Wednesday, 21 August 2013

A Kick-Ass Sequel

Walking in to see Kick-Ass 2, I didn’t know what to expect. The original is one of my favourite films, so the sequel had big shoes to fill. Take it from me though, it doesn’t just fill those shoes, it splits the seams and bursts through them.  Kick-Ass 2 is a superhero sequel, by which all other superhero sequels should be measured.

Kick-Ass 2 tops its predecessor in almost every way. The size and scale has gone up, the actions scenes are intense and look beyond awesome, and the plotline actually has a wide variety of emotional ups and downs.

The humour isn’t as on point as the first movie, which is my first criticism. The writers seem to have leant more towards fart jokes and gross-out particular scene springs to mind. Trust me, it’s not a scene you’ll easily forget – and not in a good way either.

But enough about that. Even if the jokes have taken a turn for the worse, you should go see this one for the action alone. Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl are back, along with a whole cast of others. Set two years after the first movie, Dave Lizewski has hung up his wetsuit, and returned back to his regular life as a regular teenager.

Unfortunately, Christopher Mintz-Plasse has other plans. Determined to get revenge on Kick-Ass for killing his father in the first film, he dons his late mother’s bondage gear, and renames himself The Motherf****r. He also builds himself an evil army of supervillains, featuring the small and deadly “Tumour”, the insane “Genghis Carnage”, and the unstoppable juggernaut that is “Mother Russia” (picture a Russian Jodie Marsh...on steroids). Yes, it’s as messed up as it sounds, but in a gloriously delightful way.

This forces Kick-Ass to get back into his old ways, and after training with Hit-Girl for a while, he is able to hold his own in a fight. He also gets involved with a team of heroes, who were inspired by Kick-Ass, including Dr. Gravity (Donald Faison), Night Bitch (Lindy Booth), and the team leader – Colonel Stars & Stripes (Jim Carrey). Each of these characters have their own personalities, and you really come to care about them all.

Needless to say, this vendetta against Kick-Ass leads to some spectacular action sequences, and plenty of gratuitous violence and bloodshed. You thought the first film was brutal? You ain’t seen nothing yet. Seriously, how this film hasn’t tipped into an 18 rating is beyond me. This is definitely not one for the squeamish or faint hearted.

This might not suit everyone, but even without the large amounts of gore, the action scenes would still be seriously awesome. After an extremely climactic ending (featuring a particularly intense battle where Hit-Girl takes on Mother Russia) and the credits rolled, I couldn’t help but wish for more.

Which brings me to my next criticism. Yes, the action sequences are great, and yes I was massively entertained by Hit-Girl somersaulting around the side of a truck, but for all their intensity, there didn’t seem to be enough of them. Hit-Girl was not only my favourite character from the first film, but she’s also one of my favourite movie characters, full stop, and I’m sure I’m not her only fan. So why they had her ditch the costume and become Mindy McCready: high school student for the vast majority of the film is a mystery indeed.

A lot of the film almost felt like a teen movie, about a girl coping with the dramas of high school with a few superhero action scenes thrown in. I only hope that if they make a third film, Hit-Girl has a much larger part in it. Or maybe get her own film! I’d pay to see that!

At the end of the day, Kick-Ass 2 is a fitting sequel to a great film, and one-ups the first in almost every way. A step backwards with the humour is balanced by two steps forward in the action. I just can’t help wishing there was more of it. Nevertheless, if you liked Kick-Ass, you’ll love Kick-Ass 2. The bar for superhero sequels has been set. 

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