The follow up to the OTT coming-of-age superhero tale, which also had an endearing sense of humour, takes the phrase ‘all guns blazing’ to a whole new level but still keeps the heart which made the first film so compelling.
The change in director is felt as soon as the first action scene kicks off, with a flurry of violence, blood and frantic camera work in abundance. Despite this the feeling of excitement and adrenaline doesn’t quite get out of hand, the laughs remain (if accompanied with a few cringing moments), and the plot is just as strong as the first outing.
After the extreme danger and peril of part one, Kick-Ass has given up his hero work, while Hit Girl has kept training and keeping the streets safe, despite her guardian’s best intentions to have her lead a normal life.
At the same time, the numbers of costume heroes on the streets has increased, with ordinary people being inspired by what Kick-Ass started.
This is where Jim Carrey comes in. The loss of Nicholas Cage could have been a severe setback to the film, but Carrey as Colonel Stars and Stripes fills the boots of slightly-mad-but-mature hero with gravitas and fun. Unfortunately his character isn’t explored as much as it should be, and as a result the potential isn’t fully realised.
Herein lies the biggest downfall of the film in a nutshell. For everything Director Jeff Wedlow does right he does something else which…isn’t quite right.
In the end the positives outweigh the negatives, but it can occasionally take this impact out of the film’s finer moments. At one point the audience is drawn into an emotional peak, before being thrown into high octane action without any chance to take a breath.
Evil villain duty is taken up by Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who does little to shake off his Super bad typecasting, but, to his credit, makes his typically expletively-named character work.
The good guy cast deliver as they did last time around, with an added slice of character development for Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) which on the whole works’ though does feel a little forced at times. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is the rock for the story once again and continues to give a stellar performance, really convincing in the continued disbelief of his situation.
The action can get pretty bloody, with the previous film’s most bloody moment becoming more of a regular occurrence. It may be too much for some tastes, but just about manages to toe the line and keep things within it’s (admittedly very comic book) established boundaries.
The film overall is a lesson in how sequels which take a risk can pay off, with the occasional misstep or rough edge. Being based on a comic book gave the story more weight, but the delivery from the cast, both returning and new faces alike, is what sells it.
As an action film alone it hovers around average, but the characters and the interplay, plus the fact that it doesn’t take itself too seriously, push the film to be more than the sum of its parts.
James Michael Parry