Kick-Ass 2

© 2013 Ray Wong

Kick-Ass was revolutionary as the first R-rated teen superhero flick starring potty-mouthed teens kicking asses. Kick-Ass 2 follows the same footprints; no wonder it feels less fresh and more predictable.

Soon after the events of Kick-Ass, Dave (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) wants Mindy/Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) to train him to be a real kick-ass. But Mindy has promised her dead father and her new caretaker Det. Marcus (Morris Chestnut) that she will not doing her crime-fighting bit anymore. Instead, Mindy tries to fit in high school.

So Dave joins an underground crime-fighting league called Justice Force headed by ex military Col. Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey). The group of rogue superheroes are thrilled to have the original superhero Kick-Ass join them, but what Dave really wants is for Mindy to be there.

Meanwhile, after his father was killed by Kick-Ass, Chris (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) vows to avenge his dad's death. He decides to become the world's first and most bad-assed super villain Motherfucker, and recruits a group of criminals to be his minions. Together, they seek out the Justice Force to destroy them.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Anna Karenina) reprises his role as Dave/Kick-Ass with a new ease as the actor matures. Taylor-Johnson has an effectively naive, nerdy look and demeanor that work well for his character, but we also know that he can be hunky -- as evident in roles in films such as Anna Karenina -- as Kick-Ass, the original superhero. He and Chloe Grace Moretz (Hugo) form a great brother-sister pair that has a weird, but not entirely uncomfortable, romantic tension as Mindy is coming into her own.

The supporting cast includes Jim Carrey as the Colonel. Carrey brings his usual eccentricity to a relatively straight role that definitely draws our empathy. Morris Chestnut (Identity Theft) is dutiful as Mindy's legal guardian. John Leguizamo (Ice Age) has a brief but affecting role as Motherfucker's mentor and loyal butler. And as Motherfucker, Christopher Mintz-Plasse (This Is the End) tends to overact. I understand this is a comedic comic book movie, but I think Mintz-Plasse is the weakest link. Olga Kurkunina stands out as Mother Russia -- you will have to see her to know what I'm talking about.

Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass) continues his stride with this sequel. As a comedy, it is pretty dark in places, and not as funny as the first one. There are some tiresome jokes (e.g. "My mother had nice guns!" - "Don't talk about your mom's tits like that!") and ridiculous situations (e.g. Chris knows exactly who Kick-Ass is, so how difficult is it for a billionaire to find Dave?). The Mean Girls subplot about Mindy and high school is also out of place, as funny as parts of it are.

While this is not as good as the first Kick-Ass, the action is still top-notch, and the general humor is there (who wouldn't love the nasty Mother Russia?) And the chemistry between Mindy and Dave is what holds the entire story up.

If you loved the first Kick-Ass, you'd  love or at least like the sequel.  For casual fans, be aware that the movie is extremely violent with teenagers saying filthy things. If you can handle it, you may have a kick-ass time at the theater.

Stars: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jim Carrey, Morris Chestnut, Lindy Booth, John Leguizamo, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Writers: Jeff Wadlow (based on Mark Miller's comic books)
Distributor: Universal
MPAA Rating:  R for extreme violence, pervasive language, crude and sexual content, brief nudity
Running Time: 103 minutes


Script - 7
Performance - 7
Direction - 7
Cinematography - 7
Music/Sound - 7
Editing - 7
Production - 7

Total - 7.0 out of 10.0 

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