Sunday, September 08, 2013

Kick-Ass 2

Year: 2013
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jim Carrey

Plot: Kick-Ass and Hit Girl have hung up their costumes in order to try and live a normal life, but the former's superhero activities has created more wannabe superheroes in its wake. Out of boredom, Kick-Ass tries to get back into crimefighting by joining a vigilante group called Justice Forever. Hit Girl on the other hand has trouble adjusting to high school. Meanwhile, Red Mist, now calling himself The Motherfucker, plans his revenge on Kick-Ass.

Review: I still have trouble taking Kick-Ass' mask seriously, simply because it looks so silly. Thankfully, this sequel is anything but.

While the first film was sort of over the top and surreal in its portrayal of violence and misguided heroism, this sequel is more grounded and dare I say it, touching. Don't get me wrong, Kick-Ass 2 still has plenty of violence, profanity and lewd jokes (it wouldn't be Kick-Ass otherwise), but this time I could actually relate to the characters better.

Director Jeff Wadlow, who also wrote the script, puts Dave Lizewski and Mindy Macready back in high school, each with their own problems. His approach to Mindy's character is the more interesting part (it's no secret that Kick-Ass's story focuses more on Hit Girl) as she tries to fit in with the cool kids at school at her foster father's encouragement, only to be cruelly punished by them (which in turn leads to her getting even with them). But it's the dramatic impact that counts and Chloe Moretz pulls off this part of Mindy beautifully. It's almost a precursor to what she's gonna show in the upcoming Carrie remake.

At the same time, I have to give credit to Aaron Taylor-Johnson for doing a great job as the titular character. He, like Moretz, gets to show his acting chops as well, and his chemistry with her is definitely there. Their friendship is the main attraction of this film in my opinion, not the humour or the violence.

Jim Carrey, who doesn't really get that much screen time here, makes every second of his appearance count as Colonel Stars and Stripes, the leader of Justice Forever. With a mask and a lower register on his voice, Carrey succeeds in making himself almost unrecognisable. Christopher Mintz-Plasse on the other hand is the weakest link of the film. His role as the antagonist is pretty disappointing, as he comes off as a wimp who pays other people to do the dirty work for him. That's probably the joke here, I know, but he did show some fighting skills in the last film, where did that go? And that mask of his, it's origin is pretty dumb too.

As for the action, it's more hit than miss thankfully. Moretz is still great in the ass kicking department, the standout being the van chase sequence. The camera was too close for some of the fight scenes though, I don't know why some people still make the same mistake in that department.

Overall, I had a ball of a time with this movie. I didn't think I'd like it since the first Kick-Ass was a bit OTT for me, but this one's awesome. Recommended. (4/5) 

P.S.: Stay till the end credits finish rolling.

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