DIRECTOR: Jeff Wadlow
NOT A PART OF OUR COLLECTION
May Contain Spoilers!
Will we be adding this to our collection? YES
Kick-Ass (2010) may have been a controversial and cult classic comic book adaptation, but it wasn’t the hit that many think that it was. Ground-breaking, clever and touched by realism, Kick-Ass deals with the real and serious issues of donning a mask and becoming a comic book hero and all the very real traumas which would befall you, whilst creating a hyper-reality in which to ground the film.
In short, whilst Kick-Ass may take its violence seriously and understand that real super-villains would be brutal and ruthless, the comedy aspects take away just enough of the sting to make this palatable and enjoyable, well the first one at least.
Kick-Ass 2 has a smaller budget for a start and it times it shows, but the biggest issue is that it is hamstrung by trying too hard to match its predecessor, whilst taking it up a notch. The source comic books did this too and the film does tone some scenes down particularly, that of the potential rape of a leading character, who was raped in the comic, but not here, a good choice and a clever solution to avoid it too. And there are some unexpected moments, such as the frightening looking Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carey) who is not a vicious as he first appears.
But its characters such a Carey’s who are wasted. He has very little screen time and it feels that most of the plot is focusing around Mindy/Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) and her angst over her identity as either a 15-year-old high school girl or real superhero, Hit Girl, the perverse creation of her late father, Big Daddy (Nic Cage). Hit Girl, obviously being the hero that we want to see, but don’t for most of the movie.
There’s a well judged van chase scene towards the end, following a brutal scene involving Kick-Ass’s (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) father and even though it’s moments like this where the modest $18 million budget shows, this is possibly the high point of the movie, as Kick-Ass has been bundled into a van by the The Mother-f****r’s (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) henchmen and the sense is palpable that if he is not saved here, he will be dead sooner rather than later.
It’s this moment that brings the whole notion behind Kick-Ass to fruition, the feeling that this is a brutal world and a relatable one, where villains don’t keep their enemies alive for long, where real brutal, ruthless and effective tactics are employed to stuff out their enemies, such as rape and torture as well a quick bullet to the back of the head.
The problem is that the tone is muddled. Is this a hard-hitting gritty drama of a comic book parody? The truth is that it’s both and it kind of works in both ways but is also fails, as it is a hard sell. Love the score by Henry Jackman, who seems to have composed a real gem of theme, something missing in modern cinema at the moment and overall, this is a passable sequel but in to way in danger of outshining it’s predecessor.