Review: Kick Ass 2

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Frances Winston thinks this is a great film, but definitely not suitable for children

Directed by: Jeff Wadlow – Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloë Grace Moretz, Jim Carrey, John Leguizamo, Donald Faison

Set after the events of 2010’s Kick Ass, this sees New York overrun with masked vigilantes, who have all been inspired by the titular character’s efforts. However Kick Ass’ alter ego, David Lizewski (Taylor Johnson) is struggling to live a normal life, as is Mindy Macready (Moretz) aka Hit Girl.

Realising that he hasn’t got the superhero bug out of his system, Davis teams up with Mindy to train, but when former super hero Red Mist (Mintz-Plasse) decides to reinvent himself as a super villain, they realise that they are still needed on the streets.

With Mindy not keen to break a promise to her father though, it is left to Kick Ass to join up with a group of hotch potch heroes known as Justice Forever, who are led by Col. Stars and Stripes (Carrey).

However, their former ally turned bad guy means business, and soon recruits a band of psychopaths and reprobates to help him in his quest to finish off Kick Ass once and for all. With the body count rising, the police are arresting anyone who wears a mask, and so the aspiring vigilantes must rise to the occasion and save the day.

The original movie felt original, fun and fresh, and this does suffer from being a sequel, although there is also a comforting familiarity about the characters. This is no cute super hero movie. There is very strong language, lots of violence and sexual themes, and the overall tone is dark.

The main protagonists may be teenagers, but they are far from average, having seen and experienced more than most of their contemporaries. We are constantly reminded that Hit girl is only 15, as she seems far more mature than her years, and Moretz and Taylor Johnson have a great chemistry together. Jim Carrey resists the urge to gurn his way through the film, and is actually quite watchable as the leader of the not-so-super Super Heroes.

The always fabulous John Leguizamo is woefully underused, and Mintz-Plasse is highly annoying in parts, but on the whole all of the cast acquit themselves well. The script finds just the right balance between cheesy and funny, and the fight sequences are fabulously staged and very stylish. It is also nice to see a girl holding her own in action scenes with men, which Moretz does with aplomb. They also throw in a gratuitous shot of a topless Taylor Johnson, which shouldn’t leave many people complaining.

If you enjoyed the first movie you will love this, and if you haven’t seen the first one don’t panic, as the characters give enough back story to prevent you becoming lost. This does literally kick ass. It is absolutely not suitable for children despite the comic book characters. However, for adults it is a great bit of fun that doesn’t outstay its welcome, and never becomes boring.

At times it is a bit sentimental, but these scenes are few and over quickly, and on the whole this film is a hugely entertaining high camp romp, that has more depth than these sorts of movies usually allow themselves. It is stylish and clever, and definitely worth a look.

In cinemas August 14

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