, a fantastic cast valiantly committed to the material, and even a decent sense of language and comedic timing. But none of that matters because the movie isn’t about anything. It’s like Bob Saget’s last stand-up special – a mildly funny throwaway joke followed by ten contradictory taglines. It feels like it’s just flailing around trying to find a reason for existing in the first place.