Kick-Ass 2, The Red Shoes, The Day after Tomorrow: films on TV today

The teen superhero is back, Moira Shearer suffers for her art, Dennis Quaid packs his thermals: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today


Kick-Ass 2 ★★★
10.00pm-12.05am C4 Premiere


The follow-up to 2009’s ironic teen superhero caper is passed down by Matthew Vaughn (originally director/ co-writer, now just a producer) to Jeff Wadlow, who remains true to the spirit of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr’s lively graphic novels. The story picks up four years later, with New York dork and by-night crimefighter Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) keen to come out ofretirement and form a “Batman and Robin” with Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz), still an old head on now 15-year-old shoulders. Minus a couple of deceased parents, the cast is virtually the same, with the added plus of Jim Carrey’s Colonel Stars and Stripes, a recruit to the homespun justice league. Though cartoonish, it’s all unashamedly foul-mouthed and bone-crunchingly violent (Hit Girl pin-cushions a foe with shards of glass in a particularly nasty scene), and will satiate any who enjoyed the first round of stylised mayhem. Supporting Brits Andy Nyman, Iain Glen and Steven Mackintosh are a bonus.

The Red Shoes ★★★★★
2.20-4.30pm BBC2 

Sixty years before Natalie Portman suffered for her art in Darren Aronofsky’s ballet thriller Black Swan, Moira Shearer gave a captivating performance as the ballerina torn between her career and her love life, in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s dazzling dance drama. And if you’re still not sure, Martin Scorsese has it among his top dozen movies.  

The Day after Tomorrow ★★★★
7.40-10.00pm C4 

If you’re regretting the lack of snow this winter, this might make you glad of a milder climate. Scientist Dennis Quaid battles across a frozen Manhattan after global warming causes a new ice age, as director and disaster-movie specialist Roland Emmerich marshals his special effects into a jaw-dropping superstorm.    

Downhill ★★★
9.00-11.05pm More4 Premiere

If you take your midlife crises with a dose of humour, this walking road trip will be right up your footpath. Ned Dennehy and Richard Lumsden play two of the four old school friends who take on a 200-mile coast-to-coast trail across northern England, but find the emotional peaks more tricky than the physical ones. 

Yes Man ★★★
11.00pm-1.00am ITV 

Jim Carrey gets his goof on as an antisocial loner whose life changes for the wackier when he starts to say “yes” to everything. If it seems like a kind of sequel to Carrey’s 1997 Liar Liar, think again; the idea first saw the light of day in a book by TV presenter Danny Wallace, but Carrey gives the concept his usual wacky twist, until the appearance of Zooey Deschanel, when a standard romantic comedy starts to emerge.    


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