Director Jeff Wadlow (Never Back Down) shoots things uninterestingly and often-times in a kind of stutter-vision that feels like a cheat during the fight scenes - nothing here indicates much artistic vision beyond ensuring things stay in focus. At times it seems like the movie thinks it has something to say - about heroes creating their own villains, the importance of belonging to something bigger than yourself, and the need for family. In other words, all that stuff the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher Batman films thought they were saying too. Most egregious, though, is the way Kick-Ass 2 blatantly and unimaginatively delivers its Spider-Man "Uncle Ben Moment," because apparently seeing that onscreen twice in a decade wasn't enough.
The first Kick-Ass was genuinely, unapologetically in your face and tasteless; this is marketing people trying to copy an original and not quite getting it, like the difference between a home silkscreened Sex Pistols T-shirt made in the '70s and one bought from Hot Topic yesterday. Nothing herein is as interesting a choice as the way Nicolas Cage wore a Keatonesque Batsuit while enunciating like Adam West in the original, but to be fair, that's a hard act to follow. Don't get me wrong; I'm grateful the rape scene in the comics didn't make it in. I just wish more edgy humor had, or that the finale looked less like a restaging of Michael Jackson's "Beat It" video (unless you're actually going to put "Beat It" on the soundtrack and make it a deliberate thing).
And to also be fair, I do own shirts from Hot Topic myself. I buy them when I want to know exactly what I'm getting.