Audiences loved ‘Kick-Ass’ for its originality, glorious acerbic violence and humour, and the way it played to everyone’s fantasies. It seems that its sequel director Jeff Wadlow (Michael Vaughn’s successor) was also a big fan, as he’s given us... almost the same movie.
Unable (or merely unwilling) to make his mark and put his own stamp on the project despite also writing the feature, Wadlow has used Vaugh’s original as a strong template to create this story which, as it happens, is more about Hit Girl than it is Kick-Ass - don’t let the title fool you.
Having given up his Kick-Ass persona, teenager Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is bored being a regular high school senior. Following the death of her father in ‘Kick-Ass’, 15-year-old Mindy Macready (Chloe Grace Moretz) is struggling being a typical high-schooler, and instead chooses to skip school every day in favour of training and perfecting Hit Girl. Meanwhile, on the otherside of town, Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) has turned emo and wants to get his revenge on and take down Kick-Ass for the death of his father.
So now we’ve got two superheroes and one supervillain, all constantly at odds with the way the world sees them, verses the way they see themselves. Mindy makes a promise to give up Hit Girl and teams up with the school's "mean girls" to fit in. Dave as Kick-Ass turns to social media to find others like him and comes across a marry band of misfits calling themselves Justice Forever, which includes the likes of Dr Gravity (Donald Faison) and Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey). While you'll find the troupe volunteering at soup kitchens, they're also happy to take down a sex trafficking ring here and there - that is, until The Mother Fucker (formerly Red Mist) puts together his own crew and shit gets real.
This story which, as it happens, is more about Hit Girl than it is Kick-Ass.
‘Kick-Ass’ didn’t exactly make serious bank back in 2010, which makes this sequel a surprise. Hollywood's impulsive need to make money could account for the film's toned-down language and violence compared to its predecessor (it’s still there, just toned down a bit to rake in the younger ticket-buying crowd), and therefore, it’s lost its edge. Three years ago, ‘Kick-Ass’ was new, exciting and had great shock value; take all that away and you get... ‘Kick-Ass 2'. And despite the emotional heat-strings attempted to be pulled here with themes of belonging and the value of family, they’re flimsy with a care-factor of zero.
‘Kick-Ass 2’ is action-driven with all of your favourites back for another round, so it's entertaining - but not the kind of fun that makes fans happy and newcomers drool.