Kick-Ass 2

Director: Jeff Wadlow

Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Mortez, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jim Carrey, Morris Chestnut, Clark Duke

Written by: Jeff Wadlow, (based on the comic book by) Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.

Running Time: 103 mins

Cert: 15

Release date: 14th August 2013

Kick-Ass 2 is the long awaited sequel to the ultra-cool, superb sin on the superhero film that caused huge controversy on it’s release due to the nature of the language and violence that young Chloe Grace Mortez was involved with. Now, a little older, she’s back and age hasn’t softened her although Kick-Ass himself has and, for me, if you took him away, it would probably had made for a better movie. Familiarity can breed contempt, you know.

A few years after the events that led to the death of Big Daddy and gangster Frank D’Amico and Dave Lizewski, or Kick-Ass has partnered up with Mindy Macready or Hit Girl. Mindy , now living with her guardian and her father’s best friend, Detective Marcus Williams, he wants her to stop being the superhero and be a normal teenage girl. She promises and finds herself in a world she doesn’t understand, that of teenage girls who ogle pop stars and act like bitches. Meanwhile, D’Amico’s son, Christopher, whose alter-ego was Red Mist, wants to take a different route and be a super villain known as The Mother F***er, so he can seek revenge on Kick-Ass.

Kick-Ass returns to the streets and is taken on board by Captain Stars and Stripes, a former Mod hitman and his band of regular folks all claiming to be superheroes. Soon the bubble is about to pop as The MotherF***er creates his own world of Super Villains.

First things first, while Kick-Ass 2 was never going to reach the heady heights of the first film, it doesn’t do a bad job at trying. It’s action-packed, it’s incredibly violent, it has tons of swearing (mainly from Hit Girl) and it’s a bundle of fun. However, it never seems enough. The reason being that Matthew Vaughn’s film was such an original, it’s like treading old ground and no matter how hard Aaron Taylor-Johnson tries, Kick-Ass the character has not grown. We understood him in the first film and so now it’s like going through the motions here. Yes, he is human, yes,  he gets beat up and yes, he gets hurt. There’s nothing much else to say about him.

The inclusion of the new team of so-called Superheroes, led by Jim Carrey’s street-wise yet reformed Captain Stars and Stripes seem to be the less interesting part of the film. Carrey has refused to promote the film due to its viloence, yet watching it you wonder, if he was that irate about it, why did he make the film in the first place?

So where does the film succeed? The the story arcs of Hit Girl and Red Mist/The Motherf***er. Returning to the role that made her famous, Chloe Grace Mortez is superb. She has grown into an accomplished actress and while she gets to throw herself around, spout language your grandmother would turn blue in shock listening to and slicing up everyone who gets in her way, her story of finding her identity would have made a terrific movie by itself. Watching how good she has become, my confidence in the remake of Carrie has gone up a notch.

The same applies to the brilliant Christopher Mintz-Plasse. We all remember him as the geeky McLovin’ from Superbad but this should wipe away that from the memory. As the confused, lost Christopher who becomes the evil villain, he gives the film the needed lighter relief and is hilarious. Collecting an army of crooks and killers, including the brutal Mother Russia, a woman who looks like a pumped-up version of Brigitte Neilsen, it brings a whole new dimension to the story.

It was always going to be difficult for anyone to ever repeat the success of the first film but this comes pretty close. It will shock, it will disgust and don’t be surprised if the Daily Mail have a word or two to say about it. It also entertains and it also is tremendous fun. Maybe next time a film about Hit Girl and we could be onto a huge winner.

4/5

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