Review - Kick-Ass 2

Kick-Ass 2 (2013), R, 103 minutes - I'm a few days later with this review than I had originally planned, but after seeing Kick-Ass 2 I felt the need to go back and read the the two comic mini-series that it adapts (2010's Kick-Ass 2 and 2012's Hit-Girl - both by Kick-Ass creators Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr.).  I thoroughly enjoyed the adaptation of Kick-Ass in 2010 (my review can be seen here), but for some reason this sequel wasn't really on my radar.  Perhaps this is because I had yet to read the source material, or maybe because there have been other films this summer that I was anticipating much more.  In either case, I was pleased with the outcome in general.

Kick-Ass 2 picks up not too long after the end of the first film.  Mindy Macready (Chloe Grace Moretz), also known as Hit-Girl is trying to adjust to a normal teenage life now that she is living with her adoptive father Detective Marcus Williams (Morris Chestnut) and his non-vigilante rules.  On the side she trains Kick-Ass, Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) trying to mold him into the hero that the city needs and that he wants to be (we saw in the first film that she is more than qualified to do this).  Kick-Ass also wants nothing more than to be a part of a team of super heroes, which seems increasingly realistic as more and more superheroes keep popping up.  He falls in with a group led by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey) that becomes known as Justice Forever.  They combat criminals as well as doing community service like volunteering at a soup kitchen.  Kick-Ass repeatedly tries to get Hit-Girl to join Justice Forever to 'help make a difference', but she's promised Marcus that she's given up her alter ego.  While Kick-Ass and his fellow do-gooders are increasing their awareness in the community, Chris D'Amico, the former Red Mist, and Kick-Ass's one time team up partner (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) has turned to a life of super villainy and now goes by the name The Motherfucker.  He recruits his own group of super villains and the inevitable clash between the two plays out like a scene from Braveheart with capes and costumes.

Kick-Ass 2 is right in line with its predecessor.  It is ultra-violent and may be quite offensive to some (would you honestly expect anything else from a movie that has a character named The Motherfucker?).  It covers the same plot points as the two books that make up its source material, but it gets there in slightly different ways.  This is primarily because of small changes made to the characters in the first film as compared to the comics.  It once again has an mid-credits sequence that more than likely sets up a third entry in the franchise (Kick-Ass 3 is currently being released by Marvel's Icon imprint).  Kick-Ass 2 is a fast moving flick that doesn't pull any punches and isn't as 'PC' as most comic book films tend to be.  If you don't mind a bit of violence and some offensive humor, this will be right up your alley.  If you don't have a good sense of humor about such things or especially if you didn't like the original, then steer clear.  This is definitely a film for a niche fan base (as is the comic), but is certainly successful in accomplishing what it tries to do.


Red Band Trailer:










*****SPOILERS*****

- Having now read all of the source material, I think I prefer the way the story played out in the comics as opposed to the film.  Not that I didn't enjoy the movie, I just think that some of the story points worked better the way that they were presented in the comic.

- I was interested to see that Jim Carrey's character in the movie (Colonel Stars and Stripes) was a combination of two characters in the comics.  

- Carrey said in the press a couple of weeks back that he denounced the violence in this film.  It is very violent, and his character meets an especially brutal end, but his part in this film was excellent.  Other than Grace Moretz's, his is probably the best performance.

- I loved the inclusion of John Leguizamo as Javier (The Motherfucker's Alfred).  His pointing out that all of the super-villain names that The Motherfucker comes up with were all racist was an amusing way of the film acknowledging the lines it was crossing.

- The characters are aged up a bit in the films, part of this is because of the subject matter and some is because the actors in these parts can't really pass for being that young any longer (especially Grace Moretz).

- Aaron Taylor-Johnson is freakin' ripped in this movie.  He's definitely not the weak, nerdy kid that he is in the comics.  Even after his training with Hit-Girl his physique in the comics doesn't even come close to comparing.

- If this had been made 20 years ago, I sear Mother Russia (Olga Kurkulina) would have been played by Brigitte Nielsen.

- I loved that Dave's friend Marty (Clark Duke) lied about his 'origin' story because he thought he had to have a cool one in order to be a super hero and join Justice Forever as Battle Guy. 

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