All the wonder and surprise of the first movie is gone. It's just aping the violence in other movies and other comic books.
If it works at all, fitfully, it's because of the precociously talented and in-control Moretz, who basically carries the entire film on her own small shoulders.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Sequel offers exactly the blend of R-rated nastiness and candy-colored action fans expect.
Even the novelty of a deadly, blasphemous Hit-Girl wears off, and all that's left is over-the-top violence and under-the-belt humor.
| Original Score: D
What was once shocking now just elicits a shrug.
| Original Score: C
The year's most unpleasant movie.
| Original Score: 0.5/4
The savvy wit and inspiration on display in the first film is absent in this dumbed-down, warmed over retread. Consider its ass kicked.
| Original Score: C-
"Kick-Ass 2" can't decide what it wants to be when it grows up: a vessel for unhinged vengeance and destruction or a meta-critique of those same impulses.
| Original Score: 2/4
Writer-director Jeff Wadlow establishes a premise and follows it without compromise, but the trail leads to a very ugly place. In the end, the journey wasn't really worth it.
It revels in carnage while lacking the visual style and gleeful humor of the original.
I miss Nicolas Cage.
There isn't anything good to say about "Kick-Ass 2," the even more witless, mirthless follow-up to "Kick-Ass."
| Original Score: 0/5
Cartoonishly violent, with blood spray, vomit spew, severed limbs, impaled torsos and more, Kick-Ass 2 has none of the punky flair of the Matthew Vaughn-directed original.
It's a smart, edgy, unpredictable action-comedy, the tonal opposite of overwrought sculptures like "Man of Steel."
| Original Score: 3/4
It no longer seems very smart (the YouTube and texting references are so 2010) and it's also not much fun anymore.
The meta-satire hits you over the head until not just your Spidey sense is tingling.
| Original Score: 2/5
...an even more pronounced cartoon that maintains the first film's habit of mocking comic conventions while rarely subverting them.
"Kick-Ass 2" has a mean-spirited vigilante streak the first film lacked (it seemed more concerned with justice, in its way), as well as a fatigue.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
What seemed edgy and brash in the original film is now routine and old-hat.
A joke isn't as funny the second time around, and maybe especially not if you shout it.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Bungles the original cult hit's stylized ultraviolence and blunts its wincingly sharp humor.
To stand out in a crowded marketplace, a sequel can't just kick ass - it has to blow minds.
While there are some solid gold moments, the story as a whole has an unfocused, meandering quality, and there are elements that simply don't work.
Sticking to the original's box-office-busting formula of blood, guts, boobs, and bad words, Wadlow sleepwalks through the material, failing to inject any personality into what's actually an incredibly disturbing story of pathological teens.
Honestly, this movie is rank.
While Kick-Ass 2 does a decent job of replicating the look and feel of the original (as well as that of the Millar comics), it doesn't have the same urgency.
"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.
A witless, mean-spirited sequel, "Kick-Ass 2" has the emotional maturity of an arrested 12-year-old and the ethical compass of a turnip.
A juvenile comedy of excess, in which skewering adolescent power fantasies looks an awful lot like indulging in them.
The whole movie could be considered a questionable attempt at appealing to 14-year-old boys, as the delightful irony of the first "Kick-Ass" was apparently exhausted before the sequel was made.
"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.
If the original felt like it was designed for adolescents, however, this follow-up feels like it was made by an adolescent, one with a whopping case of ADHD.
You might not mind that director Jeff Wadlow, even more than Vaughn, has made sure that it's only the images that are provocative--never the ideas.
The unloaded gun is also unfortunately a rather apt metaphor for the movie itself. Kick-Ass 2 may look powerful, but doesn't have much real pop.
You'll still be laughing, but where 'Kick-Ass' giggled at action cliches, this sometimes slips into them.
| Original Score: 3/5