There is a scene in the first Kick-Ass, where Hit-Girl’s former guardian, Marcus, tells Nic Cage, ‘You owe that kid a childhood.’ Following Big Daddy’s expulsion, Marcus (Morris Chestnut) attempts to stop Mindy (Chloë Grace Moretz) from donning the purple wig, mask and blades – we see him driving her to school, and sitting with her on the bed, after a Hit-Girl outing goes awry. Nicolas Cage is no longer here, so Marcus is the prominent, male figure in Mindy’s life. The fact she is growing up means the subject of boys is covered relentlessly – Mindy catches a glimpse of Dave’s, muscular torso, and her school chums’ obsession with British boy band, Union J. Having lost her father, Kick-Ass/Dave (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is the unwilling participant in the ‘bullet-in-the-chest’ routine this time around.
If it’s fair to say Dave has altered somewhat from Part One – he still has the curly mop and glasses – but now has a ‘kick-ass’ bod’ to go with it (groan), then Mindy has indeed, also blossomed. Chloë was only eleven at the time of the first outing and some studios wanted to change Hit-Girl’s character into an adult. It would have been interesting to see whether an older Hit-Girl could have attempted some of the action sequences, as adeptly as Chloë did. The fact she is so small, so agile – that she can flip over villains with ease, is what makes her diminutive frame such an asset, surely? That and the er, huge sword. A few of the old favourites are back for round two – Dave’s pal, Marty (Clark Duke), as well as Katie (Lyndsy Fonseca).
Directorial duties are no longer in the hands of Matthew Vaughn, and while the film does a good job of continuing the story, it does feel a bit parody at times. The first one was a complete surprise – this time, we know what’s coming. Christopher Mintz-Plasse returns as supervillain, The Mother******, and – with pops disappearing out the window, in Kick-Ass – the spotlight is on D’Amico jr. He assembles a team that are more than a match for the thugs we saw first time around. Bigger, badder, but not necessarily better, however.
The last of the big names to grace the screen is Jim Carrey (Sal Bertolinni/Col. Stars and Stripes) – who famously refused to promote the movie, after the Sandy Hook tragedy. It’s only Jim Carrey. You can’t go wrong with Lloyd Christmas. Or Bruce Nolan. Hopefully, we’ll see him in Dumb and Dumber To, as he more than makes up for having no Big Daddy here.
Overall verdict? Likely to do well, if it hits the stores on DVD, in time for Christmas. And, if you haven’t seen the first one yet – watch it now.