It’s funny, it’s raunchy and it’s action-packed. “Kick-Ass 2” is fun, but it doesn’t quite live up the creativity of its superlative predecessor. Parents and those faint of heart should be warned: This is R-rated material that is not suitable for children or for those accustomed to PG-13-rated superhero fare.
The show starts about three years after the first one left off. Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) no longer fights crime as Kick-Ass. He’s a high-school student now, leading a fairly quiet life. Mindy Macready (Chloe Grace Moretz), on the other hand, is a freshman who has not stopped her vigilante crusades as Hit-Girl.
Now that her father (played by Nicolas Cage in the first movie) is deceased, her guardian is her dad’s friend, Det. Marcus Williams (Morris Chestnut). He thinks she’s in school, but Mindy has sabotaged the attendance records. She’s really taking a cab to continue to hone her martial arts skills.
Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), whose identity as a villain formerly was Red Mist, finds himself without a mother. Now he’s an orphan (he engineers his mother’s death himself during a tantrum), and he blames it all on Kick-Ass, who killed his dad. He uses the millions he has inherited to recruit a band of super-villains that includes Mother Russia (Olga Kurkulina).
When Dave decides he wants to be a super-hero again, he begins training with Hit-Girl. But Marcus catches Mindy, and forbids her to don her superhero costume again. Now Dave needs a partner, and ends up joining a group of costumed heroes led by Col. Stars and Stripes (an almost unrecognizable but thoroughly enjoyable Jim Carrey). Here Dave meets a female crime-fighter who complicates his relationship with Mindy.
But while the good guys are suiting up, the bad guys are, too. It’s not long before the troupe becomes the focus of the former Red Mist’s vengeance plans (Red Mist adopts a new, unprintable name).
Sometimes the script, which is every bit as violent as the first one, stays true to the dark yet lighthearted tone of the first movie. Sometimes it goes for shock instead of humor, and it misfires during these moments that seem to mistake tastelessness for comedy.
Not surprisingly, the finale hints that a “Kick-Ass 3” is pending, and I’m sure the box-office of the sequel will help determine whether it becomes a reality. If it does, including Hit-Girl is a must: Moretz, who is incredibly talented and entertaining, is best part of these movies.