Review: Kick-Ass 2 / Cert: 15 / Director: Jeff Wadlow / Screenplay: Jeff Wadlow / Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jim Carrey, Morris Chestnut / Released: December 9th
The follow-up to Matthew Vaughn’s Kick-Ass had a lot to live up to. After the cult status that the first film achieved, not to mention the hype generated by Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar, the film always had the potential to fall flat on its face. With Jeff Wadlow taking the directorial reigns (Vaughn served as a producer), the story is based around Millar and John Romita Jr.’s Kick-Ass 2 and Hit-Girl books. With Big Daddy cremated in the first movie, we find the pair of Kick-Ass (Taylor-Johnson) and Hit-Girl (Moretz) struggling with their own identities and their place in the world. Whilst Dave/Kick-Ass decides to once again don the wetsuit and become Kick-Ass, Mindy/Hit-Girl decides to try and focus on just being a normal high school teen. Lurking in the background, we have the growing threat of the villainous Mother Fucker (Mintz-Plasse)…
Similar to its predecessor, Kick-Ass 2 juggles ferocious bloodshed with crisp, sharp, funny dialogue. The film is also not afraid to poke fun at itself and its subject matter, while there’s a lot of heart and emotion on show at times. With the exploits of Kick-Ass in the first movie having inspired the public, there’s plenty more characters on show this time out. Whereas the first film was intertwined around Kick-Ass, Hit-Girl, Big Daddy, and Red Mist, this time we’re given the team of Justice Forever – featuring Jim Carrey chewing scenery as Colonel Stars & Stripes (whilst his dog chews testicles) and we’ve also got the fantastically named bad guy group, The Toxic Mega Cunts.
Kick-Ass 2 is a film that is fluid, fast-moving and snappy. With a running time of little over an hour and a half, the story comes across as progressive, well-delivered, and sharply executed. With an almost black humour to the movie, there are genuine laughs on show in Kick-Ass 2, particularly from the again impressive Chloe Moretz’s Hit-Girl. With one-liners aplenty, Hit-Girl steals the film, be it when administering bloody beat downs or when dealing out a fantastic put down, and one of the film’s highlights is when she comes face-to-face with the gargantuan Mother Russia (Olga Kurkulina).
Yes, Kick-Ass 2 has a lot of gore-drenched action – too much for Jim Carrey, at least – but there’s also some nice character development as our heroes come of age; Dave as a hero, and Mindy as a teenager.
With Kick-Ass 3 seemingly a given – stick around until after the credits – Kick-Ass 2 works as both a standalone film or as part of a series. Maybe a little clichéd for some, Kick-Ass 2 is a worthy sequel, even if it doesn’t deliver quite as much as its predecessor.
Extras: Alternative scenes / Three featurettes / Commentary with cast and director
For those interested, you can pre-order the various versions of the release below: