In a world where Marvel have taken comic book movie domination to a whole new level, it was great to see Mark Millar's Kick-Ass spring onto the scene a few years back. Now, with a reputation to withstand as somewhat of an underdog in the comic world, Kick-Ass 2 hits our screens with new director Jeff Wadlow handed the reins from Matthew Vaughn.
Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) has fully embraced his alter-ego as crime fighting Kick-Ass, and in representing good in the city, soon finds that more costumed heroes are out there fighting the good fight. But as Dave joins forces with Justice Forever, led by Colonel Stars And Stripes (Jim Carrey), Mindy McCready (Chloe Grace Moretz) looks to hang up her cape as titular hero Hit-Girl.
With Kick-Ass teaming up with his new gang of superhero friends, Mindy experiences the tough reality of high school as she butts heads with the popular girls, an experience she is far from familiar with. Meanwhile, the villain formerly known as Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) is determined to kill Kick-Ass once and for all, creating himself a new persona as The Motherfucker. Hankering for a slaughter, the self-proclaimed 'world's first ever villain' creates his own team, The Toxic Mega-C*nts and sets out to wreak havoc.
Kick-Ass 2 is certainly a return to familiar territory for fans of the original, with the stakes and the character numbers heightened. In doing so, director Jeff Wadlow slightly lets the ball slip but it would be very unfair to say this sequel is one that is far from its predecessor in terms of quality and its all-important fun factor.
Filled to the brim with belly laughs, outrageous violence and projectile vomiting, Kick-Ass 2 is a brilliant continuation of the series and produces yet more magic from its leads in Johnson and, without a doubt, Moretz. In fact, this is very much Hit-Girl's show, with Moretz returning to bring yet more obscenities and over-the-top youth violence, with her slashing her way through leagues of villains in some of the best action sequences in the film.
That's not to say Kick-Ass and the rest of the gang don't have their fair share, much to the contrary as a great array of new colourful characters add depth to the proceedings. Carrey may be slightly underused but he utilises his screen time well and the likes of Night Bitch (Lindy Booth) and Doctor Gravity (Donald Faison) offer up new and refreshing servings. On the villainous side, Mintz-Plasse hams it up just as he should do but Mother Russia (Olga Kurkulina) is the beast that towers above all both physically and in her performance. A truly formidable foe if there ever was one.
Kick-Ass 2 may not quite be as good as its predecessor but Wadlow knows how to make his audience tick and manages to forge together elements of the first film along with some new ideas to create a riotous affair. Kick-Ass may be around for one last bow but it's certainly Hit-Girl who we want to see more of.
Film rating: 4 out of 5 F's