When the trailers for the original Kick-Ass came out, I was convinced it would be stupid. I just didn’t get the whole deal from the trailer and had never read the graphic novel. But once I saw the film, I was blown away. The brilliant combination of badass action with kooky humor worked like gangbusters and it was one of my favorite films of that year. So needless to say I was greatly anticipating the sequel, Kick-Ass 2, which arrives this week on store shelves.
Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) has not only become a celebrity, but has inspired a whole wave of ordinary citizens to don masks and fight crime in the streets. One group of heroes led by the gruff Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey) asks Kick-Ass to join them and Kick-Ass happily agrees, wanting to be part of something bigger. Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) on the other hand has given in to retiring Hit Girl after the death of Big Daddy and is trying desperately to be an ordinary high school girl. All their lives are about to be turned upside down though as the former Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), now vengeful after his father’s death, becomes the first super villain and forms his own group of psychotic anti-heroes set out to put an end to Kick-Ass’s new movement.
First thing, Kick-Ass 2 does not quite capture the same magic as the original. The structure is weaker, the plot thinner and the characters not as well drawn. But there is still plenty to love. Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloë Grace Moretz still have great chemistry and all of their scenes are great, especially Moretz Mean Girls-ish scenes of trying to fit in with the cool girls at school. And Jim Carrey’s character, even though he may not personally stand behind him anymore, is a great character and a nice turn by Carrey doing something quite different than his norm. The action is still fast paced and uber violent, as it should be, and there are still some very dark moments in the film that took me by surprise. Overall, Kick-Ass 2 is a worthy sequel, even if it doesn’t quite reach the heights of its predecessor.
The Blu-ray from Universal is…kick ass. Bold colors, especially in the hero costumes, pop out of the screen and the soundtrack is bombastic and immersive. A very nice transfer overall that will not disappoint. While maybe a slight disappointment, Kick-Ass 2 still manages to entertain and still kicks ass. Recommended.
Available December 17, 2013 on Blu-ray and DVD.