If you’ve read Kick-Ass 2 the comic book, then you probably know it’s not up to the same high quality of the first. If you didn’t know, it’s mainly due to over-the-top, unnecessary violence. So suffice to say, Kick-Ass 2 doesn’t live up to the heights of the first. Thankfully though, writer Jeff Wadlow manages to include the story from the Hit-Girl miniseries into the film as well, which nicely sees fan favourite Chloë Grace Moretz get plenty of screen time.
Kick-Ass 2 is really a three-part tale; we see Mindy Macready dealing with the death of Big Daddy, as she hangs up the cape and cowl of Hit-Girl and tries to lead a normal life of a teenage girl. Kick-Ass/Dave Lizewski joins a team of superheroes known as Justice Forever. And we see the villain of the film Chris D’Amico/The Motherfucker seek revenge on Kick-Ass for killing his father, by forming a supervillian team of his own, the aptly named ‘Toxic Mega-Cunts’. Flipping between characters’ stories really keeps the flow of the film going and makes for a grand scale ending when their paths cross. It’s a nice fresh pace for the 103 minute running-time, filled with violence, laughter and melodrama.
Chloë Grace Moretz’s entrance as Hit-Girl in the original is one that will never be forgotten, though It’s not all violence for her this time, though, as we see get to see more of the teenage girl that is Mindy Macready and how she’s dealing with life after Big Daddy. She’s killed numerous thugs and gangsters in her life but she’s yet to come up against the nasty personas of a particular group of airhead girls at her school. It all culminates in one particular graphic vomiting scene that really feels unrealistic in contrast with the grounded reality of the film and actually feels dam right unnecessary. Although, yes, the film was on a fairly small-scale budget of $28 million, the vomit trick just felt cheap and tacky. Perhaps a little too much time is focused on Mindy and her ‘Mean Girls’ storyline, but she kicks absolute ass when she’s Hit-Girl. A particular standout from her is a fight scene that sees her going toe-to-toe with a worthy adversary.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson is likeable as ever as Kick-Ass, though my only real gripe is that he’s 24-years-old and looks a little too old on screen to be playing a teenager in high-school. (I don’t know how they’re going to get around this problem in Kick-Ass 3, but that’s one for the writers to figure out!) If you remember from the first film, Dave Lizewski tried so hard to get with his girlfriend Katie, but she’s awkwardly/messily brushed off towards the start of the film, and there’s not a mention of her thereafter. It does make sense in the brunt of things, as Dave finds a new love in a member of Justice Forever. His relationship status with her towards the end of the film isn’t really clarified however, and is a little annoying not to have clarity there.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse is even more demonic and psychotic in his role as the cowardly, spoilt teenager, as he ditches the Red-Mist gimmick and becomes the world’s first super-villain, The Motherfucker. While not a physical specimen in size, his highest paid member of his team, ‘The Mother Russia’ (Olga Kurkulina) more than makes up for that due to her sheer size, strength and domineering presence on screen.
There’s good performances from everyone throughout actually, but it’s Jim Carrey who’s at the top of his game as the born again Christian Colonel Stars and Stripes, who is almost like the second coming of Big Daddy. Although it’s somewhat of a minor role, he’s presence is felt in every scene as he’s funny, charming and domineering in the role. It’s a real shame that he hasn’t taken part in promoting the movie, because it could well be his best performance in years and it goes well against his typecast.
The film all builds up to an end battle between Justice Forever and Toxic Mega-Cunts, which is both an epic and fitting conclusion, to which Director Jeff Wadlow deserves praise for capturing all the madness that unfolds so well. So all in all, Kick-Ass 2 isn’t as memorable or as fun as the first, however it’s still an enjoyable film that can be loved by both comic fans and casual audiences.