To begin with, let me say that I thought Kick-Ass of 2010 kicked ass! Based on the graphic novel series written by Mark Millar, the movie was an absolute joy to watch, because of its uncharacteristic portrayal of superheroes, the seriousness with which it took its silly premises, the amazing casting decisions, the fantastic music that played in the background, the cool dialogues, the heavy action, and simply the raw energy that drove the movie forward. Heck, it even gave us one of those memorable Nicholas Cage performances that is such a rarity nowadays! So that is why when Kick-Ass 2 turned out to be so mediocre, lacking in every aspect when compared to the original, it felt all the more painful to watch. A comparison between the two films on various parameters makes this point clearer.
Kick-Ass 2 was more than just a disappointment. In a way it represented the wrong path that many Hollywood studios take towards building a sequel, which involves picking up the good points of the first film and stuffing them into any kind of a story. So we had more of Hit-Girl, more of the action, more of the profanities, while the story itself went for a toss.
Now Matthew Vaughn is talking of the possibility of a Kick-Ass 3. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? I felt Kick-Ass 2 had effectively killed the franchise. Even Kick-Ass was a modest hit, and not a big blockbuster, so one does not need to keep up with the franchise anymore than is needed. But Vaughn seems to have more faith in the possibilities that the franchise holds. In a recent interview with Yahoo! UK, he says the following.
We’re working on an idea for a prequel of how did Hit Girl and Big Daddy become Hit Girl and Big Daddy. If we make that, hopefully that will be the sorbet for the people that didn’t like Kick-Ass 2, and then we can go off and make Kick-Ass 3. I think we’ve got to do this prequel to regain the love that we had with Kick-Ass.
You have to give credit to Matthew Vaughn for not hiding from the fact that Kick-Ass 2 did not go as per plans. The idea of a prequel also sounds clever, for it distances itself away from Kick-Ass 2 and remains closer to the original Kick-Ass, which is the logical thing to do. But the audience isn’t usually that forgiving. And a bad sequel does not leave appetite for anymore movies in a franchise, even if it is a prequel that we are talking about. There would be exceptions for sure, and reboots are quite common – take for example Jurassic World which did not suffer from the weaker Jurassic Park III. However, such reboots have a longer time gap between the previous and the upcoming movie, during which, ‘time’ itself acts as the healing agent. So we would need something like five years to get over the damage Kick-Ass 2 had done! Another point which isn’t in favour of this franchise is that unlike other reboots, the original Kick-Ass had more of a cult following but wasn’t a big blockbuster (forgive me for saying it again), as say Jurassic Park which can survive a poor sequel and still keep making money. The studio would thus be really skeptical about another film in the Kick-Ass series.
If a prequel does start to take shape, we would definitely not have Chloë Grace Moretz reprise her famous role of Hit-Girl for she has definitely grown up. It would be difficult to get the audience excited about another Hit-Girl, and let’s face it, Nicolas Cage as Big Daddy is not going to be a big draw even if he is really good in that role.
Matthew Vaughn himself is right now working on Kingsman 2, a sequel which I am really looking forward to. So he must be pretty tied-up to give any serious thought to the Kick-Ass series. Don’t forget that Vaughn’s comment on the possibility of a Kick-Ass prequel was a response to a fan question, and not a direct announcement. So this is just one of maybe many ideas that Vaughn might have thought in passing on Kick-Ass series. In all likelihood, it will not happen, such is my gut feel. But if it does go through, I hope Vaughn comes back to direct it. Now that would be a good enough reason to give the Kick-Ass series another shot!