Kick-Ass 2 is the sequel to Matthew Vaughn’s surprise-hit film adaptation of the Kick-Ass comic-book franchise. Kick-Ass was hugely popular due to its non-conventional style, especially the use of coarse language and brutal violence – something rarely seen in other comic-book franchise films. Kick-Ass 2 follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, however it fails to exceed or match the standard set in the first film.
In Kick-Ass 2, Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) begins to seek out other ‘super-heroes’ that he has inspired after the events of the first film, in the hope of joining a hero-team. Hit-Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) is facing an awkward coming-of-age type identity crisis and The Motherfucker (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), aka Chris D’Amico aka Red Mist (from the first movie) is as vengeful as ever as he seeks revenge on Kick-Ass by starting up his own group of super-villains.
The premise is promising, but the execution is poor. The film retains only a fraction of what made the first movie so interesting and popular. The first film shocked audiences with its vulgarity and violence. Kick-Ass 2 retains some of the shock factor in some scenes, but it feels as though we’ve seen it all before in the first film and the shock is significantly reduced. The violence and humour in Kick-Ass 2 is tacky at best, when compared to the first film. With all its drawbacks, it does still manage to bring in some genuine laughs and some cool fight scenes.
The best thing about the film is the inclusion of Jim Carrey as the Colonel Stars & Stripes character. The character had a lot of promise but unfortunately was under-utilised. The rest of the good-guy team members also never really meet their potential. On the other side, the super-villain group suffers from a mix of uninteresting characters, except for the psychotic Mother Russia (Olga Kurkulina), who is their most intriguing character, even if only because of her towering physical presence.
When comparing Kick-Ass 2 with the first film, it’s obvious to see that the sequel misses the mark. As a stand-alone film, its blend of violence and crude humour is entertaining at times, but essentially the film leaves you disappointed once the credits begin to roll.
Mark Millar was actually delighted by Jim Carrey’s disapproval of the film’s violence. In his own words, Millar described it as “like saying ‘this porno has too much nudity.'”