WARNING CONTENT CONTAINS GRAPHIC LANGUAGE AND SOME SPOILERS:
How often does one dream about becoming a real life superhero? More than some may think. Young and old can agree to this concept but like all dreams, they were just that.
However, in the infamous super hero series “Kick Ass,” young individuals push that statement and became not just fanboys in some mask, but true, real-life superheroes. One in particular, who help started it all, became Kick-Ass. From there, we go from origin story to a coming-of-age epic.
A few years have passed since the first “Kick-Ass,” and Dave Lizewski/ Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor Johnson) has retired so he can live his normal life as a high school senior. Mindy Monacready/HitGirl (Chloe Grace Moretz) continues her father's legacy (Big Daddy played by Nicolous Cage) and defends the city while at the same time try to live a normal life.
Little did they know that they had started a revolution. More and more everyday citizens have started becoming superheroes to help defend their hometowns. Realizing this, Dave decides to put the mask on so he can take his off. Mindy reluctantly helps this washed up vigilante, and makes him better and able to defend himself.
After weeks of training, Hit-Girl sends the wannabe hero out onto the field. Unfortunately, it doesn't go so well. As Dave tends to his wounds, Mindy is forced to promise to her guardian, Detective Marcus Williams (Morris Chestnut), that she will put away her mask and put on a new face, therefore becoming a normal, high school student.
As the story progresses, the former Red Mist, Chris D'Aminco (From the first “Kick-Ass” played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse or, as you may know, McLoving from Super Bad) takes on the role of an angry rich kid who wants to avenge his father's death from the first movie. He calls himself "The Mother Fucker" and creates an army of psychopathic villains.
Alone, Kick-Ass decides to join a team called Justice Forever, led by Colonel Stars and Stripes, played by Jim Carrey.
At first glance, one might think that the movie would be another poor cliche-filled action movie that will not deliver anything but a primal satisfaction from the mindless violence. However, one would be wrong. “Kick-Ass 2” exceeded expectations and fulfilled something that most action movies could not in the recent years – even its predecessor.
“Kick-Ass 2” is more than just some intense action movie. It has a story that immediately draws the audience in and characters that you will grow to love. You will even admire and root for the minor characters. The characters are a beautiful mixture of real life people that you could meet somewhere in town or school. You feel them grow and become stronger as people – and as the heroes they set out to be.
Even the villians grew and developed, making them more of a threat
Since this is a comic book movie, the characters do have their cartoonish side. There are parts where you'll see the characters performing with what seem like super human attributes and defying the laws of physics, to a degree. That defeats the purpose of constantly stating, "This isn't a comic book, this is real life," as multiple characters say.
However, the movie served its purpose and that's to not just to entertain, but to inspire. Many of the minor characters would go up to Kick-Ass, including Colonel Stars and Stripes, who started the Justice Forever team, and thank him for inspiring them to become what they are -- "people who wear mask to show who they really are."
They are true heroes, inside and out. People will walk out of the theater and feel the same way.
What's surprising is how beautifully and how spectacularly the story was crafted. In the first “Kick-Ass,” the story was bland and the characters were not really that likable, except Nicolous Cage's character, who most would agree was a badass. HitGirl, too, was a badass, but like all the rest, viewers couldn’t relate to her. BigDaddy was the closest thing to a character you could care for in the first.
However, in “Kick-Ass 2” you have a whole cast of characters you can care for, especially the two main characters. Finally, you literally feel like you are watching a real superhero movie.
The dialogue between characters is well orchestrated and spot-on to the personalities of the characters. There were plenty of inside jokes for fanboys; you will hear multiple references to both Marvel and D.C. comic book characters. Then, just in case if you haven't seen the first “Kick-Ass,” the characters will make dozens of references to it, even retelling their origins and why they started this crusade.
It was awesome how self-aware they were. They knew they were everyday people who could die, and they knew the difference between what's real and what's just comic book non-science. That was why characters were constantly saying, "This is not a comic book, this is real life."
What the audiences will love about this movie is the wisdom packed into it, from the mindless bloodshed to the deep conversations between the cast. The characters are teaching each other and learning from each other about what it means to live and define themselves.
Chloe's character definitely became the poster child of the question, "Who am I, and what is my purpose here?"
Whenever the character is trying to find her place in high school as a normal girl, she is out of place and feels like she is wearing a mask the entire time.
As for Kick-Ass, his question is, "What does it mean to be a hero?" Kick-Ass has to learn the hard way and experience what the others had to endure. Then he finally grew a pair, and became the Kick-Ass super hero he needed to become.
The Mother Fucker, the first super villain, was at first annoying, but as soon as he showed how big a threat he really was, he became sick and menacing. He really did what the character was meant to do, causing havoc and breaking the heroes down — but only to make them stronger and better than before.
He was a great comic relief as the answer to "What happens when you pissed off a rich nerdy kid?" So, bullies, think before you act. MF was truly a force to be reckoned with, and as soon as he steps onto the scene, there was blood, gore, and hell-bent chaos. Even the most badass member of the audience was terrified by this little squirt and his psychopathic army from hell.
Kick-Ass and HitGirl earned their ranks with the other great superheroes of our time, like Bat Man, and Spider Man. The relationship between the characters was real and heartfelt. You believed Kick-Ass and HitGirl when they were together, and that they really needed each other to grow. They even develop strong relationships with the other characters, that, too, help made them grow.
HitGirl's relationship with her guardian was no different from any parent-child relationship, which was really nice to see in something like this. Even the relationship of Dave and his father (Garrett M. Brown) was pleasant to see. The parental figures played a huge part in the heroes' roles, despite not having much screen time.
The acting was brilliant, though not Oscar material (but better than some that are nominated for it). You could tell the cast had a blast playing these characters, and probably mentally became them. Even Jim Carrey looked like he had fun. McLoving, especially, appeared to enjoy the hell out of his role, twisted as it was. Yet you can seriously believe he was a worthy villain.
This is not a perfect movie. You can tell when they were using a green screen, and that some stuff was CGI. Certain parts were over exaggerated, and even had some shaky camera shots. However, with so much kick-assness going on, you won't even notice those flaws.
You will even find yourself quoting the characters. When was the last time you quoted a movie, and how old was it?
Devin Parris said, "This movie was amazing, and was even better than the first!"
Dakota Likes confessed, “Really wished I'd gone to ‘Kick-Ass 2,’ instead of The Butler, thanks babe for ruining my night." Then Likes added, "Please don't tell her I said that, though."
So there's no doubt that “Kick-Ass 2” lived up to its name. Parris said, "Might go back and watch it again!"
So therefore, the Stallion grants this movie a "must see" rating – a grade A-minus or 9.3 for its amazing story line, character development, high impact action scenes, and only minor flaws.
Question: If you were to be a Kick-Ass superhero, what would be your name, and choice of style and signature weapon? If you want, make up an origin story for yourself on why you are who you are.
Please comment on the blog or on the Stallion Facebook page. Let us know and you may get featured in the next issue.