Kick-Ass 2, is the sequel to the wildly popular Kick-Ass, which itself was based on the comics of the same name written by Mark Miller. Kick-Ass 2 is based off the second volume, though several tweaks are made along the way to better serve the film, it also borrows heavily from the spin off volume, Hit-Girl, you can read my review of that series here.
In the interests of not nerding out too much i’m going to try avoid comparing the film to the comics too much, and instead treat it as the sequel to the first movie that it is.
Kick-Ass 2 kicks off a short while after the original’s ending, with Hit-Girl/Mindy Macready now ‘attending’ high school (read, getting dropped off and then hitting a taxi so she can go train), and teaching Kick-Ass/Dave Lizewski (recently un-retired from crime fighting) what it takes to be a real life fake super hero. The film’s villain soon work’s his way onto the screen in the form of Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), wanting to avenge his father’s death at the hands of Kick-Ass, he re-brands himself ‘The Motherfucker’ and sets out to be the world’s first super villain. Apparently this just involves being an asshole and shooting up shops.
What follows is a The Motherfucker and his crew (The Toxic Mega Cunts – yeah that’s right) causing as much uproar as possible in an effort to promote themselves and hopefully flush Kick-Ass out so Chris can take his revenge.
One particular scene stands out, and this is one that is slightly changed from the comics (the character involved shifts). An attach on a suburban neighbourhood leads to a pretty unsavoury scene involving an attempted rape. This is played for humour, which some may find off putting, it works, but only just and the film would have played out without it just fine. The stuff that follows involving ‘Mother Russia’, The Motherfucker’s chief henchmen, is a spectacle to behold and is pretty fun to watch, even if it is ridiculously over the top and unbelievable (hey, this is supposed to be grounded in reality remember).
In the meantime Kick-Ass has joined a crew of his own, known as Justice Forever and led by the enigmatic and hard faced Colonel Stars and Stripes, played (now infamously) by Jim Carrey. A lot has been made of Carrey’s role in this film, and whilst I actually think the uproar he caused about not promoting the film actually turned out beneficial to the film’s marketing, and he doesn’t disappoint, he’s his usual enigmatic self, prosthetics and all, but his turn isn’t quite as memorable as Nic Cage’s in the original film. He’s in it for about 10 minutes of actual screen time, and whilst it’s fun, it felt like there was more to be seen.
Hit-Girl is mostly Mindy through this film as she attempts to stop the wrath of Marcus (her father’s best friend and the one trusted to look after her now he has gone). These sequences work well though I think the writer’s could have come up with a better way for Mindy to get her revenge on the mean girls than the toilet humour they came up with, should they have looked to the comics for inspiration, they would have found something that worked much better and was much more Hit-Girl like.
The inevitable showdown between super-heroes and villains is altered slightly from the comics (and subsequently, the conclusion is too) but it works well. It’s suitably epic, fun and ridiculous all at once. The fight between Hit-Girl and Mother Russia is a great set piece if a little cheesy once Hit-Girl is injected with adrenaline and everything goes a bit ‘Matrix’.
The performances where solid all round. The real star here is Chloe Grace Moretz as Hit-Girl. She is absolutely brilliant, and gorgeous to boot, She’s going to be an even bigger star than she already is, it’ll be interesting to see what roles she starts going for after ‘Carrie’ hits this year. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is great in the role of Kick-Ass and seems to be having fun with it. Once again Christopher Mintz-Plasse manages to steal the show as Chris/The Motherfucker. Fully suited up in his bondage/super villain gear he truly is a site to behold and hats off to him for going completely balls out with his performance.
Kick-Ass 2 was great fun, and whilst it seems inevitable that Kick-Ass 3 will happen, it is likely to be a very different film than way the third volume of comics are shaping up. Everyone puts in a solid performance and whilst the direction is missing the spark that Vaughn provided in the first film, director Jeff Wadlow does an admirable job. Most importantly, Kick-Ass 2 doesn’t take itself seriously, it’s fun and it’s fucking ridiculous. Just enjoy it.