KICK-ASS 2 is a movie about two kids who happened to be masked vigilantes, working out whether to turn their backs on a life of danger and try to be "normal". In other words, should they stop subverting justice, stop swearing and stop beating people up? The movie itself happens to be grappling with exactly the same problem. And while writer-director Jeff Wadlow has his hero and heroine throw off the shackles of society and embrace their destiny, he himself has the balls of a little girl - well, any little girl except Hit Girl. Wadlow chokes, giving us the same egregious violence and swearing as the original, but couching every single scene with heavy-handed parental guidance, quite literally giving Hitgirl a swear jar.
The resulting film is not without its fun. I had a good enough time during its 100 minute run-time. I loved Chloe Moretz as Mindy, struggling with the Mean Girls at school, and spoofing one of my favourite teen movies, FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF. She steals the show as the teenage girl who gets her first crush, goes on her first date, and puts the mean girls in their place. Brilliant! I even liked the nascent romance between Aaron Taylor-Johnson's Kick-Ass and Night-Bitch. There was a little dust in the theatre when Dave/Kick-Ass faces the consequences of his continued vigilante activity, and I really do want to see what happens to Dave and Mindy in the inevitable threequel.
But most of the rest of the movie falls flat. Ser Jorah Mormont looks completely out of place - far too good/serious a performance - as Chris/Red Mist/The Motherf***er's uncle. By contrast, Jim Carrey is utterly anonymous as Colonel Star-and-Stripes. In fact, I literally forgot he was in the movie. And the subversive swearing just seemed gratuitous once it lost its shock value from the first film.
So, overall, a mixed experience. KICK-ASS is what it is. It needs to stop doubting itself, and pandering to its critics, and just revel in its gonzo madness. Bringing back the original director, Matthew Vaughn, would be a good start.
KICK-ASS 2 has a running time of 103 minutes. It is rated R in the USA, and somewhat generously, 15 in the UK for strong bloody violence, sex references and very strong language.
KICK-ASS 2 is on release in the UK, USA, Ireland, the Philippines, Austria, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Switzerland, Canada, Cyprus, Finland, India, Latvia, Mexico, Romania, Sweden and Turkey. It opens on August 21st in Belgium and France; on August 22nd in Australia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Netherlands, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia and Thailand; on August 23rd in Estonia, Iceland, Norway, Poland and Taiwan; and on August 29th in Denmark, Malaysia and Portugal; and on August 30th in Spain and Lithuania. It opens on September 5th in Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine and the UAE. It opens on September 11th in Egypt; on September 12th in Croatia; on September 13th in Indonesia and on September 27th in Panama and South Africa. It opens on October 4th in Colombia; on October 9th in South Korea; on October 10th in Argentina and Chile; on October 17th in Peru and on October 18th in Brazil.