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Kick-Ass 2 by Henry Jackman & Matthew Margeson (Review)

posted Aug 24, 2013, 5:25 PM by Kaya Savas

The first Kick-Ass was a surprise hit. It gave us a supremely over the top violent film that still felt real and had a deep emotional current. That film also strangely had 4 composers. Henry Jackman and John Murphy definitely took the reigns there as their music was the most dominant. Henry Jackman’s main theme became the heart and soul of the first film’s big feel. Jackman also gave us the dark tragedy of Big Daddy’s death while John Murphy’s iconic music took the score to grand heights. So where does Kick-Ass 2 come in? Matthew Margeson becomes the fifth composer to the party, but this time he had the luxury of building a score on his own, with the slight help of Henry Jackman. While Henry Jackman’s name is first I can assure this is Matthew Margeson’s show. Henry delivered the theme and structure while Matthew fleshed this whole thing out into one fantastically entertaining score.

Matthew Margeson never shies away from what made the first Kick-Ass great, and that’s a good thing. He also gives us enough progression to make it feel like this score has grown from the first one and is not a remix. When you move beyond Henry’s themes you will find a very well structured score to say the least. Unfortunately Margeson had to deal with the all-over tone shifting of this film, and some of that is reflected back to the score. The emotions are there, but the flow of them gets disrupted from time to time. Luckily the third act is one amazing dash to the finish. The “Warehouse Showdown” is an awesome 6-minute romp that is wonderfully structured, and it leads into a great finale for the characters.

Kick-Ass 2 is definitely a more focused score because this time only Henry and Matthew were involved. It doesn’t suffer from multiple personality disorder like the first film did, but the emotional flow is a bit weaker here than what Matthew Vaughn and company did in the first Kick-Ass. Margeson handles everything thrown his way with ease for a very impressive score that balances action with character exceptionally well. All the mild flow issues become invisible once you lose yourself in this fantastic effort.