Josh Wilding Reviews: KICK-ASS 2; "It's Clear That X-FORCE Is In Very Capable Hands"
Kick-Ass 2 may not have made the impact at the box office that many were expecting, but that doesn't mean it isn't well worth checking out! Hit the jump to read my spoiler-free review of Jeff Wadlow's big screen adaptation of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.'s comic book series.
Kick-Ass 2 is a hard movie to review. Like the first film, it's bound to ultimately disappoint many hardcore fans of the comic as it's yet another fairly loose adaptation. Sometimes that's a good thing and sometimes not so much. The omission of the beheading of a dog, children being gunned down and a rape scene are ultimately for the best; while they served a purpose in the comic book, moments such as these would have both been extremely unpleasant to watch and have killed the fact that this is supposed to be a "fun" movie. While Jeff Wadlow's adaptation does follow the Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. series in terms of tone and the general story, there are some key moments missing and others just don't have the same impact, sometimes coming across as feeling forced. The ending in particular is especially weak, completely different from the source material and generally just feels out of place for these characters. If a third instalment is adapted, it's hard not to hope that the way Kick-Ass 2 ends isn't totally written off in order to match up with the recently released third volume of the comic book series.
Minor grievances aside, Jeff Wadlow's take is a good one and he delivers some extremely quotable lines. The addition of some romantic tension between Dave and Mindy is a nice touch given the latter's age now, although the way that his relationship with Lyndsy Fonseca's Katie is handled (seemingly because she was too busy for a major role in the sequel) feels forced and more than a little confusing considering the fact that the first movie spent so much time developing their relationship. What Kick-Ass 2 does prove though is that Wadlow has a solid handle on characters and dialogue, and it already seems fair to say that X-Force is in very capable hands. He also clearly seems to know what he's doing when it comes to action, and while the fake blood is occasionally a bit much, the fight scenes are all pretty top notch. The scaled down final battle - Times Square is a bit expensive for a $27 million movie to be fair - is also great and Kick-Ass 2 is ultimately a damn good looking movie in Wadlow's hands.
Jim Carrey's Colonel Stars & Stripes does indeed steal the show, delivering not only some of the best lines, but also one of his best performances to date. He's absolutely fantastic and it's a damn shame that he decided not to help promote the movie as it would have been great to learn more about how he inhabited this character so perfectly. Scrubs' Donald Faison is also brilliant as the eccentric Dr. Gravity and perhaps my second favourite character in the entire movie. John Leguizamo (Javier) is another scene stealer, while it would be awesome to see a lot more of Lindy Booth (Night Bitch) in future. As for the three leads - Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass), Chloë Grace Moretz (Hit-Girl) and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (The Motherf*cker) - they're all once again very good, particularly Moretz. It's sometimes hard to buy Mintz-Plasse as a legitimate threat (that may be the point), while the now extremely buff Taylor-Johnson no longer seems to resemble the loser from either the comics or first movie. Overall, it's a great ensemble and there are even some familiar faces in unexpected roles like Luther's Steven Mackintosh and Game of Thrones' Iain Glen.
Whether or not it's better than Matthew Vaughn's Kick-Ass is debatable, but the sequel is a very good movie based on its own merits (and has a great soundtrack to boot). It's a lot of fun and definitely one of those films which demands a repeat viewing even if it's just to make sure you remember the cracking dialogue. Make sure you check it out before it's too late.
Kick-Ass, Hit Girl and Red Mist return for the follow-up to 2010’s irreverent global hit: Kick-Ass 2. After Kick-Ass’ (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) insane bravery inspires a new wave of self-made masked crusaders, led by the badass Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey), our hero joins them on patrol. When these amateur superheroes are hunted down by Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse)—reborn as The Mother F%&*^r—only the blade-wielding Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) can prevent their annihilation.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Kick-Ass
Chloë Grace Moretz as Hit-Girl
Christopher Mintz-Plasse as The Mother F*cker
Jim Carrey as Colonel Stars
Donald Faison as Doctor Gravity
Lindy Booth as Night Bitch
Andy Nyman as The Tumor
Robert Emms as Insect Man
John Leguizamo as Javier
Morris Chestnut as Sergeant Marcus Williams
RELEASE DATE: Out Now!
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