Since its release in 2010, the real-world superhero movie Kick-Ass has garnered a much-deserved cult following for its dark humor and darker action. And now its sequel picks up that mantle, in every conceivable way.
In the aftermath of the original film, other people are joining the fight against crime by dressing up as superheroes. But while Kick-Ass has joined a group who call themselves Justice Forever, Hit-Girl been forced into early retirement by her legal guardian, while The Red Mist, now a supervillian called The Motherfucker, is hell bent on getting revenge on Kick-Ass.
As with the original, Kick-Ass 2 is more-or-less based on the titular comic written by Mark Millar (Wanted, The Ultimates) and drawn by John Romita, Jr. (The Amazing Spider-Man, Uncanny X-Men). And like the first film, the movie changes some of the plot points and details from the comic, but still tells basically the same story, with some things working better in the book and others working better on-screen.
But the film also pulls elements from the prequel comic, Kick-Ass 2 Prelude: Hit-Girl, also by Millar and Romita. Which is smart since — when portrayed by Chloë Grace Moretz on screen, and she’s standing next to relatively work-a-day Aaron Perry Taylor-Johnson in his Kick-Ass outfit — this might as well be called Hit-Girl 2.
Similarly, the action this time out is amped up than in its predecessor. When Hit-Girl goes to town on some bad guys early on, it become even more frantic and frenetic than a similar scene from the first movie by making her even more acrobatic. It’s like watching Yoda when he fought Count Dooku in Attack Of The Clones…if Yoda was more into purple and didn’t mind cutting a bitch.
Otherwise, however, Kick-Ass 2 is remarkably similar to the first one. Not in terms of story, mind you, but in tone and execution. The humor, for instance, is just as dark, but also just as hit and miss. It’s also just as bloody, making this not a film for those who can’t stand the sight of corn syrup, water, and red food coloring. Or whatever they used for all the blood.
Which is why, despite the amped-up action and added Hit-Girl, Kick-Ass 2 is still only as good as the first one. It never achieves the effortless fun of The Avengers or the first Iron Man, nor is it as funny or as insightful as The Incredibles. Instead, it comes in around where Thor and Captain America landed: as a solid superhero movie, a decent dark comedy, and a fun action flick. One that may not be deserving of awards or admiration, but a cult following…?
What do you think of this movie (or my review of it)? Please let me know in the comments below.