Movie Review: Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

Universal Pictures
Runtime: 1 hour, 43 minutes
Rated: R (for strong violence, pervasive language, crude and sexual
content, and brief nudity)
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Writers: Jeff Wadlow, Mark Millar (comic book)
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Aaron Taylor-Johnson,
Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse

Action | Comedy | Crime

Kick-Ass 2 offers everything the first movie did, but with one important augmentation at the end. It makes us unable to get enough of the good guys and compels us to love hating the bad guys, and in doing so, brings in the same excitement of a favorite comic.

It hasn’t been long since “Kick-Ass” (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and “Hit-Girl” (Chloë Grace Moretz) finished off “Frank D’Amico” (Mark Strong) and his goons. In the sequel, this has Frank’s son “Chris” (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) gunning for revenge—soon with a team of infamous killers headed up by “Mother Russia,” played by 6’8 Ukrainian female bodybuilder Olga Kurkulina (Hit-Girl’s ultimate competition).

In the meantime, the YouTube revolution of masked vigilantes have taken to the streets and the police now have serious help in fighting off the much overplayed thuggery. This time, the good guys have their own new team, thanks to the volunteers who want to see the streets cleaned up, led by “Colonel Stars and Stripes” (an almost unrecognizable Jim Carrey).

While the takedowns and altercations offer some level of satisfaction, many stunts border on insanely improbable, on a few occasions testing our patience. But if you’re watching anything Kick-ass for a lesson on reality, you’ve sadly missed the point.

In the first film, one picked-on, vulnerable schoolboy started something that changed crime fighting. In the second film, its heroes are fighting to answer a bigger question: who they are. There is no question whatsoever of what movie 2 wanted to accomplish—to serve as a self-parody while conveying a big moral truth on the nature of what a real hero is.

While we never run into trouble in the layout of the story, the plot revels in the same pig pen of irreverence, profanity, excrement, superfluity, and even brief nudity, for which it earns its very hard R rating. And if no one takes issue with teenagers having the mental and emotional maturity of adults, it remains a fun, and very often, funny film.