Kick-Ass 2

The epic sequel to 2010s Kick-Ass is finally here, and it punches everything up a notch.

Yes, all our favourite characters are back, in the story which has been taken straight from the pages of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr’s successful comic book series of the same name.movies-kick-ass-2-international-poster

Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz and Chistopher Mintz-Plasse are back, and reprising their roles as Kick-Ass, Hit-Girl and Chris D’Amico. Mindy Macready (Hit-Girl) is trying to deal with the death of her father, Big-Daddy, and finds that the only way to do this is by fighting crime and training Dave Lezewski (Kick-Ass) during school time. However once Marcus – the cop who is now taking care of her – finds out, he makes her promise to give up being a caped-crusader and live a normal life. With Hit-Girl out of the picture Kick-Ass must roam the streets on his own, until he finds what he has always been looking for, a super-hero team. The team – Justice Forever – consists of Doctor Gravity, Remembering Tommy, Night-Bitch, Insect-Man, Battle-Guy and Colonel Stars and Stripes, along with Kick-Ass they wander the streets fighting crime and helping the poor, and at one point have a group photo taken which is a direct reference to Watchmen.

However this is reality, and revenge is always around the corner, this time shaped into Chris D’Amico’s new super-villain alias ‘The Mother-F***er’. ‘The Mother…’ creates his own team of super-villains and begins to terrorize the city and destroy everything which Kick-Ass holds dear. Can the green wetsuit-wearing hero defeat his nemesis, restore order, and avenge the ones he loves, or will he end up a bloody mess like so many before him.

The lead roles are taken so well by Taylor-Johnson, Moretz and Mintz-Plasse once again, but we had already seen them like this in the first film. The real stand out role in Kick-Ass 2 is given by an unrecognisable Jim Carrey as the ex-mafia, born-again Christian hard man Colonel Stars and Strips, who leads Justice Forever. Although in the comic books they are actually two separate characters – Colonel Stars and Lieutenant Stripes – putting them together to make one character worked really well. Carrey shows that he is not just a simple comedy actor here, as he portrays the ex-goon so flawlessly, and really brings the characteristics of the Colonel from the vibrantly coloured pages to life.

One major thing that Kick-Ass brought to the table in 2010 was the shock-factor, which is not used very widely in superhero films due to them being primarily aimed at families. As Kick-Ass is based in the real world though – in other words, people don’t have super powers – then what occurs must have some realism to it. Therefore people are going to get killed and profanity is going to be spewed left, right and centre. The first film achieved this shock-factor, with blood jumping across the screen and a 11-year-old girl saying c***. So attempting to have the same effect was a difficult challenge for Kick-Ass 2. However they made it work, the gore and effects are largely the same as they were in the first film, which is not a bad thing as they are in-keeping with the comic book theme – comedic violence and not Tarantino-esque. But what makes it slightly more controversial – certainly for the American audience – is the language used, it seems as if they have actually tried to slide a bit of the British crude, sexual comedy into it, with lines like; “I’ll kick you in your snatch” and referring to certain ladies as ‘axe-wounds’.

What is really great about the Kick-Ass films, is that they stick so closely to the source material, which is something that the fans of the comic books will love. Majority of the time, with graphic novels, comic books and with books in general, so much is changed that it is not the story you fell in love with when you first read it. When reading the Kick-Ass graphic novels there were so many scenes to it which were just spectacular on paper, and therefore in your mind would be great to see on the big screen. Although there are a few exceptions, most of the best parts were created in the films and were done so well, literally being shot-for-shot in the film as they were panel-to-panel in the comics.

As Matthew Vaughn did an amazing job with Kick-Ass, Jeff Wadlow has done just as good a job with Kick-Ass 2. Together they have captured the characteristics of the heroes exactly, and have created films which are not just for fans of the comic books to enjoy, but for everyone.

The Kick-Ass 2 graphic novel was much darker than the first, and the film-makers brought that to the big screen very well. Capturing the main sombre themes but still making it an enjoyable, hilarious thrill-ride. What more can comic book fans ask for than a gigantic super-hero fight – like in the incredible ‘Civil War’ novel – and right from the beginning we all knew that it would happen, but who knew it could look so good.

Graphic Novel: Kick-Ass 2

The second edition of the popular realistic super-hero comic book series, delivers a fan-boys wet dream.

Following straight on from where Kick-Ass left off – Hit-Girl/Mindy Macready has given up her hero lifestyle for a normal life and Kick-Ass/Dave Lizewski has recovered from his ball-busting injuries and continues to rid the streets of injustice.kick ass 2 graphic novel cover

With the success that the first graphic novel and the film adaptation had, the second had some great expectations to live up to. How do they accomplish this? How about a super-hero team? The aspect which comic book fans love to see, there is nothing better than seeing your favourite heroes team up to fight crime – The Avengers, Fantastic Four, X-Men, The Justice League – are just a few examples. The great thing about it happening in this novel is that we don’t know any of the heroes, so we are introduced to a whole load of new characters with different backgrounds. All with a personal back story of why they want to be a crime-fighter.

This time the story follows Kick-Ass as he teams up with ‘JUSTICE FOREVER’, the new super-hero team which includes: Colonel Stars, Lieutenant Stripes, Doctor Gravity, Night Bitch, Insect-man, Battle-Guy and a duo called Remembering Tommy. Together they open a can of whup-ass on the seedy under-belly of their city. However it doesn’t take long before Chris Genovise/Red Mist, who now calls himself ‘The Mother-fucker’, hears about them, and because he is still pissed about Kick-Ass killing his dad, he decides to assemble his own team of criminal villains and plans his revenge. It also doesn’t take long before the right actions provoke Hit-Girl to don her costume again.

Mark Miller (The Ultimates, Ultimate Fantastic Four, Wanted, Nemesis, Civil War), John Romita Jr. (The Amazing Spider-man, Thor, Iron Man, Hulk and just about every other Marvel Comic) and their team, bring back what made the first series of comics so great. Miller’s comedic but serious writing and super-hero quips mixed in with Romita Jr.’s colourful yet detailed artwork which shows the fast-paced, gory fight sequences so well, make this graphic novel such a thrill to read, for the mind and eyes.

What makes Kick-Ass stand out from many other comic books is the fact that it is all happening to an every kid who just really wanted to be a super-hero – no powers, no elite fighting skills (although they have improved in this one) and the costume is a wetsuit which he bought on eBay. It also shows all the problems, if someone did try this in reality, you would face; gangs, cops and real injuries.hit girl

Kick-Ass 2 differs from the first in one vital way though, it is much darker. The death-toll is phenomenal, and I’m sure the artwork has gotten a lot better with the realistic gore throughout.

This graphic novel is one of the best I have read and it was impossible to put down until I had finished reading it, I would tell anyone who was a fan of the first one, the film or any comic book fans in general to give it a read. You will not be disappointed, and will get everything that was great about the first one turned up about 5 notches. The story line will have you reading the pages as fast as you can to find out what happens next, as the enjoyably, dark and gruesome tale leads up to an amazing climax, and one of the best that I had read.

Kick-Ass 3, the final in the series, is currently being published.

Kick-Ass 2 (The Film) is out 16th August.

Publication: TITAN BOOKS