FILM: Kick-Ass 2 (15)

Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl are back for more action in Mark Millar’s comic book sequel, which packs more of a punch than the first film.

Now directed by American Jeff Wadlow, after Matthew Vaughn passed on the job, this follow-up to the 2010 movie is amped up with darker humour, more swearing and more violence than the first film.

Set four years after Kick-Ass, our favourite characters have grown up. Now 18 and close to finishing high school, Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is keen to bring his green figure-hugging Kick-Ass suit out of the closet, while Mindy McCready (Chloe Grace Moretz), who sneaks out of school to bust drug-dealers, is being urged to forget her superhero sideline as Hit-Girl and fit in and be a normal teenager, following the death of her father Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage).

“Aren’t you tired of being on your own? I wanna team up like Batman and Robin,” says Dave, to which Mindy scornfully replies: “No one wants to be Robin.”

As Mindy trains Dave up with her extensive arsenal of weapons: guns, star knives and katanas, he reveals: “Our own superhero team is going to be balls.”

But soon, her guardian Marcus (Morris Chestnut) advises her to stay in school and give up the Hit-Girl lark, and Dave is left on his own. After enlisting the help of his buddy Marty (Clark Duke), he finds Justice Forever, a group of wannabe vigilantes run by ex-mobster Colonel Stars And Stripes (Jim Carrey). By day, they are normal, everyday citizens but by night, they exact revenge on criminals.

“We were in the ultimate clique. We felt like rock stars,” Dave says.

Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse is vowing vengeance on Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl for his father’s death by bazooka. This time, he puts aside his superhero alter-ego Red Mist to become The Mother****** - a super-villain with the most Twitter followers.

“Red Mist is my superhero name. From now on, I will be known as The Mother******. I want to kick Kick-Ass’ ass with my bare hands. I gotta tweet about this,” he says.

While he gathers his evil gang together, Mindy tries to deal with high school life - attempting to fit in with the cool group at school, attending girly sleepovers and trying out for the cheerleading squad.

And she goes on her first date. “It’s like the first time Big Daddy sent me into a drug den with only a jackknife,” she admits.

Still, there’s only so long she can ignore her Hit-Girl tendencies and it’s only a matter of time before Mindy gets back on her purple Ducati (the number plate reads: Hit N Run) and returns to her violent, feisty roots.

Fans will be glad that Kick-Ass 2 is a faithful sequel, although some of the darker references in the comic book have been taken out, following the shooting tragedies in Aurora, Colorado, and Sandy Hook, Connecticut. With some unforgettable one-liners, dark humour and a memorable scene involving a “s*** stick”, this movie is definitely more ass-kicking than ass-licking.

:: SWEARING :: NO SEX :: VIOLENCE :: RATING: 6.5/10

Released: August 14 (UK & Ireland), 103 mins