Release Date: Aug. 16, 2013
Running Time: 103 minutes
If the rollicking Kick-Ass set out to deconstruct the superhero mythos, its only fitting that its sequel takes a satirical swing at the uniting of costumed crusaders against a common enemy. Not that anyone will mistake Justice Forever for The Avengers in Kick-Ass 2. Led by Jim Carrey’s slightly psychotic but well-intentioned Col. Stars and Stripes, Justice Forever is composed of everyday folk who want to take a baseball bat to the criminals that blight the streets of their beloved New York. The newest member of Justice Forever is the masked vigilante who started it all, Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). But where’s Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz)? Still mourning the death of her father Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage), Hit-Girl promises her legal guardian to give up her crime-fighting ways and learn to be a normal 15-year-old girl who swoons over boy bands and shops to excess. As we learned from The Dark Knight Rises, where there’s a superhero, there’s a supervillain. Eager to make Kick-Ass pay for killing his mobster father, Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) zips himself into his mother’s S&M outfit to become The Motherfucker. This sets up the inevitable showdown between Justice Forever and The Motherfucker’s hired muscle. While it obviously takes some liberties, Kick-Ass 2 seamlessly combines the events of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.’s comic-book sequel and its Hit-Girl spin-off to advance the journey that our two unlikely heroes embarked on in Kick-Ass. Stepping in for Matthew Vaughn, writer/director Jeff Wadlow squeezes a lot of broad laughs out of Kick-Ass’ exploits with Justice Forever and Hit-Girl’s efforts to fit in at school and to deal with her blossoming sexuality. Wadlow also manages to one ups Vaughn when it comes to the cartoonish violent that’s perpetrated in the name of vigilante justice. What’s missing from Kick-Ass 2 is the crazed commitment that Vaughn had to Kick-Ass and the subversive streak he lent to a story about a zero becoming a hero. Wadlow takes a “meat and potatoes” approach to Kick-Ass 2, so in the end this sequel doesn’t possess much style or seem as vital or irreverent as Kick-Ass. It’s fair to assume that Wadlow expected Jim Carrey to infuse Kick-Ass 2 with the manic energy that Nicolas Cage brought to Kick-Ass. Unfortunately, Carrey’s too restrained to make his presence truly felt, and thus his Col. Stars and Stripes doesn’t have the impact on the plot as it should have. Accordingly, Cage and his Kick-Ass adversary Mark Strong are sorely missed. Still, Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl are such fascinating creations that their separate and joint stories are enough to warrant Kick-Ass 2’s existence and the threquel that is hinted at after the final punch is thrown.
Aired: Aug. 15, 2013
Web site: http://www.kickass-themovie.com/