Cert: 15 Runtime: 103 mins Director: Jeff Wadlow Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Morris Chestnut, Clark Duke, Donald Faison, Olga Kurkulina, John Leguizamo and Jim Carrey
Act like a bitch, get slapped like a bitch
One of the films I have been looking forward to immensely this year is Kick-Ass 2. Mark Millar’s comic book is phenomenal, currently book two is my favorite of the three. My only concern prior to filming was that Matthew Vaghn wasn’t directing or writing the sequel but only serving as a producer. On top of this Jane Goldman wasn’t returning neither, but only to produce. For me without these two figure heads Kick-Ass would never of existed on the big screen. In 2010 this literally became the surprise of the year, so anticipation is high for the sequel. Jeff Wadlow was a surprise for me, as he isn’t really well credited he made Cry_Wolf and Never Back Down. I guess every one has to get a shot at some point. So what is the plot for Kick-Ass 2? After Kick-Ass’ (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) insane bravery inspires a new wave of self-made masked crusaders, led by the badass Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carey), our hero joins them on patrol. When these amateur superheroes are hunted down by Red Mist — reborn as The Mother Fucker (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) — only the blade-wielding Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) can prevent their annihilation. When we last saw junior assassin Hit Girl and young vigilante Kick-Ass, they were trying to live as normal teenagers Mindy and Dave. With graduation looming and uncertain what to do, Dave decides to start the world’s first superhero team with Mindy. Unfortunately, when Mindy is busted for sneaking out as Hit Girl, she’s forced to retire-leaving her to navigate the terrifying world of high-school mean girls on her own. With no one left to turn to, Dave joins forces with Justice Forever, run by a born-again ex-mobster named Colonel Stars and Stripes. Just as they start to make a real difference on the streets, the world’s first super villain, The Mother Fucker, assembles his own evil league and puts a plan in motion to make Kick-Ass and Hit Girl pay for what they did to his dad. But there’s only one problem with his scheme: If you mess with one member of Justice Forever, you mess with them all.
So what can I say about the film?The best compliment I can pay Kick-Ass 2 is also the worst critique I have of the film: its pretty much consistently decent from beginning to end. This is fantastic when some of the films bigger risks, which could have easily torpedoed their scene, manage to stick the landing and work despite nearly tripping over their own absurdity. However, its not so great when material that could have been outlandishly bonkers and witty takes the safe route, turning potentially subversive gold into the same old superhero gags you’ve seen a million times before. The problems with these scenes isn’t that they missed their target, but that the creators should have aimed higher.The film has a brief, literally very brief outline of the first film, so it is almost essential to have seen the first film to understand how everything is connected. Character development has been progressed, especially with Mindy/Hit Girl storyline, and Dave/Kick Ass.Yes there is moments where the pace slows, and yes there is now the infamous Union J scene, but it detracts little from the film, but has an almost natural course in showing Mindy’s development. She has to choose between her legacy left from her father, and her new adopted father trying to give her a “normal” life, but what is normal. That is the main question asked in this film. Jim Carrey, brings a heavy hitter to the film, just as Nicholas Cage did with the first. For me he steals the show, he embodied Stars and Stripes to a t. It has an almost rushed pace to the film, with some scenes in the trailer not appearing either at all or fully, so expect these to appear in the uncut DVD release (hopefully). The film, like the first leaves the ending open, just in case there is no Kick Ass 3. But I do anticipate a trilogy !
The change in creative team is my main issue with Kick-Ass 2. Wadlow does a solid job with recreating the visual style of the first film but he is not as strong as Vaughn. The action is shot more closely and shaky was used, but it nowhere near the worst case of its use because you can still tell what is happening. The humour was not up to scratch with the sequel looking the satirical edge. Part of the problem is now that Moretz is older the impact of her swearing and fighting ability is a little lost.The other major problem is Kick-Ass 2’s takes longer then it needs to set up the pieces and get going. The original is a longer film but felt more tout and tighter then the sequel. Kick-Ass 2 is more willing to take detours with subplots and The Mother-Fucker takes his time creating his army and try and draw out Kick-Ass. The whole subplot involving with Hit-Girl having to deal with the bitchy girls should have been reduced and the joke with the vomit/diarrhoea stick should have been cut all together because it was too crude, out of style and just unfunny. If Kick-Ass 3 happens, I hope that Matthew Vaughn comes back to direct, and also bring Jane Goldman with him to write the script. Overall go see Kick Ass 2, it continues to delight fans of the first and show signs that it hasn’t become jaded by the increased interest. It comes with more action, more characters, a bit more character development in some areas, and ultimately it tries to in every way outdo the first film (and fails). Set aside the issues with getting used to the violence and Mindy’s character losing its shock and edge, much less the death of characters only really being sad once, and you got yourself a nice way to spend the afternoon or evening.