In a movie universe that draws its satire in an Alan Moore comic book style of way, maybe Kick-Ass 2 should be called V for Vendetta instead. Three long years feels like a long time for some whoopin to return. This movie picks up from where the first film left off. The only question here is whether or not these heroes can rise above what they have become. Are they more like characters similar to Bruce Wayne (aka Batman) or are they good people underneath?
This film is very good for one thing: to show that Mindy aka Hit-Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) has the right stuff. As an ordinary teenager, she struggles with the typical high school issues that some students face. Some form cliques in order to stand out and others deal with life day-by-day with no desire to be recognized. But the idea of finding people or a place to belong in is tough. The same can be said for David Lizewski / Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson).
But when Mindy has skipped school a lot, she never had a chance to fit in at all. There is some irony in the screenplay. Mindy is supposed to win an award for perfect attendance; but when she was a no-show, Hit-Girl has been busy. Is she a punk, misfit, or what? There is no definitive answer. David is attending school, and the complexities it delivers when one of his friend knows what he does outside of school and the other does not shows just how deep the story goes as it explores sociological issues.
The subplot about Mindy could have been delved into more, but it would have detracted from the larger plot that was afoot. In the second movie, Chris D’Amico reveals that he knows that his crime boss father met the front end of a bazooka by Kick Ass, and his vendetta is to see his nemesis buried six feet under in not so gentle ways. As Red Mist, his idea of twisted evil is much like something The Joker would pull. When the first film ended with a one line zinger that Batman fans would recognize, the second film’s direction becomes all too obvious.
For most of act one, Chris’ plans are thwarted by an overprotective mom. One accident later, he inherits his family’s empire–or so he believes. Instead what he learns is that he should put up or shut up by his uncle, nicely played by Ralph D’Amico (Iain Glen, Game of Thrones), as just as much power in this family and he’s in jail. He carries just as much power in this crime syndicate but does young Chris listen? No. He embraces his new villain title, “Mother Fucker” even more and the ramifications of what he does needs to be addressed.
The tale being created is worth paying attention to if the pacing was not such a problem. The first half of the film drags back and forth between the three separate plots about Mindy, David and Chris creating their new social circles. But once when the Carrie-style subplot gets dealt with, the real fun can begin. To see what Kick-Ass’ new pals are up to is right up Alan Moore territory.
To see Jim Carrey play Colonel Stars and Stripes is interesting. Although his role was short, taking up about maybe 12 minutes worth of screen time, this character is a radical departure from all the goofy films that the actor has done in the past. The Majestic and The Truman Show are two examples of what Carrey has done to prove that he’s a versatile actor than a comedienne. He plays angry very well. Although he is distancing himself from this film these days in response to the Sandy Hook shootings, the problem is that no matter what, his role could not be edited out. He will have to learn to deal with the pros and cons of what this film represents.
For other talents, their position is not the same as Carrey’s. Christopher Mintz-Plasse revealed two scenes were taken out. Even lead actress Chloë Grace Moretz has an opinion and simply said, “It’s just a movie … If anything, these movies teach you what not to do.” But as for her character, this fine actress shows how comfortable she is at either being a socially awkward high school student or as a strongly confident Hit-Girl. This film is a coming of age story for her. Even David finds that there needs to be a time to take off the cape to understand where he fits in an adult world. Like Spider-Man, he has to understand that with great power comes great responsibility. In this case, when its proper to take responsibility. But as for what will happen next, Kick Ass 2 is only a beginning than just the end.