Somewhere in the midst of Kick-Ass 2, with the soundtrack blaring and chaos erupting on the screen, I was ready to throw up my hands and jump around like I was in the middle of a crowd at a rock concert. The score in this movie is put so front and center that you couldn't possibly miss it. That's even with all the crazy action that flies across the screen. Some might see this as overbearing, but I found it to be brave and quite refreshingly fun.
Fun, that's what Kick-Ass 2 is really all about. The comic series that the Kick-Ass movie series is based on is rather dark. There is a lot of violence in it and it is often towards people who really don't deserve it. It's some of the goriest, disgusting, violence I have ever seen. The movie takes these situations and turns them into something much less depressing and grim. One scene of violence from the books, for example, is cut short in the movie for a joke that lightens the tone of the scene.
Much of Kick-Ass 2, however, is faithful to the books. A lot of lines are taken directly from the books, but they are also sometimes used so quickly that only readers of the books may even catch them. It does feel like there are some bits of dialogue in the movie that go by too quickly. In the books, the scenes were longer and the dialogue was given more room to really flesh itself out. Other than that though, the basic plot of Kick-Ass 2 remains faithful to the books. Some characters are changed or cut out completely, but they are replaced with things that really work well for the movie version of the story.
The story here this time is one involving the emergence of a new evil bent on revenge and the new heroes brought together to stop it. It's also a story about growing up and dealing with the common issues that plague high school students. It's this part of the story that really gives Kick-Ass 2 its heart. Kick-Ass 2 could have easily been just a series of violent scenes and immature jokes, but with its tale of teenagers growing up it really brings about a soft side of the movie that makes a connection through all the hard edged action and dirty, disgusting, humor.
The Kick-Ass comics are really all about the love of comics. Barely a line goes by that doesn't reference a character or storyline from a comic book. The movies don't utilize these comic book references nearly as much. While some references were fun and are missed from the movies it is also fun what the movies put into the story instead. In particular, one part about a boy band really nailed what boy bands are like in an awesomely humorous way. It was even more humorous due to the One Direction movie trailer shown before the screening of Kick-Ass 2 that I saw. The fake Kick-Ass 2 boy band and the real One Direction movie one couldn't have been more similar and ridiculous. Also ridiculous is picturing the kid who played McLovin' in Superbad as a villain in a comic book movie. The people who cast Christopher Mintz-Plasse in this role are geniuses and are the reason for the gift of much comedy in Kick-Ass 2.
Kick-Ass 2 is loaded with humor. It is much more of a comedy than the comic books it is based on. However, it also contains much of the action that the comic books were filled with. The action is fast paced and loud and really, really, fun to watch. It's the combination of this, the humor, and the heart of the coming of age storyline that makes Kick-Ass 2 able to deliver the full package of solid entertainment that is really worthy of being projected onto the movie screen.