3 years after the relative success of the widescreen adaptation of the comic-book “Kick-Ass”, it is finally time for a sequel. The original one sought to find a way to portrait how would real super-heroes work in the real life, and it never let the audience forget that aspect. Bloody and violent, but with an interesting twist and balance of humor, it was loved and at the same time hatted by a few. So how does the larger scale sequel fared?
Directed this time by Jeff Wadlow, the sequel keeps faithful to the old formula of gritty violence, humor and a lot of comic-book super-hero references, which makes for an overall enjoyable experience in a whole if, you know, you’re into that kind of stuff. It is in this world where heroes and villains have no real super-powers other than good training and martial arts, both our known characters from the previous movie, Dave (Kick-ass) and Mindy ( Hit-Girl) are shown trying to find out who they really are a few years after the events of the first movie.
Early on, Dave realizes he started something to big, and that, and if he was born to do this, he has to take his skills to the next level so, with this in mind, he asks Hit-Girl to train him, which makes for some pretty good comic relief early on. But although Mindy wants to keep being Hit Girl, her guardian, former friend of her deceased father, pressures her to start acting like a normal girl, and makes her promise she will do her best to do so.
So, despite having the old shenanigans of a young girl trying to fit in in the modern teen society, and Kick-ass joining a super-hero club which was in itself, inspired by him. It is here that we are introduced to a bunch of charismatic and distinguishable characters (A feature that this movie seemed to nail on most characters it introduced to us) and one of them is Coronel Stars and Stripes played by Jim Carrey, who did a pretty surprising job of bringing such a badass, yet funny and scary character to life.
So, to add to all this, Red Mist ( Kick-ass’s nemesis in the previous movie) returns as the evil “Motherfucker”, and is now a rich orphan who swears revenge against Kick-ass for killing his father. He finds is vocation for evil, in contrast to the protagonist, and forms his own evil gang to counter the Justice le…Justice forever group, sorry.
So it’s a simple plot, but what it lacks in the originality of the first movie, it adds in scale and a very surprising good execution. Jokes are funny and well placed, both characters and moments are distinct and stick in your head long after the movie ends, the pace between action and “real-life” is very balanced and the movie is just full of hints and inside jokes (Some less subtle than others) for fans of the series or a general comic-book fan audience.
The movie is good, yes, but for one instance, Chris D’amico (Motherfucker) is a character kinda hard to take as a serious threat, even in a movie very leaned on the comical side. Just like in the previous movie, he strikes the audience as a phatethic, whiny loser, and this doesn’t help with either likability, or sense that he is dangerous or that presents any kind of challenge to our heroes. The fact that he has to hire henchman (Like the awesome and scary Mother RUSSIA ) to do his dirty work for him, doesn’t quite help either.
However, we do get a pretty strong scene with him when he goes to visit his uncle in prison who gives him kind of a motivation, i don’t really want to ruin it for you, which got my attention and behind his back for a small while after.
The movie also stresses the audience multiple times that they are living in a “Reeeeal wooorld”, which they keep saying over and over again during the entire movie. “What, that sort of thing doesn’t work in real life!” “Are you kidding, in the real world we can’t do that”"Watch out, this isn’t a comic-book!” This fact, being referred over and over again just leaves people wondering and sighing in frustration a big “Yes, i get it….”
That being said, Kick-ass 2 is a strong action-comical movie, filled with references and personality. It has a set of strong, memorable characters and scenes,while improving on it’s predecessor in both scale and comedy. Though, since many aspects didn’t change much, my final thought is simple. If you either enjoyed the first movie, or are a huge super-hero fan, you will enjoy this movie and have a blast, however, if you are part of the group that disliked the first, your opinion won’t change with this one.
As always, thank you for reading.
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