Kick-Ass 2 (15)

Film

Action and adventure

Kick Ass 2

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Mon Aug 12 2013

It’s three years since Hit-Girl first kapowed on to the screen, letting rip the C-word at a room full of drug dealers before taking them out with a shiny new butterfly knife. Back then, ‘Kick-Ass’ exploded like a grenade of brattish energy and ultraviolence. The slightly disappointing sequel is less anarchic and more slick. You’ll still be laughing, but where ‘Kick-Ass’ giggled at action cliches, this sometimes slips into them.

Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) is dead and Hit-Girl (Chloë Moretz) has been adopted by his old cop partner. Now 15 and starting high school, she has promised to hang up the nunchucks for good. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is back as Dave Lizewski, the high-school nerd whose only superpower is not dying of shame wearing a green wetsuit on New York’s streets.

Dave’s amateur heroics as Kick-Ass went viral on YouTube and spawned a generation of have-a-go avengers. Now there’s an amateur league of superheroes, led by Jim Carrey. Carrey has since withdrawn support for ‘Kick-Ass 2’, slamming its ‘level of violence’. But his toothpaste grin has never been wider as he slices and dices. What lures Hit-Girl out of retirement is Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). He’s now The Motherfucker, wearing his dead mum’s skintight fetish outfits.

The best thing about ‘Kick-Ass’ was Moretz, and Hit-Girl still gets the best lines. Like the first film, ‘Kick-Ass 2’ pulls the reality of teen life into its fantasy. But Hit-Girl was homeschooled on the weight-to-velocity rates of bullets. So how will she now deal with classroom bitches? The answer is a little lame.

Elsewhere, there’s plenty to enjoy, if a bit guiltily at times. Carrey has an issue with the film’s violence. My problem is the sex. ‘Kick-Ass’ was full of boytastic bad taste – Dave whacking off to a fantasy involving his teacher. Harmless teen boy stuff. ‘Kick-Ass 2’ notches it up with an offensive rape joke (man tries to rape woman, can’t get it up). Okay, he’s the butt of the joke, but in a film whose heroine is a 15-year-old girl beating up a bunch of bad dudes, that’s not just bad taste – it leaves a bad taste.

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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Wed Aug 14, 2013

Duration:

113 mins

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

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Rachel Brook

Jeff Wadlow’s follow-up to Matthew Vaughn’s Kick-Ass, the lurid 2010 film adapted from Mark Millar’s graphic novel, may have shed the franchise’s original director, but Kick-Ass 2 is just as bloody, funny, and awkward as its predecessor. Aaron Taylor-Johnson returns as the bumbling Dave Lizewski, reprising the role which helped shoot him to fame. Dave, too, finds he must reprise his alter-ego, the titular Kick-Ass, in order to bring down the sociopathic Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), who has fashioned himself into supervillain ‘The Motherfucker’ and is hell-bent on avenging the death of his crime lord father. Despite the time elapsed since Kick-Ass’s release the narrative arcs of the two films are as closely tied as you’d expect considering the source material, and comic book influences are tangible not just in the plot but in Kick-Ass 2’s aesthetics. Comic-book style text is superimposed over shots, used to bridge from one scene to another in much the same way as text is used to introduce frames in printed comics. This is a far more original touch than the generic epic/action score, by Henry Jackman and Matthew Margeson, which is effective although familiar. The film’s hook is Dave’s friendship with Mindy Macready (Chloё Grace Moretz), AKA the tough-as-nails vigilante Hit-Girl. As Dave welcomes Kick-Ass back into his life, Mindy wrestles with the promises made to her surrogate father Marcus (Morris Chesnut) and the crime-fighting she is continually pulled toward. It’s Hit-Girl who’s the true hero of this film; she’s the superhero you want to see back in costume and in action, and her prominence is refreshing considering the prevalence of male superheroes brought to the big screen. The script will keep you waiting here, but meanwhile Mindy’s experience of bitchy cliques is as well-played as similar angst in any dedicated high school movie (of course excepting Mean Girls). As Mindy is hazed by the ‘queen bee’ and her minions Moretz is poignant, although her considerable talent with painful emotion is far better demonstrated in Derek Martini’s Hick. The apt and hilarious (though unoriginal) high school drama is oddly matched by the latter half of the film, where most of the blood is shed. Mintz-Plasse’s Motherfucker builds an army of ‘psychos and ex-cons’ to take on Kick-Ass’s superhero team ‘Justice Forever’. (Of course, Hit-Girl is the crucial missing piece needed to strengthen Justice Forever’s motley crew). Those who kicked up a fuss in response to the ‘ultra-violence’ of Nicholas Winding Refn’s Drive were fighting the wrong battle; Drive may be brutal and bloody but all of the violence is in service of the gangster plot, and the body count is kept to a minimum. The same cannot be said for either Kick-Ass movie. Kick-Ass 2’s climax sends the body count into the hundreds, limbs are frequently slashed off and the floor is awash with fake blood and shards of broken glass. It’s not only the violence that makes parts of Kick-Ass 2 uncomfortable to watch; allusion to sexual abuse is followed by an erectile dysfunction gag, and young actors receive plenty of voyeuristic attention. Queen bee Brooke (Claudia Lee) gives an inappropriately sexualised performance when auditioning for the high school dance club, but plugging/mocking of Brit boy band Union J ensures that males are just as objectified as females, and sets up for the film’s best joke. The audience are teased, however, and must wait until the final act before Taylor-Johnson’s toned torso appears onscreen. Kick-Ass 2’s odd mixture of gore-porn, touching coming-of-age drama and gross-out comedy ends by priming us for another sequel, the concluding chapter which has already prompted speculative would-be spoilers all over the internet. Here’s hoping Kick-Ass will finally upgrade his costume.

