If you like edgy superhero flicks and missed Kick-Ass 2 in theaters, it’s now available on Blu-ray and DVD. If you liked the original, you’ll love the sequel. Kick-Ass 2 pretty much requires you’ve seen the original Kick-Ass, a truly novel, unique, and interesting piece of filmmaking. It’s a good film that takes an idea from a Mark Millar comic book series and propels it into a big-time action movie. But Kick-Ass 2 does something rare–its success is being better than both the original film and Millar’s source material. It’s a great superhero flick and a fun, awesome, over-the-top action movie, with villains you’ll want to see crushed and downtrodden heroes you’ll want to see persevere.
The caveat for the Kick-Ass franchise is you can’t be offended by a teen or pre-teen with a thorough and eloquent knowledge and use of George Carlin’s seven dirty words. You’ll hear all of them. Many times. And if you can’t tolerate a big dose of over-the-top violence, pick another film to watch. This probably rules out a big segment of the adult audience. In another director’s hands, this would be a gimmick, even an annoyance, but Jeff Wadlow knows his characters and audience and deftly moves beyond the Whedon-Buffyverseworthy dialogue to a superhero film that can be both gritty and tongue-in-cheek, and manages to be on par with Stan Lee’s original Spider-man, only juxtaposing innocence against the worst of society to an in-your-face extreme.
The only missing piece in Kick-Ass 2 is Nicolas Cage, who played Damon Macready, alias Batman-esque Big Daddy, in the original film. Father to Chloë Grace Moretz’s Mindy, aka Hit Girl, events in the original explain his absence in this sequel. But Kick-Ass 2 makes up for his absence with some other great performances from new additions. One is Jim Carrey’s almost unrecognizable performance as an ex-mob enforcer turned superhero called Captain Stars and Stripes. Carrey completely embraces the role of the leader of a league of good guys trying to take back their streets, and the result is one of his best performances–up there with his shape-shifting Ace Ventura, and zany Stanley Ipkiss aka The Mask. The always superb John Leguizamo turns in a similarly good performance as a majordomo for the show’s villain, the returning Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad) as Chris D’Amico. Mintz-Plasse plays the evil villain bit for all it’s worth–he’ll make you cringe while you cheer for his imminent demise.