Kick-Ass 2 is the sequel to the highly popular 2010 graphic novel-turned-feature film Kick-Ass. It stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Dave Lizewski/Kick-Ass, Chloë Grace Moretz as Mindy Macready/Hit Girl, Jim Carrey as Sal Bertolini/Colonel Stars & Stripes, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Chris D’Amico/The Mother Fucker. In case you haven’t seen the first Kick-Ass, here’s a bit of a plot breakdown, as well as a brief plot breakdown of Kick-Ass 2.
Kick-Ass is about an ordinary teenager, Dave Lizewski, who decides to become a real-life superhero, calling himself Kick-Ass. Kick-Ass gets caught up in a much bigger situation when he meets Big Daddy (played by Nicolas Cage), a fellow superhero who has trained his young daughter Mindy to become a ruthless vigilante called Hit Girl. Big Daddy is on a quest to bring down drug lord Frank D’Amico (played by Mark Strong) and his evil (but mostly inept) son Chris.
Big Daddy is killed by Frank and his minions, which causes both Hit Girl and Kick-Ass to seek revenge. After a brutal and bloody fight between Kick-Ass and Hit Girl and Frank and Chris D’Amico, Frank is blown up with a bazooka (yes, a bazooka). The film ends with Kick-Ass and Hit Girl deciding to continue fighting crime, and Chris vowing to exact revenge on Kick-Ass.
Kick-Ass 2 takes place approximately two years later, with both Kick-Ass and Hit Girl coming out of retirement after getting the superhero itch. Kick-Ass joins a team of fellow superheroes (led by Colonel Stars & Stripes) who call themselves Justice Forever. Hit Girl is forced to stop being a vigilante at the request of her guardian Marcus (Morris Chestnut), who promised to take care of her after the death of Big Daddy in the previous film.
Meanwhile, Chris has been plotting revenge against Kick-Ass for his role in his father’s death two years ago, and decides to become the world’s first supervillain, calling himself The Mother Fucker. He puts together his own team of supervillains called The Toxic Mega Cunts, and begins to terrorize the city in an effort to lure Kick-Ass into a final battle.
If you’ve seen the first Kick-Ass, you can expect the same violent, bloody comedy that you saw the first time around. This is not a children’s movie (although my mind was blown when I saw two parents walk in with their infant son). The dialogue, for the most part, is superb, with the comedic timing blending perfectly with the over-the-top blood-and-guts violence. Many subplots from the first film are dropped completely, allowing the viewer to focus on the main plot that unfolds in this film.
Despite being a dark comedy, Kick-Ass 2 definitely delivers when it comes to action, rivaling any superhero movie to date. The fight scenes (although sometimes difficult to see due to the shaky cam effect) are well choreographed, and most of the action isn’t completely mindless (the explosions actually mean something, for the most part). The dialogue is witty and blends in well with the action. In short, it’s pretty much as close as you’re going to get to seeing a superhero graphic novel come to life on screen.
While the first film focused primarily on the journey of Kick-Ass, Kick-Ass 2 shifts a lot of its focus onto Hit Girl and her struggles with growing up fatherless and maturing into a teenager (there’s a great scene where Mindy hangs out at a slumber party, and gets hot and bothered while watching a boy band music video). To compare the two films, Kick-Ass is more like American Pie, focusing on nerdy, sex-starved boys, whereas Kick-Ass 2 is more like Mean Girls, focusing on high school girls and all the drama that comes along with that.
Kick-Ass 2 is surprisingly deep with its themes of love, teenage angst, high school drama and grieving. While it’s likely not going to win any Oscars for any performances, it’s nice to see a comic book movie with real emotions at stake.
It’s tough to talk about my favorite moments of this film (of which there are many) without giving away too much of the plot, so I’ll just say this; the fight between Hit Girl and the mammoth Mother Russia is one of the best fight scenes of 2013, hands down.
Kick-Ass 2 is an incredibly enjoyable film, both as a stand alone and as a follow up to the hit Kick-Ass. If you love superhero movies, go see this. If you love action movies, go see this. If you love teenage angst movies, go see this. But, whatever you do, do not bring young children to this movie. It’s rated R for a reason. Having said all that, what’s the best way to sum up this movie? It kicks ass!