kickass2

A bunch of actors bring lots of character to Kick-Ass 2, although the film isn’t intelligent enough to return the favor. It’s appropriate that it’s an action comedy about do-gooders in costumes, considering the masks are all the character the film’s able to give anyone. That may appease fanboys who are in it for all the fighting comic-book films have, but for as much dirty work as everybody here has to do to keep New York safe, the fight scenes are so busy they each become a hodgepodge of aimless action. Might doesn’t always make right.

All the same, try telling that to the eponymous superhero (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and his companion Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moertz), who even find themselves doing battle with deviants when they have to be in class, where everyone knows them as Dave and Mindy. As big of an issue as that creates for Marcus (Morris Chestnut)—who gave her father his word he’d look after her—and the dad (Garrett M. Brown) who does all he can to keep Dave out of trouble, it’s a bigger problem for Chris (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), who blames Kick-Ass for his father’s death. Although it’s easy to see what leads Chris to become a villain, he might’ve chosen a more conventional alter ego than the Motherfucker.

At least he has a name that’s catchier than Col. Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey), the big cheese behind Justice Forever, an assembly of heroes that acquires Kick-Ass but has to carry on without Mindy, who promised Marcus she’d forget about her life as Hit-Girl. It’s a delight for Dave to meet new faces (so to speak) like Dr. Gravity (Donald Faison), but it’s anybody’s guess how a band like this eluded him so long, given that his buddy Marty (Clark Duke) found his way into it as Battle Guy with a backstory that’s kind of familiar considering it involves his dad and mom dying after an opera. It’s good for a chuckle, but it’s dumb to call attention to a franchise that’s got more to offer.

The best thing this film has going for it, which may be Mintz-Plasse as the brat who has his butler (John Leguizamo) cut his ego down to size, also highlights one of its flaws—he doesn’t complement the action so much as he rises above it. All that’s left is another attempt at a blockbuster, one that’s bound to cap off a season of bombs.