fueldragster

For me the first film was the most surprisingly enjoyable film of the year, truly brilliant and the only alteration I would have suggested was adding a specific joke at the end. So, in my opinion the current film has a real reputation to live up to and it has a damn good go given that it can never get the same kudos for originality. Aaron Johnson in particular gives an equivalent excellent performance as the vulnerable hero without the Super powers, Ms Moretz fulfills her part well though I thought that she could have been given a little more time to establish how she was supposed to be fitting in with her new life. The treatment of Kickass's girl interests seemed a bit slam-bam this time round. I would not say that this film is "stronger" in any way than the first and I have to wonder what sort of film Mr Carrey thought he was signing up for. MF did not quite work quite as well for me as Red Mist did. The ending draws things to a close for the amateur heroes but then suggests that Iron-ass may be on the way, if so then it stands to reason that Hit Girl will return with "post 16" possibilities - I hope that the writers are exceedingly careful and do not ruin the dynamic between them. I expect that reviewers of this film are preaching to the converted: If you enjoyed the first then definitely go see, if you did not then the new film will do nothing to change your view.

fueldragster

For me the first film was the most surprisingly enjoyable film of the year, truly brilliant and the only alteration I would have suggested was adding a specific joke at the end. So, in my opinion the current film has a real reputation to live up to and it has a damn good go given that it can never get the same kudos for originality. Aaron Johnson in particular gives an equivalent excellent performance as the vulnerable hero without the Super powers, Ms Moretz fulfills her part well though I thought that she could have been given a little more time to establish how she was supposed to be fitting in with her new life. The treatment of Kickass's girl interests seemed a bit slam-bam this time round. I would not say that this film is "stronger" in any way than the first and I have to wonder what sort of film Mr Carrey thought he was signing up for. MF did not quite work quite as well for me as Red Mist did. The ending draws things to a close for the amateur heroes but then suggests that Iron-ass may be on the way, if so then it stands to reason that Hit Girl will return with "post 16" possibilities - I hope that the writers are exceedingly careful and do not ruin the dynamic between them. I expect that reviewers of this film are preaching to the converted: If you enjoyed the first then definitely go see, if you did not then the new film will do nothing to change your view.

Thierry Thirou

One of the funniest films i've seen, brilliant fight scenes, Nicolas Cage, Chloe Grace Moretz, Mark Strong and Aaron Johnson are all fantastic in the film.