The first of these is the juxtaposition of horrific violence in a movie where most of the violence is cartoon-like. There are two brutal murders (one that is like something from The Sopranos but with silly costumes and another that seems like something off of Oz or Breaking Bad) that are mixed with half-hearted attempts at humor that fall dreadfully flat.
It isn't that you cannot make jokes about horrific things but those jokes damned well better be funny. There is even a scene where a rape is about to take place that turns into a penis joke. Not funny.
Can you tell jokes about rapes that are funny? No, you cannot. But you can allude to the subject. Check out the scene in This Is The End that does it. The joke isn't ABOUT rape but about the attitudes of the characters, showing their mindsets and, to a degree, their hypocrisy. Remember how the film Something About Mary used a mentally handicapped character to set up jokes? Remember how that worked? Because we were laughing with him and not at him, because the jokes were funny and because the jokes were at the expense NOT of the handicapped character but of those around him.
That is probably the crux of the matter with why this movie just doesn't work--most of the jokes are obvious, most of the deaths are obvious and telegraphed and there is a pointless side-plot that seem designed to include ONE gag. That gag? A vomit and poop gag.
Do not get me wrong. I am not high brow. To quote the sage wisdom of the Frank Reynolds character from It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia; "Poop is funny." But it isn't ALWAYS funny.
The film, comparatively, is just not that violent. There are more violent basic cable television shows. I have seen a dozen films in the past year that are more violent than this. And the violence is generally the best part of this movie.
There are some pretty decent action sequences in the film, although the "final confrontation" seems more than a little flat.
All the actors in this movie acquit themselves pretty well--with a few exceptions. They are handed pretty mundane lines to deliver and the spit them out like pros.
But WHY, in the name of all that is holy, in an action film that glories in violence and mayhem, a film about vigilantes who dress up like super heroes, do you include a long aside that seems like something out of a teen high school TV series? This who portion of the movie is yawn inducing and could have been handled in a tiny fraction of the time (and as noted before the "payoff" is a poop and vomit joke).
Kickass 2 isn't all bad. There is some decent action. There are a few jokes and gags that sort of work. The actors elevate the rather dubious material and with a few, previously noted exceptions the film moves along fairly well. It just falls short across the board.