Posted August 13, 2013 by Mikael Angelo Francisco in Movies/TV


Universal Pictures, Marv Films, Plan B Entertainment
Starring Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz, Jim Carrey, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Directed by Jeff Wadlow

Philippine Release Date: August 14, 2013
Runtime: 102 minutes (1 hour 42 minutes)
MTRCB Rating: R-16

“Haha, yeah, there’s a dog on your balls.”

With the sheer number of cosplayers out there who show up at every convention and attempt to do justice to beloved comic book characters (like Spider-Man, Superman, and Aquaman), anime protagonists (like Naruto, Kenshin, and Detective Conan), and even toys (like Optimus Prime, Buzz Lightyear, and Lego Batman), I’m surprised – and mostly relieved – that no one has ever tried to take their costumes and props out for a night of crime-fighting. Without any hint of hyperbole, I don’t think even Gotham could hold a candle to the ridiculously insane stuff that happens on our very mean streets at night. While the Real-Life Super Hero (RLSH) trend is alive and getting considerable media attention in other countries, the Philippines thankfully hasn’t joined in yet. I find that somewhat amusing, considering how popular superheroes are here nowadays. I don’t know. I’d like to think that it’s because we’re sensible people who don’t have death wishes, or maybe because we’re all aware that an evening spent wandering the streets of, say, Tondo in colorful spandex is tantamount to swimming in a tank full of sharks wearing nothing but blood cologne. Also, this is the kind of crap that happens when you let unsupervised, unauthorized, and untrained wannabe-superheroes take law enforcement into their own hands. Besides, who needs costumed heroes when all it takes to stop this city’s psychos from committing crimes is a freaking boxing match?

However, if you ever DO get the itch to jump from yero to yero and dish out some delicious arnis justice to dastardly pickpocketing scum in the middle of the night, allow me to discourage you by presenting a much safer and more, well, morbidly entertaining alternative.

Kick-Ass 2 is intended to be both a film sequel and a comic book adaptation, and meets both objectives with adequate (but varying) levels of success. Picking up from where the previous film left off, Kick-Ass 2 follows the continuing adventures of the titular character – Dave Lizewski a.k.a. Kick-Ass – and his bad-ass costumed crimefighting ally – Mindy McCready, a.k.a. Hit-Girl, a.k.a. the only efficient and dangerous hero in this franchise. The first “RLSH” trains with the only actual RLSH to become a better crimefighter, as an old nemesis makes his presence known in the loudest and most brutal ways possible. Alliances are formed, lives are lost, and a whole lot of shooting, stabbing and general ass-kicking is dished out in the goriest ways possible.

If you’ve ever read and enjoyed a Mark Millar comic book  – aside from the comic book this film was based on, of course, wise-ass – I’m sure you’d enjoy this film. It sounds and plays out like a Millar creation, definitely. Well, a slightly toned-down Millar creation, but still Millar-worthy. It’s his usual “bombastic” style of taking an element of a story, punching it in the balls, decapitating it, and pissing all over the remains while cracking a dick joke. Yeah, I can’t believe I just used the word “Millar” four times – whoops, five now – in a single paragraph. The film also uses a few panels illustrated by comics legend and Kick-Ass collaborator John Romita, Jr., which gives the movie a little more oomph for comic book fans.

The humor is surprisingly smart, fresh, and self-aware, although that last one kind of contributes to my problem with the film, which I will discuss later. The fights are well-choreographed, the camera angles and framing are excellent, and the blood and violence come in buckets. There are times when the action becomes so gory that it borders on cartoonish, but thankfully it never really hampers the film’s momentum.

The film deviates from comic canon in a few instances (one or two of them, in a major way), but the basic plot pays sufficient respect to that of the eponymous series. Characterization also remains consistent between both continuities. Don’t be afraid of being called a bandwagoner for thinking that Hit-Girl is awesome, though, because aside from her, the only other “real” fighter in the entire film is the pants-crappingly terrifying Mother Russia from the villains side. Also, Kick-Ass 2 demonstrated an inversely proportional relationship between source accuracy and entertainment value, for me at least; the further away it deviated from the comic books, the more I enjoyed it.

Perhaps my only problem with Kick-Ass 2 (and with the franchise, actually) is that it tends to pingpong between being an actual attempt at storytelling and being a parody of the superhero genre that takes itself too seriously. Depending on how you want to digest this film (as a tongue-in-cheek yarn or a serious narrative), the costumes, dialogue and events are either brilliant or cheesy. It’s definitely entertaining either way, though, which can be attributed partly to the film’s formulaic “superhero” tone, and partly to good ol’ Schadenfreude.

Oh, and I definitely enjoyed the ending.

Jim Carrey, who is possibly the last guy I’d ever think of casting as a superhero (and no, this guy definitely doesn’t count) has gone on record as saying that he would not promote Kick-Ass 2 because, in light of recent events, he “cannot support that level of violence.” (Which is a shame, considering that he pulled off the role of Colonel Stars quite well.) If you were to ask me, though, the only thing that Kick-Ass 2 has inspired me to do is to stop goofing around and work out more, just so I could do those sweet one-arm pull-ups that Kick-Ass does during his training sequences.

RATING: 8 out of 10 Butts Brutally Assaulted By Swift, Forceful Combat Actions Executed Via Flying Feet


Solar-UIP (Like their FB page here) and Greenhills Promenade Cinema DEFINITELY kick some serious ass for their special screening of Kick-Ass 2!

Mikael Angelo Francisco