Kick Ass was one of the sleeper hits of 2010. With its razor sharp script, its eccentric cast of characters and its unflinchingly violent and gory action, the film won over critics and audiences despite the controversy that it attracted.

Quite why some tabloids were so upset about an 11 year old girl uttering the c-word in a comic book movie, but were apparently not bothered by the fact her character was a sociopathic serial killer is beyond me, but there you go. I digress.

A sequel was a sure thing. But with Mathew Vaughn and Jane Goldman busy working on various X-Men films and a project called Secret Service, Jeff Wadlow was selected as the writer and director for the follow-up.

For the most part, Kick Ass 2 works remarkably well and aside from a few loose strands in the plot, you wouldn’t know that there has been a change of talent behind the scenes.

[one_half]

While some of the comical tone is missing from the first film, what happens in Kick Ass 2 feels very much like a natural progression.

If it’s predecessor was a satirical swipe at a superhero’s origin yarn, then Kick Ass 2 is another swipe aimed at the typical stories that follow them. Who are our heroes? Why are they doing what they do? It’s all about learning to take responsibility and ultimately the sacrifices that have to be made for the greater good.

Sure the humour is toned down, but then superhero sequels are rarely full of laughs. The Dark Knight, X-Men 2 and Spider-man 2 all spring to mind here and Kick Ass 2 very much follows that train of thought – the stakes must be raised and our heroes brawn must be tested further.

As the film progresses Kick Ass teams up with a gang of superheroes going by the name “Justice Forever”, while a new supervillian with a familiar face takes to the streets and um, Twitter, to cause havoc and panic.

Once again Aaron Johnson gives a solid performance as David Lizewski, AKA Kick Ass – high school nerd by day, crime fighting vigilante with a mask in the evening.

[/one_half]
[one_half_last]

Colonel Stars & Stripes (Jim Carrey) and Kick Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson)

Colonel Stars & Stripes (Jim Carrey) and Kick Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson)

[/one_half_last]

Chloe Grace Moretz also returns to the fold, turning in a great performance as Mindy Macready, as she struggles to adjust to the pressures of high school life while her alter-ego Hit Girl is forced into retirement. ¬†As she is shunned by the popular crowd, it’s made quite clear that one of the films messages is that high school bitches can be even more villainous than a megalomaniacal lunatic.

New superheroes include Colonel Stars and Stripes, portrayed somewhat controversially by Jim Carrey (regardless of his views, his performance here is the best he has been in a film for quite a while now), Doctor Gravity (an enthusiastic Donald Faison), Insect Man (Robert Emms) and Night Bitch (Lindy Booth). David’s school friends Marty Eisenberg (Clark Duke) and Todd Haynes (Augstus Prew) also get involved with the superhero shenanigans as Battle Guy and Ass-Kicker respectively.

[one_half]

Christopher Mintz-Plasse as The Mother F#cker

Christopher Mintz-Plasse as The Mother F#cker

[/one_half]
[one_half_last]

Another returning face is Christopher Mintz-Plasse who very nearly walks away with the film as Chris D’Amico, formally known as Red Mist but now going by the name of The Mother F#cker.

As he plots his way through his master plan recruiting various violent and tough bastards for his gang of henchmen (that go by a name I could not possibly type down here), you soon forget that this is the same wimpy looking lad who played the clueless McLovin in Superbad.

Whether it’s The Mother F#cker’s ridiculous outfit or the shear absurdity of his actions, Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s performance is somewhat of a revelation and it’s nice to see him play a character that is confident, determined and in control, if not entirely mentally.

His team of henchmen include Mother Russia, a former KGB agent who is clearly modelled on M-Bison from Streetfighter 2 but with a female head, The Tumor (Andy Nyman), Black Death (Daniel Kaluuya) and Genghis Carnage (Tom Wu).

[/one_half_last]

Once again, the action is as bone crunchingly brutal as you can imagine, thanks in part to some terrific choreography and some snappy editing.

While things never take off the same way they did in the first film (there’s no jet packs in this instalment unfortunately), there are still some impressive set pieces on display here. Watching Mother Russia take out an entire police squad using a gas canister, a car door and a lawnmower is one of those highlights.

While the story may not be as cohesive as it’s predecessor, Kick Ass 2 is an honourable and worthy effort in every sense. It doesn’t re-invent the wheel, neither does it try to.

It simply carries on the old tradition of delivering darker superhero sequels with the satirical punch of the first movie.

Verdict:
[rating=4]

About The Author

Colin lives in south west London. Looks like a hobbit and has been watching films ever since he saw Return of the Jedi at the age of 3. You can follow Colin on Twitter @obicolkenobi.