I really dug the first film. I felt that it was an original take on the superhero genre with the right amount of humour to carry us through all the violence, which is pretty full on (considering). I then read the comic it was adapted from and I’ve got to be blunt, I wasn’t that big a fan. I felt there was a certain grimness to the comic that didn’t allow the humour to shine through (though they made a decent movie out of it – so maybe it’s just me). Matthew Vaughn did some something magical with that source material. He’s also responsible for Layer Cake, Stardust and X-Men: First Class (OMG, this guy may just be hitting my top Directors list!).
I heard they were making a sequel. I also heard that Vaughn was stepping back to only produce this one. He handed the script and directing duties to Jeff “who the fuck is this guy” Wadlow (Never Back Down) so I was a little hesitant. There was also the foofaraw* over Jim Carrey distancing himself from his participation in the film over the violent content which didn’t actually mean anything to me at the time but was an interesting move on his part.
So yeah, I ended up watching Kick-Ass 2 and it turns out that it’s a worthy addition to the canon. It picks up where the first one left off. Hit-Girl AKA Mindy Macready (Chloe Grace Moretz) is attending school and trying hard to fit in as a regular fifteen-year-old-girl. Kick-Ass AKA Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) feels like he should be doing more as a crime fighter and joins a team of like-minded folk under the command of Colonel Stars and Stripes (Carrey). Meanwhile, the Red Mist AKA Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) is pissed off at Kick-Ass and the world at large over his Dad’s death and reinvents himself as a supervillain simply known as The Motherfucker.
The film (between the blood and profanity) explores the themes of loss, legacy and how the characters choose to deal with their emotions that result in such circumstances and despite its goofery, manages to let us understand their plight and care for them. This is helped by the fact that there are some fine performances amongst the decapitations and ridiculous costumes.
If you liked Mystery Men but thought it didn’t have enough violence – Kick-Ass 2 is for you.
*It’s a word. Look it up.