Kick-Ass 2 Review

Kick Ass 2

One could be apprehensive to see the job of directing the sequel of 2010 hit Kick-Ass passed from Matthew Vaughn to Jeff Wadlow – whose last feature was 2008’s Never Back Down – but breathe a sigh of relief, for Kick-Ass 2 isn’t that bad.

It’s actually quite a solid flick. 

Taking the story of 2010’s Kick-Ass onwards, the sequel follows Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Mindy Macreedy (Chloë Grace Moretz) who have effectively hung up their capes and tried to adjust to high school life. Of course, that’s only the case for so long in the film, as soon the duo slip into their respective alter-egos Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl once again in light of an increase in costumed vigilantes and the slow rise of supervillain The Mother F#cker (played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse).

The Mother F#cker’s real identity, Chris D’Amico, was Red Mist in the first movie, and his father was a crime boss that was killed by Kick-Ass. This and many other events lead Chris to become the obscene supervillain, while also putting together a team of fellow costumed baddies all with the hope of getting revenge and terrorising the city. 

Kick-Ass 2 (Jim Carrey and Aaron Taylor Johnson)His team isn’t the only team in this movie, of course. Kick-Ass is recruited by another hero called Doctor Gravity (Donald Faison) to join a team called “Justice Forever”, led by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey). Justice Forever is a group of masked vigilantes that are inspired by Kick-Ass’ previous exploits to try and clean up the city. Of course, eventually, The Mother F#cker and his team don’t like that. They don’t like it one bit. Cue vigilante on vigilante violence, mayhem, and conflict, all wrapped in a stylish, hyper-violent, comic-book presentation.

It follows the DNA of the Kick-Ass comics in regards to the violence and such quite well, with the obvious deviations in the adaptation progress. Small details are great, such as containing subtitles in speech bubbles and other small comic-book transitions at times, but it doesn’t strive to be a Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.

It certainly strives to be a good Kick-Ass sequel, and it sort of pulls it off. There’s something about it that can’t be placed that makes it feel not quite there, but the actual progression in storyline from the first film is fluid enough. There are brilliant moments of set-up and pay-off, but other moments are a bit too shoehorned, such as the random inclusion of an object that will obviously come back in the third act.

There isn’t something as glorious as the bazooka pay-off in the first one, for example.

But some of the scenes are still delightful. And violent. One of The Mother F#cker’s cohorts, Mother Russia (Olga Kurkulina), goes on a vengeful spree attacking police officers and it’s all the more accentuated by the choice in soundtrack.

A highlight is definitely the soundtrack. It does a great job highlighting every beat, and some of the music choices are just perfect (such as the Mother Russia scene as just mentioned), there’s even a pitch-perfect parody of bands such as One Direction that nail that culture.

Film Title: Kick-Ass 2Kick-Ass 2 is far from perfect though. It has solid action, music, and presentation, but there’s something off about it. A lot of the beats are good, but a lot of those beats are similar to ones in the first Kick-Ass. Hit-Girl is obviously a highlight yet again, and Chloë Grace Moretz does a brilliant job, but her arc has hits and misses.

Hit-Girl’s arc basically follows her promise and honour to not become Hit-Girl ever again at the wishes of her guardian, instead opting to try and live a normal teenage girl life. This is a very interesting place to take the character, and it works… but Wadlow’s writing is rather cliché and reductionist. Hit-Girl and many of the female characters present are rather swept under the rug in the high school scenes. Trope after trope of high school fiction is present, and it feels tired and ignorant rather than parody.

This is not even considering another questionable scene in regards to women and how they are used and treated in the script. There are some grateful changes from the comic, but some things shouldn’t really be played for laughs.

Those gripes aside, Kick-Ass 2 is generally a good flick. It lives up to its predecessor and certainly goes in the next logical direction in the story, and things do get bigger than before… but one can’t help but still ask for more. There’s still potential there.

I’d be happy with a great Hit-Girl spin-off movie.

Kick-Ass 2 is out now in cinemas. It stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse and it is written and directed by Jeff Wadlow.

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