When director Matthew Vaughn unleashed Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr’s Kick-Ass on audiences in 2010 it changed the superhero genre. This tale of real life superheroes with over the top violence gave the world a different kind of superhero film that it had been waiting for. Now the heroes are back with Kick-Ass 2 but this time Jeff Wadlow at the helm with Vaughn producing. The majority of the cast is back along with new additions including Jim Carrey, Morris Chestnut, Donald Faison, and John Leguizamo but does it kick as much ass as the first film or will this be their last mission?
Kick-Ass 2 follows Kick Ass who is still trying to find himself as a hero, has spawned a whole new wave of self-made crusaders who form a team to fight crime and save the city. In exchange to make him better Hit Girl agrees to train him while also deciding to give up the life in hopes to be a normal girl, but when Red mist returns as the super villain The Mother F%&$*r it will change all of their lives and send them on a collision course to take him down once and for all. The first film had added originality to the genre that was desperately needed, but this one feels just as fresh despite it lacking the build-up that made the original so fun. This is necessary as this film is the evolution to these characters instead of just another adventure. We see Kick Ass trying to become an actual hero while Hit Girl is ready to just move on. There are plenty of fun moments with both characters and there is a noticeable less time of Mortez as Hit Girl, but plenty of story of her character trying to be normal in the only way she can, with often entertaining results. For all intents and purposes Hit Girl and Kick Ass have changed places and both of them bring the needed performances to make it work.
The rest of the cast all deliver with Jim Carrey standing out delivering yet another awesome supporting character. He isn’t in the movie near as much as you might hope, but he plays a pivotal role that is effective and fun to watch. Plasse plays up the nerdy wanna be criminal perfectly allowing him to evolve into a full on nut job perfectly with all its ridiculousness. The one other real stand-out if John Leguizamo who while never gets to sport a costume plays an important role to Plasse keeping the grounded nature to the relationship. His moments on film are highly effective and seem the most genuine of all the relationships. Once again the violence is graphic and over the top as expected and works perfectly despite it getting a bit sillier than the first film. There are a couple of moments that are funny but goofy that while work kind of take you out of the overall film, but thanks to some clever story telling works its way back into a later scene thus making more sense.
This is one of those rare sequels that live up to the original in almost every way. Sure the first probably had more of an impact due to it being something different, but here they successfully evolve the story and characters to develop a bigger universe that is fun to be a part of. If you enjoyed the first film you will most likely have a great time here as well, but this is a more acquired taste of the genre and may not be for everyone. Hopefully this one will do at least as good as the original, which it seems to be with opening weekend, in hopes to deliver another chapter as the after credits sequence leaves some things open as well as could be for a good end.