I was a bit, let’s say… unsure about seeing Kick-Ass 2. In the absence of Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class, Stardust) from the directing chair, and with the added pressure that is always attached to a blockbuster follow-up, I was having doubts about whether or not a sequel to superhero-action-comedy Kick-Ass could be pulled off.
I walked out of the cinema relieved, and pleasantly surprised.
I had wondered if every scene would once again be stolen by our purple-haired Hit-Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz; Kick-Ass, Carrie, Dark Shadows, Hugo), now 15 and attending – or, rather, fake-attending – high school under the protection of her guardian, Marcus. Yes, it’s true to say that our favorite foul-mouthed heroine steals the show, even though she’s a little busy trying to balance school life and superhero duties, saving the world every night from evil villians who roam around New York City.
The plot does leave a lot to be desired. Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson; Anna Karenina, Albert Nobbs) wants to rid New York of its criminals, but needs Hit-Girl’s help to do it. And yet, during the course of the movie, he teams up with ‘Justice Forever’ – a group of (many) happy-go-lucky, inexperienced superheroes led by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Truman Show) – for no apparent reason.
In the absence of Mark Strong, Mintz-Plasse (Pitch Perfect, Role Models) does well to hold his own as evil villian in chief, known no longer as Red Mist, but as ‘The Motherfucker’. It’s just a pity that there aren’t more scenes involving Taylor-Johnson and Mintz-Plasse; it would have been interesting to get a little more of that Kick-Ass/Red Mist banter.
The graphics and special effects are good, and the $28 million budget was put to good use. The violence wasn’t as prolific as I had expected – with Jim Carrey denouncing the film for its violence in light of the Sandy Hook Massacre, I was expecting something significantly more gruesome. The most you could say is that it was trying to live up to the standard set in the first film. Of course, there are a few questionable and over-the-top scenes, namely the cafeteria scene with the ‘sick stick’and a video of Union J that will just make you feel uncomfortable.
Kick-Ass 2 is undoubtedly funny and creative and clever – a much needed breath of fresh air after the sub-par sequels that usually hit the big screen. It’s not perfect, but it will certainly guarantee you a few hearty laughs, and that alone may just make it worth a view.