Why Kick-Ass 2 is Awesome
- Category: Film
- Published: Wednesday, 25 September 2013 18:19
- Written by Jubby
“Real-world superhero antics do kick ass.”
The Kick-Ass franchise can quickly be summed up as what would happen if a bunch of people got together to fight crime in the real world. No superpowers here; just baseball bats, knives, guns and fists. Where Kick-Ass 2 ups the ante, as all sequels inevitably must, is in creating not only superheroes, but also supervillains. And it is awesome.
Kick-Ass 2 is based on both the eponymous comic series, and the comic series Kick-Ass 2 Prelude: Hit-Girl. It combines the elements from these stories in a very effective way to produce a good, engaging story with well-acted characters that each bring something new to the table. It does take liberties from the source material, as all comic-book movies do, and these liberties are bigger and more frequent than its predecessor (though the third act of the first film is very much film-only and bares only passing resemblance to what happens in the comic). While I had gripes with how the first film changed from the comic, in this film it all feels a lot more grounded in their reality and not as out of place as, say, a jetpack with mini-guns attached. This film keeps a better consistent universe and doesn’t suddenly throw something in because it’d be cool but doesn’t entirely work. Near enough everything in this film is believable (as believable as a group of superheroes fighting a group of supervillains can be) and that’s one of the best aspects of it.
The violence in the film is also top-notch, with you hearing every hit and slice. It makes the weapons seem more real and like they’re actually hitting something, which is something not enough action films get right. The fight scenes are all better than the first film and are all more hard-hitting and realistic. The stand-out fight scene has to be between Hit-Girl and Mother Russia though: two hard-hitting characters truly in a fight to the death which is something of a spectacle to behold. Luckily, the action sequences are all clearly visible so you never suddenly can’t see what’s supposed to be happening or who’s doing what. This was a flaw prominent in a lot of action films of the last decade or so, so it’s good to see the action scenes remain fluid and understandable here.
Let the bodies hit the floor.
The relationships between characters all seem natural and not forced or put in for no reason. The returning characters all show some development from the first film, in either being better at fighting, better at being a normal person, or better at being bad. They’re not just playing the same characters as before, they’re playing evolved versions of their characters which is something the comic gets right and is done very well here too. Everyone present has a reason to be in the film, even if their sole reason is to be cannon-fodder or comic relief. There are many minor characters in the film which work perfectly as minor characters with little character development, but wouldn’t be able to carry the film as main characters as well as the stars do. Speaking of the stars, Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl are played perfectly by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloë Grace Moretz , respectively, and you can see that they really enjoy what they’re doing on screen and that the two do have chemistry together, which holds the entire film together. Christopher Mintz-Plasse is still an inspired casting choice for the villain of the piece and holds his own in the acting ring as the spoiled Mafia-boss’ son hell-bent on vengeance against Kick-Ass. An unrecognisable Jim Carrey rounds out the set of four stars and plays his part to a tee, and clearly relishes (though his comments about the film made later could be a good counter-point to this) in his role which is a little different from his usual fare.
The world’s first superhero staring contest brings out some weird people.
Something I like about this film over its predecessor is that the first film had a very Hollywood vibe to it which clashed with both the comic and the world they’d created. In this film, it feels less like that and more that the director and the writer had freedom to tell the story as a real-life superhero tale would be. The hero doesn’t always win, he doesn’t always get the girl, he isn’t always righteous in what he does and he can’t do everything alone. And he will get his ass kicked.
Ass-kicking time has arrived.
I think the main reason this film is so awesome, and arguably makes it better than the first film, is that it makes everything seem so real. You’ll believe the character relationships, you’ll believe the action and the violence and you’ll believe (with a little suspension of disbelief) that a bunch of people can get together as a group of superheroes to fight a group of supervillains. And that is awesome.
‘Til next time, this has been Jubby writing for The Awesome Update.