Kick-Ass’ (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) bravery and actions inspire a new wave of masked crusaders, led by the born-again ex-mob enforcer Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey). When Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) is forced to retire from crime fighting, Kick-Ass joins with the new group of heroes, named Justice Forever. Seeking revenge for the death of his father, Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), renamed The Mother F**ker, forms his own group of evil. With his new evil league behind him, The Mother F**ker enacts a plan to make Kick-Ass pay for killing his dad.
Kick-Ass 2 does what good every action sequel should and ups the stakes and danger from its predecessor. This time, the villain, The Mother F**ker, is gunning directly for Kick-Ass and everyone around him. Needless to say, this causes complications in Kick-Ass’ personal life, adding to the strain of balancing high school and crime fighting. The results were pretty intriguing and gruesome.
This is not a movie for the faint of heart. I think the kill count was higher in the previous movie, but the kills were much more… um… stylized this time around. There were some interesting ways the characters found to kill, particularly the villain Mother Russia (Olga Kurkulina). My favorite kill of hers was placing a running lawnmower onto the back of a car and reversing into an oncoming car, sending the mower through the windshield. And that was probably one of the milder kills in the movie.
Much like the previous film, Kick-Ass 2 is genuinely funny. The humor does a good job of keeping the movie from becoming too dark. Moretz had some moments as a stereotypical hormone-filled teenager that came off a somewhat cheesy, but they were still funny. I expected a few more jokes out of Carrey, but unfortunately he didn’t have much screen time.
Moretz is an actress to keep an eye on in the near future. She was phenomenal. She did a great job of playing the hard-ass ass-kicker, but at the same time the sweet little high schooler trying to fit in. Few young actresses can command the screen the way she does. It’s too bad Jim Carrey renounced Kick-Ass 2, because Colonel Stars and Stripes was bad ass. Though he had a limited role, it would have been cool to see more of him.
On the other side of the law, I don’t think Mintz-Plasse was the best actor to play the central villain. The Mother F**ker is supposed to be menacing, but he doesn’t come off that way and it is hard to take him seriously. He does well in the first Kick-Ass as the kid vying for his father’s approval, but not so well as the maniacal villain. Mintz-Plasse is more suited for lighter comedic roles. It’s nice to see actors take roles outside their norm, but sometimes it doesn’t work, and this was one of those times.
Kick-Ass 2 is a good action sequel that ups the danger from the first Kick-Ass, but at the same time diving deeper into who the characters are. Over-the-top action, gruesome deaths, and non-stop laughs make for a humorously visceral experience.