Archived: Review: Kick Ass 2 (2013) - archived

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Having visited my cinema four times to see the original Kick Ass, I was eager to get down to see the sequel but could only manage to get to see a screening in its final week. Whilst Kick Ass 2 is just as much fun as the original, it misses something that made the first one such an enjoyable journey.

Despite clearly taking place several years after the first one (to compensate for Chloe Moretz getting older), the events appear to take place weeks later. Kick Ass (Aaron Johnson) is bored and wants to get back into the super-hero game, but Mindy Macready (Chloe Moretz) is busy growing up and having made a promise to her Big Daddy, she puts the cape aside. This means Kick-Ass has to go looking for friends and find them in Justice Forever, a gang of heroes led by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey), a born again ex hand to the mafia.

On the other side of town, Chris D’Amico is plotting revenge on Kick-Ass for the death of his father and decides to become a super villain, The Mother-Fucker. But during training, Chris realises that he may not be the strongest fighter out there but he doesn’t need to be, he has money. He buys himself some protection and evil henchmen and devises a grand plan to get his vengeance.

Kick Ass 2 has three main plots going on at the same time with them culminating in the final act when they all come together. Each of these story arcs are strong and fun but they needed to be interwoven together slightly better. We learn all we need to know but the final act which sees the super heroes against the super villains seems to be missing cohesion. Hit-Girl goes up against Mother Russia and the two seem to have some history but they’ve not seen each other on screen before. The arc of Todd/Ass-Kicker could also have been handled better but the large scale battle didn’t really have any emotion – other than Kick-Ass vs. Mother Fucker.

The first movie had me in awe at the jet pack flying up the side of the sky-scraper, the gadget in the sequel? The shit-stick. Like a cattle prod it makes the victim vomit and excrete, highly unnecessary if you ask me. The first movie was also rather violent, whilst the sequel is still bloody, after hearing Carrey say he couldn’t market the film because of the levels of violence, I expected something more. Kick Ass 2 is no more violent than the first and far less so than other films that are released these days.

Speaking of violence, whilst the movie does follow the graphic novel upon which its based, a lot of the more violent scenes have been tamed for the big screen. The “evil dick” sequence for example was turned into a comedy scene and the attack on Col. Stars and Stripes too didn’t go quite as far as the graphic novel. This doesn’t really take anything away from the film and they were probably pivotal in the film not being rated any higher than a 15.

Whilst the film was fun, keeping me smiling and cringing, it just doesn’t live up to the original. I’m not sure exactly what it was missing, Jim Carrey was brought in to replace the gap left by Nicolas Cage, but he wasn’t given as much screen time to shine. The awe was lacking but the film is still awesome and enjoyable. Like Hit Girl, it’s a little older, a little wiser but it doesn’t know what it wants to be yet. The three stories worked well on their own, but they needed to come together more often. Despite it all, it continues to kick ass.

Archived: Review: Kick Ass 2 (2013) - archived