KICK-ASS 2 review by Gary Murray – “fun, very violent and campy”

KICK-ASS 2 review by Gary Murray – “fun, very violent and campy”


Kick-Ass was a 2010 film that I did not see in the theaters but caught on DVD. That puts me with most film patrons. The original super hero film was a modest hit that became a cult favorite and sold millions of DVD copies. The 2013 sequel is Kick-Ass 2.

The story takes place after the events of the first film. Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) has basically hung up his mask and become high school student Dave. He goes to school with Mindy (Chloe Grace Moretz) who is Hit Girl. She cuts school every day to train.

On the other side of the plot, Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) still is not over the death of his father which was part of the climax of Part One. His plan of becoming Red Mist didn’t work. Now, he has a sole mission — to kill Kick-Ass. Eventually he decides to become a supervillain in order to kill a superhero. He calls himself a name that I have to initialize — The M-F-er.

The idea of a masked super hero has taken over the streets of NYC. There are all sorts of characters such as Dr. Gravity and Battle Guy. Dave knows that he and Hit Girl are the real deal and need to be out there in the thick of combat.

Mindy eventually makes a promise to her guardian Detective Marcus Williams (Morris Chestnut). She is to become a normal freshman girl. That becomes its own challenge in the cutthroat world of high school. She befriends a trio of girls who may have an alternative agenda.

The story is of Kick-Ass putting on the costume again and Mindy having to make the choice of keeping her word or following her destiny. The film is much more of a Hit Girl story. The best parts of Kick-Ass were of the tyke killing bad guys and reveling in the bloodbath. This is much more a story of a young woman finding her path in the world.

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best kid film actor since Jodie Foster. Unlike Disney kid Foster, Chloe takes on strange darker roles such as The Eye, Let Me In and Dark Shadows. Something about her acting just pulls the audience into her pathos, even when she has to work with weak material. Her next role is Carrie, a role that won Sissy Spacek the Oscar. And like Batgirl, Hit Girl gets a cool motorcycle to ride.

The big media brouhaha has been about Jim Carrey who plays Colonel Stars and Stripes. To be honest, it is much ado about nothing. Carrey’s role is nothing more than a few scenes. He forms a Justice League of superheroes who patrol the night. There are so many different small plot points going on that the film could have run three hours just to get it all in. Carrey does not make much of an impression in the world of Kick-Ass.

The M-F-er eventually realizes what makes a super villain work… that’s cash. He buys the worst of the worst criminals to form his own League of Evil and begins to attack everyone associated with Kick-Ass. The film builds to a giant rumble but it does not go as over the top as the first film did.

This film deserves its R rating. It is violent but not as violent as the first feature. Director and writer Jeff Wadlow gives the audience a world that bridges reality and fantasy. He has the flexibility of not having to retread the origins but get directly to the meat of the characters. With his focus on the dynamic between Kick-Ass and Hit Girl as friends and confidantes, he makes the film resonate much more emotionally.

Kick-Ass 2 is a strong sequel that is made for the fans, not to win new converts. Those who did not see the first episode might be lost at the events of the second. As a stand alone adventure, it does not stand on its own. It is fun, very violent and campy — just the kind of flick to end the summer.

KICK-ASS 2 opens August 16, 2013

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