Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

The first Kick-Ass was an unexpected joy. It was much more lighthearted than Defendor, which had been released a year earlier, and it managed to make the whole idea of someone trying to be a superhero without any powers a bit more fun (even in the dull drudgery of everyday). While dealing with death, blood, and mayhem in a less dark way (it was still pretty dark).

This sequel to that movie follows our heroes as they deal with the world evolving around them. They have inspired lots of others to be costumed heroes now, and they have to deal with the fact that they aren't the only ones out there. In the midst of this - and their fractured personal lives - they deal with The Red Mist. He was the son of the bad guy in the first movie, and he pretended to be a hero in it. Now, though, he embraces his dark side to become a villain.

Chloë Grace Moretz comes back as Hit Girl, and she has definitely grown quite a bit. She's still just a young lady of 16, but he size means that her attack methods and martial arts style should have dramatically changed, but she still uses the techniques that she used when she was very tiny. I suppose she doesn't have her father to teach her anything new anymore, so it makes sense that she wouldn't have updated. Even though her character is central to the movie, she doesn't get to show very much emotion this side of confused or pissed off teen.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson comes back as Kick-Ass. WTF is up with all of these people using three names? I suppose I should ask Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who plays the evil overlord who has no powers, no fighting skill, no noteworthy intelligence, but lots of money and a whole heap of revenge. Kick-Ass deals with lots of internal conflict and his nemesis deals with none. It seems like being the bad guy is really the way you want to go in all of this.

So, our hero joins a band of heroes to try and build up a social life, and that becomes the target of our villain. So, we see lots of powerless heroes fighting hired evildoers for control of the city. I wish it was as epic as it sounds, but it's another popcorn movie that is really about slow-mo kicks and impossible stunts than anything. And when I say impossible, I mean like grabbing shards of glass (multiple shards, mind you) out of mid air and jamming them into the torso of your enemy.

The movie was fun enough, but it wasn't as fun as the first. Maybe if Nicholas Cage had been here for it, but he died in the first one. He was really good in it, though.

One thing I didn't expect was Jim Carrey. He leads the band of heroes as a veteran turned superhero. I honestly didn't even recognize his grizzled, scruffy face. He was under a mask for most of it, and he didn't do his usual over-the-top animated nonsense. Instead, he plays a gruff, focused tough guy who can inspire people and polices their foul language.



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