I was in a conundrum when I heard there was a part II to this. The first part quite literally blew me away and for there to be a sequel to it, well honestly frankly gave me the jitters. Kick-Ass was a funny, stylish thrill-ride, with the trappings of a great comic book, and tough enough to trouble the moral guardians. Its selling proposition lay in the fact that it kept the film grounded in reality whilst it had its despicable fun. And on the other side the curse of the sequel is pretty well known in Hollywood.
For those who do not know the story, I would seriously recommend you go ahead and watch the first part. Kickass wasn’t really released in India (be it due to the word “ass” in the title or the fact that it involved a 9 yr old girl spewing profanities like a sailor, the reasons are irrelevant). It lasted a little over a week in very select theaters. But for those of us die-hard fans of graphic novels being made into movies, we waited patiently for the DVD to come out and saw the movie. (Shame if you did it any other way!)
Let me recap the story to refresh your minds. Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) is a high-school nobody who ponders on life’s predominant question, “Why do thousands of people want to be Paris Hilton and nobody wants to be Spiderman”. Dave takes it upon himself and become…KICKASS. What ensues is all for those to watch part I. No spoilers here ?
Kick-Ass is now facing a superhero dilemma, he needs a team. With graduation looming and uncertain what to do, Dave decides to start the world’s first superhero team with Mindy/Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz). Unfortunately, Mindy is busted by her step father Det. Marcus Williams (Morris Chestnut) for sneaking out as Hit Girl (it is dangerous after all) and he forces her to an early retirement. Marcus also forces her to act as a regular teenager (enter the Mean Girls sub plot), which she finds is even more frightening than beating bad guys in a dark alley. (High School is tough guys, trust me on that). What Dave doesn’t realize is that after his bravado, he has now inspired a new wave of masked crusaders who are all willing to fight evil. These rag tag bunch of to be crime fighters are led by the badass, born again ex mobster Colonel Stars and Stripes (the uber talented Jim Carrey). With lack of options and the Colonel seeming sadistic enough, our hero joins forces with these guys.
Meanwhile, the Red Mist (Chris Mintz-Passe) plots an act of vengeance that will affect everyone Kick-Ass knows and cares about. He needs revenge, he wants KickAss dead. He begins to form his own team and rebrands himself as ‘The MotherF%&*#r’. He hires a bunch of goons (with some very witty names) and puts his revenge plan into action. Kickass and Hit girl separated, a newbie bunch of small fry wanna-be heroes and an evil rich guy. The plot is set; watch the movie for the rest.
The story is exciting enough to keep you interested in it, albeit a tad predictable it is still very well written. For me the major let down was the direction of it. I really feel some of the scenes could have been made better, some smaller, some longer and all in all it could have been handled a little better overall. I mean we can all remember the corridor scene in the first movie (where Hit Girl takes out the entire army within a span of a 13 odd seconds) and that was etched in my mind. Here I am looking for a scene which has a sort of similar feel to it, but I cannot recall any. The climax was a downer and most of the evil henchmen could have had more to do in the movie. The dialogues were witty at times and at times felt they were just trying too hard. Somewhere it feels like there’s a lot missing in the movie and more to be explained.
Having said all this, the movie did have its strong points too. Strongest of them all would probably be the acting. Chris D’Amico or The MotherF%&*#r does a marvelous job of being a super villain without literally being the super villain. Aaron and Chloe pick up the role from where they left off and I feel Aaron will do a decent job in Avengers 2 (No, not as Kickass). Chloe deserves a mention because she handles her transition from a bad mouth 9 year old to a 15 year old (still with a bad mouth) teenager with a certain amount of grace. Add Jim Carrey as the crazy Colonel who again does a good job (though I feel he should have been used a little more) and the remaining cast who hold up their end without demeaning the roles too much, the acting all in all is pretty well struck together. The action sequences are par and the movies maintains your interest without trying too hard.
Now, the inevitable comparison: How does it compare to the original? As is the case with every sequel, the original is definitely better. Now that not a dis on this sequel, but the original was so impressive, that matching it was always going to be a challenge. The sequel though, does a good job and which one you prefer may easily be different from my choice.
I would definitely recommend you watch this one, especially if you are a fan of the original. It is one of the better movies this summer and not that it is going to win an Oscar or anything, but at times you just need want to see good guys beat the crap out of bad guys.