In what seems like forever since the first Kick-Ass came out, it returns with more gory, crude, foul mouthed madness. In a summer filled with super hero movies that sometimes take themselves too seriously or not willing to go off the rails, it’s all too comforting to see a comic book movie rooted in gratuitous violence, action and humor ramped up to 11 with reckless abandon and an R rating. I love to see a comic book movie not be relegated to the all too familiar PG-13 rating that at times can be pointless and too restricting. Seeing the freedom that can come with an R rating gives me hope for future comic book characters that thrive in that setting. Here’s hoping that it’s a success and have Kick-Ass be that symbol for more violent comic book movies.
It’s a nice gradual change for the story and characters of Kick-Ass that doesn’t feel retreaded and has a more refreshed feel. It goes in different directions than the comic book but doesn’t sway that much from the overall tone. The changes didn’t bother me and it allowed me to enjoy the movie. It’s just as violent, hectic, crude and funny as Kick-Ass. But it had a different feel since the first film was dominated by scene stealers Nicolas Cage as Big Daddy and Mark Strong as Frank D’Amico.
Their individual characters were one of the reasons why the movie was so great. But the individual nods to both of them were a nice touch. But even without them they still had enough strong character’s to make it engaging and fun. Revenge stories are commonplace among comic books, so it only makes sense to have that be the plot. I always love seeing the villain return with a nefarious plot against his rival. And especially go full on crazy with Chris D’Amico reinventing himself as a super villain The MotherEffer with the most crude and awesome name ever.
It’s still weird seeing the dude who played McLovin as a psycho super villain but Christopher Mintz-Plasse completely embellished the role for the campy, absurdity that it was and went all out. You could tell he, as with the rest of the cast, had a lot of fun getting into these crazy characters. And the rest of the cast delivered. Aaron Johnson as Kick-Ass and Chloe Grace Moretz as Hit Girl grow as characters delving into their superhero alter egos and transitioning into regular people. They have great chemistry with each other as they struggle with all the problems of being a superhero. They have a great mutual bond that I hope will be fleshed out one more time in the sequel.
Regardless of a person’s politics, I don’t let any interfere with me enjoying an actor and the work they have done to portray a great character. That being said, Jim Carrey as Colonel Stars and Stripes was cool. You could hardly tell it’s him as Carrey brilliant chameleon-like ability makes it hard. John Leguizamo as The MotherEffers right-hand man was funny as well as Donald Faison as Dr. Gravity. But the most impressive performance may have to go to Mother Russia. Seeing her lay waste to countless men with ease was a spectacular sight. It was great seeing her portrayed right on screen.
I liked where they went with the story. I loved the idea of a superhero vs. super villain showdown to settle everything. The themes were also well done as they had Kick-Ass and Hit Girl struggle with their own identities, trying to figure out who they are in a world that they both help create. Identity crisis’s are a major focal point in comic book lore and are often explored on film. And it explores it here from all angles with differing results. The theme of being a symbol that people can stand behind and cheer for is a tried-and-true theme that works well here.
The action, violence, and humor were over the top, but I don’t want and need Nolan gritty realism in every comic book movie. It all worked perfectly here and didn’t feel at all forced. I loved the frantic, crazy action and quick action editing. It wasn’t bogged down or didn’t feel overloaded. The fight scenes looked great and looked just as violently crazy as Kick-Ass. Hit Girl looks even more buttkicking than before as she fights bad guys as well as mean high schoolers.
And it’s great to see Kick-Ass kick some butt instead of getting his kicked like before. The climactic battle was fun, violent and hectic, but the obvious attention was put upon Hit Girl vs. Mother Russia and Kick-Ass vs. The MotherEffer. Seeing such an obvious size, height and muscle disparity was an unbelievable sight. It had a great combo of power against speed and I loved seeing Hit Girl getting hit hard and kept on going like a rabid wolverine. With every deafening blow, she countered with one of her bag of tricks that would prove futile in the scene-stealing battle.
Usually when a director leaves a successful movie that has a tone directly related to that director, it doesn’t have the same spark when a new director moves in. I was skeptical at first when Matthew Vaughn left the movie and the new director Jeff Wadlow came in. It was mainly based on his inexperience with mainstream films. But he has put forth a very admirable effort with Matthew Vaughn producing offering any help if need be. There are some noticeable screenplay problems which Wadlow also wrote, but nothing too major. But if there is a hopeful third film, I’d definitely want Vaughn back in the director’s seat.
Everyone should stay for the after credits scene. It was well worth the wait.
While the tone was different after the scene-stealing antagonist and protagonist perished in the previous film, the returning leads stepped up along with new characters to provide a thrilling, funny, action packed romp. While it may feel like it’s trying too hard, it’s just going on what was laid down before. It explored new dimensions of the superhero/super villain and their alter egos that I cared about what happened to them. I’m hoping there is a final chapter as I feel there is still a bit more to explore this new found superhero world filled with eclectic characters. Three and a half Kick-Ass batons out of five.