Maddy’s Movies: Summer movies go out with a bang, or rather, an ass-kicking

Maddy Mesa

MM_Kick-Ass2“Kick-Ass 2” is far bigger, bloodier, and (forgive me) kick-assier than the first one.

Like all sequels, “Kick-Ass 2” tries to be crazier and more over-the-top than the first and it certainly succeeds in some aspects. There are twice as many limbs being hacked off and double the amount of faces being bashed in. But is it better?

Dave Lizewski/Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is back in the game of justice after a two year hiatus, training hard with an older Mindy Macready/Hit-Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) who has to uphold her promise to her father Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) to protect the city. But when her new guardian Detective Marcus Williams (Morris Chestnut) makes her promise to hang up the cape and live a more high school life (with the typical mean girls, jocks, and sleep overs,) Dave is forced to find a new group of superheroes to fight crimes with.

Enter the greatest group of (ordinary) superheroes ever. Sorry Justice League.

Yes, this movie has great fight scenes and loads of blood and brain matter. But what really made this movie for me was the introduction to the characters of Justice Forever, a league of superheroes inspired by Kick-Ass who is considered by most to be the first superhero.

That’s what makes the ordinary, everyday people turned superheroes of Justice Forever so great. In the calmest part of the movie (because, you know, no one is getting stabbed, or shot, or decapitated,) Dave meets the newbie superheros and learns how much he as Kick-Ass has inspired them.

There is Remembering Tommy, a husband and wife team (Steven Mackintosh and Monica Dolan) who joined after their son was kidnapped and never found. Then there’s Night Bitch (Lindy Booth) who took to patrolling the streets after she found her sister’s dead body in a dumpster. And Insect Man (Robert Emms): a gay man who has been bullied his whole life and now wants to defend others.

The group is lead by a terrific Jim Carrey as Colonel Stars and Stripes–ex-mafia and so born-again-Christian that he doesn’t allow his fellow super buddies to curse in front of him.  Colonel Stars and Stripes leads the misfit superheros through training exercises, night patrols, and an epic battle to save foreign women from sex trafficking. For the group, it’s not about being all cool and tough and picking fights with people. It’s about justice, defending those who can’t protect themselves, and of course, “fun” as the Colonel says, “Otherwise, what’s the point?”

As could be expected from a sequel, there were many parts of the film that weren’t terrible, but weren’t as good as the first (at least this was better than Iron Man 3.)

This group of honest do-gooders was a much needed relief in a film where the new supervillain is Chris D’Amico’s (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) The Motherfucker (can’t wait to see how they dub that one on TV.) Filled with hate towards Kick-Ass for killing his father, Chris decides it’s time for revenge. While Dave trains, all Chris does is bitch and throw money at problems, which leads to him realizing his true superpower: “I’m rich as shit.”

I was really hoping for further character development with Chris. I know not all supervillains can be as awesome as Benedict Cumberbatch in “Star Trek: Into Darkness”. But a superhero is only as good as nemesis. Guess that’s a good thing as Kick-Ass and The Motherfucker are both crappy fighters (keep up the training, Dave) and Hit-Girl chooses the terrifyingly huge Mother Russia (Olga Kurkulina) as her worthy opponent to take down.

Aside from the graphic violence (which at times was a little too graphic for me) and the unnecessary vomiting and pooping scene (really guys?) the film’s message of justice and everyday heroes really stands out. As Mindy says to Dave in a rare touching scene, “You don’t have to be a bad-ass to be a superhero. You just have to be brave.”

And in that sense, “Kick-Ass 2” gets a three out of four ninja throwing stars. Or a B+. Yes, it was better than the first. But how good will “Kick-Ass 3” be? Ya know, if there is one…