FACT: The number of movies based on comic books grows larger by the day. Films that deserve your attention are often overlooked during their box office run.
Enter Kick-Ass 2. The first film, Kick-Ass, is based off the Icon title with the premise of ordinary teenager Dave Lizewski becoming a real-life super hero. Kick-Ass 2 takes that premise and murders the living shit out of it. The majority of the story focuses on the parallel between Dave’s journey to continue being a superhero and Mindy Macready/Hit-Girl’s assimilation as a normal teenager. The two tales provide an interesting commentary about the duality between our internal and external struggles.
Conventional wisdom dictates every super hero has a “real world” identity and the super hero identity. It fascinates me when the audience can’t tell which identity is the mask and which one truly embodies the character (i.e. Batman). The Kick-Ass franchise proposes that every action in the super hero world, just or unjust, has “real world” consequences. Lately, “superhero films” have exposed this premise. We can easily forget that “living in the moment” has long term implications. Dave/Kick-Ass pays a higher price for continuing to don the mask.
Recently, Kick-Ass 2 was engrossed in controversy when Jim Carrey distanced himself because of the gratuitous violence. But come on! The franchise is called “Kick-Ass.” What else would you expect but “sickening violence: just the way you like it!” There are plenty of, “OMG! Really?” moments to enjoy in this one. If you love larger-than-life action, this is definitely one for you!
THE VERDICT: Definitely worth the rent. It serves as an interesting societal commentary, not to mention the violence and humor are top-notch! It will make you laugh and think (if you let it). Give it a chance before you write it off as “just another comic book movie.”
Kick-Ass 2 is distributed by Universal Pictures. BD/DVD release was Dec. 17, 2013. The Kick-Ass 2 comic was published by Icon Comics, a subsidiary of Marvel Comics.