Up the ante, up the violence, and up the hormones because while everything you love from the first returns and definitely outdoes itself, the repercussions from the first movie and decisions made in this movie lead to a whole lot of tears, fears, and tingly sensations.
Review (with Spoilers)
It has been three years since the first Kick-Ass where we met Dave and Mindy who introduced us to Batman styled vigilantes, without the money backing. With this film, seemingly due to the heights Chloe Moretz obtained post-Kick Ass, we see her take a more central focus and Aaron Johnson’ Dave almost plays the Robin to her Batman. Also, most of the original cast has returned, though many in diminished roles, and a slew of new characters have been introduced, including a character portrayed by the legendary Jim Carrey, all in order to take on Christopher Mintz’s “The Mother——.”
Now, with this being a sequel, we already know most of the characters and I can’t say anyone but Mindy has really evolved much. Dave remains Dave, a Peter Parker-esque guy who wants to make something out of himself; his friends are pretty much the same people we met; and then you have the group which encompasses Justice Forever and The Mother——‘s crew. The most interesting character, though, is Mindy. With the death of Big Daddy and her guardian now being Big Daddy’s former partner Marcus, Mindy is given the opportunity to become a 15-year-old girl, which Marcus insists on her doing. But despite her biology being an unquestionable 15-year-old girl, in her mind and heart: She is still Hit Girl.
The story this time around, as alluded to at the end of Kick-Ass, is all about Chris’ revenge on Kick-Ass for killing his dad, which no one seems to be as impassioned about. His mother doesn’t seem to care; his bodyguard Javier (played by John Leguizamo) just does as told, and his uncle Ralph (played by Iain Glen) just wants to take back control of the family business and have everyone lay low. Chris can’t do this though for revenge drives him and the thought of Kick-Ass remaining alive, while his father is dead, is the ultimate injustice. So, he decides to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a supervillain known as “The Mother——.” Meanwhile, as one villain rises, one hero seems to fall. Mindy has maintained her duties as Hit Girl for as long as she can but a conflicting promise she made with Big Daddy and the new one she makes with her guardian Marcus has it where she has to discover who Mindy is outside of Hit Girl which leads to the awkwardness of Mindy discovering what it is like to be a 15-year-old girl who has “girlfriends,” goes on dates, and gets weird feelings when seeing UnionJ or guys with their shirts off. Ultimately, the film all builds to the showdown shown in the trailer where the members of the Kick-Ass inspired crew “Justice Forever” face off The Mother——‘s crew and have a really exciting battle sequence.
When it comes to this movie, one of the things you have to admire is the action and how the new characters introduced really get their own moments to shine. Jim Carrey’s Colonel Stars and Stripes as well as most of Justice Forever, all within a few lines justify and make us understand why they wanna be heroes, and unlike in the last film where the rise of masked heroes seems like a joke, in this film these newborn heroes are really given nicely done origin stories which make them seem more complete than the hero known as Midget Man. Going back to the topic of the action, despite you thinking with online previews you saw just about everything, in fact, you maybe just saw most of Hit Girl’s action scene highlights which sometimes feel like they pale in comparison to Mother Russia’s. Mother Russia (played by Olga Kurkulina) is probably the most interesting villain, in terms of what she physically does, I’ve seen in awhile, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Kurkulina finds herself in similar roles and making a real career out of it. Lastly, I must mention how much I was glad they gave more focus to Mindy than Dave, if only because more and more Kick-Ass is starting to seem like a powerless Peter Parker and Dave himself, throughout the whole movie, seemed so stale.
Which leads to my criticisms: Dave/ Kick-Ass is the type character/ hero who usually only have interesting stories because of the villains, but in this case, he doesn’t just get outshined by the villains but also his allies. Another issue, which maybe just a personal one, is I think at this point that initial shock of the Kick-Ass franchise has worn off. A teenaged girl cursing like a sailor has lost its novelty, and really, while Mother Russia and the villains really did some not expected things when it came to the violence, like a grown woman having a full on fight with a 15-year-old, I felt strangely adjusted to all that Kick-Ass 2 threw at me. Watching a dog bite a man’s testicles didn’t bother me; seeing a man get his hand cut off was wasn’t a big deal; and even when characters died, I didn’t feel much. Which in itself was a general issue for I felt like the characters that do die, with the exception of one, aren’t developed enough for us to really care. Yeah, we can acknowledge the significance of their death, but you easily shrug it off.
Overall: Go See It
Kick-Ass 2 continues to delight fans of the first and show signs that it hasn’t become jaded by the increased interest. It comes with more action, more characters, a bit more character development in some areas, and ultimately it tries to in every way outdo the first film. Set aside the issues with getting used to the violence and Mindy’s character losing its shock and edge, much less the death of characters only really being sad once, and you got yourself a nice way to spend the afternoon or evening.