Director : Jeff Wadlow
Cast Headliner: Aaron-Taylor Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jim Carrey, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Original Release Date: August 9th, 2013
The first Kick-Ass film, based on the comic series of the same name, was a wonderfully unique film. It looked at how a superhero would work in the real world. It was also delightfully violent and humorous, being outrageous despite being in the real world. By the end, scrawny Dave Lizewski(Aaron-Taylor Jonhson) had become a true super hero called Kick-Ass, and gained a comrade in Hit-Girl/Mindy (Chloe Grace Moretz), an enemy in Red Mist/Chris (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), and lost a mentor in Big Daddy. What could happen after that?
Well, Kick-Ass 2 deals with the aftermath of the first film. Dave is adjusting to being a hero still, and after her father’s death Hit-Girl is adjusting to being a normal girl with her new step-father. It’s interesting to see that Kick-Ass has inspired others to become homemade superheroes, and he soon joins a gang called Justice Forever. The members of this are funny and awesome to behold, from Insect Man with his stun batons, Dr.Gravity with his “gravity bat”, a mom and pop team called Remembering Tommy, the clearly named Night Bitch, and even Marty(Clark Duke) the friend of Kick-Ass who’s is calling himself Battle-Guy ( in one of the funnier scenes of the film when they discover each other). The cast has certainly expanded, doubling if not tripling with many great characters good or evil. The most important member of the team, besides Kick-Ass, is Colonel Stars and Stripes played by the legendary Jim Carrey. Carrey is entirely unrecognizable as the gruff and burly hero. Carrey is always great when he is going extreme in his acting, and this fits right in with his classic roles. The best jokes, and the best punches, come from Colonel Stars who becomes one of the main protagonists. Justice Forever has some great interaction as they fight crime, sort of a street smart version of the Avengers.
It must be mentioned, without spoiling too much, that pretty much none of the events of Justice Forever involved Hit-Girl. Mindy has her own parallel storyline involving her time in high school and dealing with bullying. There are some good moments of humor, but unfortunately it feels like a cliché teen movie. This was perhaps done as satire, but in my opinion it really distracts from the vibe of the rest of the movie. I think that’s because this film is both an adaptation of the Kick-Ass 2 comic arc, AND of the Hit-Girl interquel spin off line which focused on her. Luckily, when she is actually being Hit-Girl she is incredibly awesome as usual.
Good must always have an evil counterpart, and of course every bad guy character is just as wackyily interesting as Justice Forever. At the end of the first one, Red Mist declared himself as using the new name and attitude “The Motherf#cker”. MFer is quite a villain, oh my. The normally geeky Christopher Mintz-Plasse is deliciously evil and charismatic here, delivering many of the best jokes to even rival Colonel Stars and Hit-Girl in swagger. MFer’s main henchman Mother Russia is also a fun sight, with special mention of the scene where she takes out three cop cars with her bare hands.
The (ironic) vibe of extremeness is the main highlight of Kick-Ass 2. Camera cuts feel like a comic book. Action sequences bounce and pop with color. There’s no such thing as too much blood for this movie, which is a good thing here. It’s not all zaniness however, as the plot is even more complex and darker than the first film. Things get genuinely emotional and epic sometimes. It’s a rollercoaster of vibes, and it totally works.
Kick-Ass 2 is a bloody good time. It feels like more of the same, which has drawn some criticism from fellow peers. However, it’s the same but with the knobs cranked up. There’s more action, more blood, more humor. It delivers on its deeper themes of looking at what it means to be a hero. Some scenes may be too zany and delve into “stupid” for sure. But overall, it is simply a fun movie. It is entertaining and worth seeing, and it kicks some ass too. 8.6 out of 10