When the first “Kick Ass” (2010) came out, I really didn’t think much of it. The trailers certainly looked good and I read great things about the comics, which it was based off of. However I still didn’t go out and see it sadly, just one of those films I didn’t have time to see. All I did was read more and more great things about it, then I caught it on Netflix and I was blown away. Not only was it funny and action packed, it had a really good story and great performances from the actors, kicking its way (forgive my pun) into my top 10 greatest superhero films of all time. So needless to say I was more than ready for a sequel and three years later it finally arrives and the question on everyone’s mind is, does this film live up to the original? It almost does, the first is a little bit better but that is not a knock on this film at all. This is incredibly entertaining, well scripted, funny, action packed, and once again has a flair for the dramatic, add this all together and you end with a pretty damn fun way to end the summer movie season.
The film takes place around a year after the events of the first film. Dave Lizewski has given up on being Kick Ass and is trying to lead a normal, boring life. When he finally decides to become Kick Ass once again and gets Hit-Girl to train him, when Hit-Girl gives up as well and tries to lead a normal high school girl life. Kick Ass joins up with a league of other superheroes inspired by Kick Ass himself. Meanwhile former superhero Red Mist has not forgotten what Kick Ass did to his dad, and wants to exact revenge on him and everyone he knows.
The movie clocks in at only 103 min. Many times (mostly recently) films having that running time have suffered from a lack of decent pacing or enough time to tell the story properly. This one really didn’t have any of those problems to say the least. There was actually a lot going on in this one, and all of it gets equal amount of screen time in order to tell the story. All of them never letting the viewer down, each storyline are incredibly engaging.
One of the most surprising aspects of this story is Hit-Girl’s. The alter ego of Hit-Girl, Mindy, doesn’t spend much time as her in the superhero costume. She is trying to live a normal life in high school, which if the filmmakers did not make those parts in the story at least half way decent the whole movie would have fallen apart.
One of the best parts of the first one was Hit-Girl, there is no denying that. In the follow up to the first one they take one of the best parts and “shake” things up a bit and take her out of that role. It should have failed, but the writer/director Jeff Wadlow made it all work, even with the teenage drama “Mean Girls” moments it all worked.
The rest involving the rise of The Mother Fucker (that’s legit the main villain’s name). It is a rise that comes about in sometimes comedic way but mostly darker more dramatic fashion. Christopher Mintz-Plasse plays all of this perfectly and brilliantly indulges himself in the role; you can tell he is having a lot of fun playing in this movie and newcomer Jim Carrey steals the show as Connal Stars and Stripes.
This film is part comedy and boy does this movie deliver some laughs. The first is more humorous but that doesn’t take anything away from this. The humor stems from a little bit of everything in this film; one scene goes for pure gross out shock humor which really should have been toned down a bit. When I mean gross, I mean gross to the point you’ll want to look away from the screen. Regardless of that one moment I laughed throughout the movie and it never fell prey to tonal problems.
The action sequences in this movie are top notch. Some of these scenes do have a little too much shaky cam but it’s not overdone. Some of the fights are realistic and gritty, while some are more comic booky and are just plain entertaining. These scenes are bloody and do show that there are some real life consequences to engaging in these type of fights, but it still never gets bogged down in life lesions this is pure entertainment at its finest.
Are there some gripes for the films? Some small ones but nothing major, The film’s themes and lessons that the characters are learning are laced on a bit heavy handed and are basically spelling everything out for them but since the movie is self aware most of that can be chalked up to it imitating some of the superhero films that they utilize. Also the film’s ending fight should have been a little bit longer, it felt a little short. Also Jeff Wadlow gives his absolute best effort forward but no matter how hard he tried he could never match the skill of Matthew Vaughn from the first movie. It is a little unfair to ask of him but the movie is just a little less skillful put together and it does show but with all that being said Jeff Wadlow does a great job and with a film like this could continue to grow.
Kick Ass 2 doesn’t quite live up to original but it is a pretty solid sequel with great humor and storylines, solid performances and some entertaining action sequences. Jeff Wadlow gives it his all and the effort shows here, even if he can’t match Matthew Vaughn’s skill.