First questions first: how does Kick-Ass 2 measure over its predecessor?
The catch behind the first Kick-Ass movie – based on a comic book by Mark Millar and Joseph Romita Jr – was how far they can allow perky-looking pre-teens to perform acts of R-rated violence.
Glory glory Hallelujah…his truth is marching on!!!
Maybe it’s Hollywood guilt-tripping over not green-lighting the remake of the seminal Japanese cult film Battle Royale.
Well, this film picks up several years onward from the first one – with Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) now going to high school under the name “Mindy Macready” and the guardianship of one of Big Daddy’s (Nicolas Cage) comrades in the NYPD. Her foster father expresses his disapproval over Mindy’s continuous costumed escapades while taking pride in her participating in the usual school activities – which unfortunately include crossing with the school’s resident Alpha Bitch and her Mean Girl posse (their comeuppance – priceless!!!)
Meanwhile, an adrift Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) then hooks up with a superhero team he first met online – the Justice Friends, a ragtag team of costumed superheroes. Each of them have different motives – yet most of them have been united by the viral example that Kick-Ass himself has set. They are led by Cmdr. Stars-And-Stripes (Jim Carrey, at his most sinister since The Cable Guy), a former Mob hitman turned born-again Christian skull-basher who is never without his nail-studded baseball bat (painted in the colours of Old Glory) and his trusty German Shepherd, Eisenhower.
The Bees – A Minha Menina
On the other hand, Chris “The Red Mist’ d’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, a long long way from Superbad‘s McLovin) is holding the mother of all grudges against Kick-Ass for the loss of his father. His own mother, though, intends to move on in her own way – and pays the grisly price in her son’s hands. Donning a bondage get-up which he discovered among his mum’s belongings, and armed with his old man’s pistols, he re-baptises himself as The Mother-Fucker, the world’s first super-villain; with his considerable inherited wealth, he buys the services of real-life MMA fighters to train himself, not to mention an equally formidable Legion Of Doom (including a Russkie she-behemoth evoking memories of Brigitte Nielsen at her Amazonian prime) calling themselves the Toxic Mega-Cunts.
Pretty heady, definitely-not-for-the-kiddies stuff – as per expectations, the blood and body count is even more formidable than its predecessor (credit should go to director Jeff Wadlow, who helmed the underrated MMA-themed drama Never Back Down). A brutal rape scene central in the source comic (“You’re done banging superheroes baby, it’s time to see what evil dick tastes like”) was dialed down into a threat of implied sexual assault, thankfully enough. Love the way that it works with the premise of a “follow-the-leader” costumed-superhero community, particularly how costumed “supes” from both sides of the moral spectrum tend to find kinship amidst social isolation and frequent ostracism.
Standing in stark contrast is Mindy’s attempts to get along with the new high school clique; we are treated to Disney Channel-esque bedrooms complete with a One Direction parody playing on the telly. Alpha Bitch’s sweater during the cheer squad auditions even reminds me of Ed Wood’s – I could almost imagine Johnny Depp in high heels and pencil skirt running after her!
The real Ed Wood – what an ugly, ugly girl!!!
Needless to say, Mindy/Hit-Girl manages to carry the movie effectively, whether sneaking past her foster father in costume, giving a bunch of school bullies tormenting Dave their come-uppance, or even when left in the woods after being given the shaft by Alpha Bitch and her Mean Girls.