Starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jim Carrey, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
I liked Kick-Ass, but I wouldn’t say I LIKED Kick-Ass, does that make sense? For all the things it got right, I couldn’t get past the films seemingly blatant disregard for bouncing back and forth between a film that wanted to take a realistic approach to what it would be like if people starting dressing up in costumes and calling themselves super-heroes to then jumping into a fantasy world where the rules of reality don’t apply. It may seem like a minor thing, but to me, it was a big one and one that took me out of the moment lots of times. The movie, while being a huge Comic-Con sensation, only made a small splash when it was released back in 2010. The film though, gained fans through DVD and cable and in doing so; Kick-Ass 2 was born and ready to be one of those rare sequels that surpasses the first one and gains itself a whole new legion of fans.
The good news is Kick-Ass 2 is better than its predecessor. Its funnier, it puts more of a focus on the right people (Hit Girl and villain the Motherfucker), and it also addresses the issue of the whole comic book world vs. reality world. The problem is the movie only tells you about that, it never really shows you and yes, while doing so, still gets caught up in flipping the switch between a reality/fantasy world that bothered me so much with the first film…the hoist with its own petard if you will. And while it didn’t bother me as much this time around, it’s still an issue one can’t look past.
Kick-Ass 2 begins after the events of the first film, only this time, Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) isn’t doing the super-hero thing anymore despite inspiring others to go out and do the same, while Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) is trying to abide by the rules of her step father, Marcus Williams (Morris Chestnut) to live her life like a normal teenage girl that was robbed from her by her late father. But she’s not having such an easy time doing so. When Kick-Ass/Dave, asks Hit-Girl/Mindy to become a team, she reluctantly agrees. Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) is no longer Red Mist. Feeling that respect isn’t coming his way (mostly from his family), decides to become the worlds first super-villain (calling himself the Mother Fucker) and puts into motion, his plan to punish Kick-Ass for killing his father. As Hit-Girl retreats and tries life out as a normal teenager, Kick-Ass, desperately wanting to be part of a team, joins up with Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey) a former mob enforcer turned born again Christian who has assembled a team of naïve do-gooders called Justice Forever who want nothing more than to belong to something and do some good.
Kick-Ass 2 spends a lot of time with Hit-Girl as she holds steady to her promise with Marcus to try and live life with donning the Hit-Girl mask. It’s a smart move as Hit-Girl is clearly the most interesting character in the Kick-Ass universe. They even give her a Mean Girls type subplot that is weird at first, but actually works in the development of her character and the movies favor. The other focus of the movie is on the Mother Fucker. If for nothing else, it provides some of the better laughs in the movie that exist in Kick-Ass 2 and gives Mintz-Plasse a chance to really let the character off the hinges. But Kick-Ass 2, much like Kick-Ass, doesn’t really do much with its main character Kick-Ass. His character development almost seems to regress in this movie. The film also squanders an opportunity with not only Colonel Stars & Stripes (who is barely in the movie) but with Motherfuckers villainous gang The Toxic Mutant Mega Cunts (which includes Mother Russia).
And yes, the film is plagued by putting real life consequences into the film, only to slide from that and into a fantasy type world. But the good news is, this only a problem a couple of time (with the final act being the biggest offender) and when the film does get ‘real’ if you will, the movie takes on a more exciting visceral tone. Not that I want to see a bunch of death and destruction in a movie about super-heroes, but when you have characters that are willing to die for what they believe in, as ridiculous as that belief may be, the death part is somewhat inevitable. So if by chance they end up making a 3rd movie, I hope the filmmakers go and look at some scenes in this movie (both real and fantasy) to see what really works in the Kick-Ass universe.
Or you could just make a Hit-Girl spin off film, that might work as well.