"If the idea of a sequel is to continue a story and develop its characters and themes then Kick Ass 2 definitely delivers, its bigger, louder, gorier and sweary-er"
Sequels are always risky business and having to follow in the footsteps of Matthew Vaughn's brilliant adaptation of Mark Millars comic book series Kick Ass was never going to be easy. So you can imagine the kinds of pressure facing newcomer director Jeff Wadlow as he took over megaphone duties for the highly anticipated Kick Ass 2.
If the idea of a sequel is to continue a story and develop its characters and themes then Kick Ass 2 definitely delivers, its bigger, louder, gorier and sweary-er then its predecessor but dont be fooled, bigger isn't necessarily better.
Picking up where the last film left off, with the death of Big Daddy which leaves a distinct Nicholas Cage sized hole in this sequel, it's up to Hit Girl to carry her fathers legacy and defend the city she swore to protect. However for Marcus, who has become something of a father figure to Mindy since her fathers passing, her crime fighting lifestyle is beginning to take its toll and he makes her promise to give it all up for the chance to lead a normal life.
Meanwhile Kick Ass has inadvertently spawned a whole new generation of wannabe superheroes and ends up joining a group, kind of like an am-dram Justice League, where he meets a handful of the have-a-go heroes he's inspired. It's not long before the former Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) catches wind of Kick Ass's antics, promising to avenge his father he decides to become the first ever super villain, the somewhat inappropriately named The Motherfucker and recruits a rag tag bunch of baddies to wipe out Kick Ass once and for all.
With Hit Girl struggling to cope with her new life of normality and all the trappings of a teenage girls life that come with it, including one baffling scene where Mindy attends a girls slumber party and is awakened to the concept of boys with the help of our very own Union J. Yep that's right, for a brief few moments you'll be watching Union J smouldering on the big screen with their Ryan Gosling-esque 'Hey Girl' smiles looming down at you.
As the city starts to clamp down on its costumed crusaders the stage is set for the ultimate showdown in good versus evil and it's up to Kick Ass and his Justice Forever team to save the day, with or without the help of Hit Girl.
It all feels just a little bit too big, with too much going on and far too many superheroes to keep track off. Where Kick Ass succeeded was in the relationship between its three main characters, Kick Ass, Hit Girl and Big Daddy but Kick Ass 2 introduces us to so many new faces it's hard to really focus on whose important.
But that isn't to say Kick Ass 2 doesn't have its moments, without a doubt the standout performances belong to Jim Carrey's born again Christian turned vigilante Colonel Stars and Stripes and his faithful accomplice Eisenhower, an Alsatian with a taste for a certain male reproductive organ! Despite not having a huge role in the fim, he only really gets about 10 minutes in total of screen time, it just goes to show how talented Jim Carrey is as a character actor in bringing the Colonel to life.
But the real star of this film is Chloe Moretz, who is truly a force to be reckoned with both as Hit Girl and as Mindy. The scenes involving her character as either Mindy McReedy or Hit Girl are by far the most entertaining, specifically a scene toward the end of the movie as she has to deal with a group of school bitches who've bullied her throughout making her life hell but in a way that only Hit Girl knows how, recalling a certain vomiting scene from Team America but that's all we'll say.
As for the rest of the cast, Kick Ass himself is noticeably lacklustre, despite bulking up considerably for the sequel he doesn't bring much to the table, but perhaps this is simply due to the screen being overcrowded with too many new faces. It's a solid next chapter in what could easily be a string of follow on movies, and the film has managed to maintain Kick Ass's darkly comic undertone which made it so popular as a comic book in the first place but sadly it feels just a little too messy and doesn't succeed in attempting to capture the same dynamic as the first film. As an action film though, Kick Ass 2 certainly delivers the goods with a series of frenetic and brutal fight sequences that will have you wincing in your seats.