Hit-Girl’s Time To Rise!
Thanks to Universal Pictures Australia, we had the chance to see Jeff Wadlow‘s Kick Ass 2 before its national release. This is our review of the film, but – as usual – no matter what we say, we recommend that you still go to your local cinema to see it because there is no better critic than yourself!
Kick Ass 2 once again follows the journey of the now famous high school “hero” Kick Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). A group of regular citizens have been inspired by him to become vigilantes and fight crime in costume, while his friend, Hit-Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz), struggles with the promise she made to her father while trying to become a normal student. Things become extremely dangerous when a new villain called ‘The Motherfucker’ unleashes (well, kind of) chaos in town.
Surprisingly, the film is more concerned with Hit-Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz), leaving Aaron Taylor-Johnson‘s character in second place – a risky move that actually works well; the character’s individual stories linked in a unique plot.
Performance wise, Chloë Grace Moretz steals the show with her portrayal of Hit-Girl, making the character even more of a bad ass than in the previous films, but also demonstrating a more sensible and almost feminine side. During her normal school life as Mindy, she finds it hard to make friends, as she is still struggling with the death of her dad and her vow to take down the bad guys. And this is something that her current guardian, Detective Marcus Williams (Morris Chestnut) doesn’t approve of.
Kick Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), on the other hand, is the same guy we’re familiar with. This time, however, he reveals a range of emotions when, in the tradition of the classic tragic superhero, he finds himself dealing with painful situations related to loved ones and considering leaving the superhero life. This changes when a new villain, who goes by the name of The Motherfucker, (actually Kick Ass’s ex-friend, Chris ‘Red Mist’ D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), hits the streets. The Motherfucker is out to become the number 1 super villain and plans to avenge his father by taking Kick Ass down at any cost. Without sacrificing the look and feel of the first film, Aaron Taylor-Johnson takes his character to the next level in a more mature performance. .
Kick Ass consequently joins an underground team of wannabe heroes, whose leader is Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey). The popular comedian plays the part flawlessly, moving away from the classic ‘Jim Carrey performance’ and showing a darker, more sadistic kind of comedy. (But don’t worry, it’s not a repeat of his performance from The Cable Guy, either.)
Christopher Mintz-Plasse brings most of the comedy to the film, thanks to his character’s silly revenge strategy and his group of super villains. He comes off as a younger version of Scooby Doo’s Shaggy trying to be Lex Luthor. He’s just hilarious, especially in his dominatrix-style suit.
The film’s few letdowns involve the typical problem of trying to condense an entire graphic novel into a 2 hour film, especially with the introduction of a set of new characters, including Dr Gravity (Scrub’s Donald Faison) and Night Bitch (Lindy Booth). Both of these characters are unfortunately underdeveloped. Moreover, it’s a surprise to see a great actor like John Leguizamo get such little screen time. It seems a waste, when he’d make such a bad ass villain, or outlaw hero.
Actions, fights, comedy and gore (a bit less than we saw in the first film) complete the Kick Ass 2 experience, making the film an enjoyable ride that leaves the door open for the continuation of the franchise… especially evident if you stay in your seat until the end of the credits.
Kick Ass 2 is now showing in Australian cinemas.