The sequel was never going to live up to the first which was outstanding, but sadly it could have been better. With Jeff Wadlow writing and directing, we do miss out on the talent of Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn. That is not to say Wadlow hasn’t done a decent job. The film is enjoyable, but it has flaws that mean fans will not be completely happy.
Set a couple of years after the first film, Dave (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) has retired from being Kick-Ass, choosing to lead a normal life. Meanwhile, Mindy (Chloe Grace Moretz) is missing school as she continues to be Hit-Girl. But situations change with the return of Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) as the world’s first super-villain.
With its opening strongly echoing the heart warming charm of the first Kick-Ass film, it immediately reminds us of all the reasons why we fell in love with the two protagonists, Hit-Girl and Kick-Ass. Perfectly cast with great chemistry, Taylor-Johnson’s and Moretz’s scenes together are always written well with witty dialogue guaranteed to get chuckles.
The action, like the original, is well choreographed, creative and fun, but there is no spectacular action sequence that really astounds. With its emphasis on a superhero team, each character is given their own unique fighting style that fits their personality. This works very well and all the actors give their best in these scenes. The new cast members are clearly having fun with their creative characters meaning their performances are enthusiastic and excellent. Even Jim Carrey is good!
However, once the film reaches the middle section the flaws start to show. The key idea of the first film (‘what would happen in reality if someone tried to be a superhero?’) is lost in the middle when everything becomes rather silly and unrealistic. Also, the storyline where Mindy tries to find out who she is via a high school clique is poorly executed and embarrassing. If its echoes of Mean Girls did not sit well with the rest of the film, then the blatant product placement of a Union J music video didn’t help either.
However, when the story becomes darker it starts working again as the key theme of realism is brought back in. Kick-Ass 2, like its predecessor, is fun yet emotional. The climax really is one of the best parts of the film; a playful, violent and satisfying end to the story defining the moral message the two films convey. It is a shame they had to ruin it with a pointless after credits scene which is neither funny nor intriguing.
Although the middle part is not well executed and at times cringe worthy, its enjoyable, dramatic and strong performances thankfully make up for its misgivings, making Kick-Ass 2 a film just shy of the one fans wanted.