By Jeffrey Anderson,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Insanely violent sequel lacks humor, originality.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Although one of the movie's messages is that you don't need a costume to be a hero -- all you need is to be brave -- any positive take-away is secondary to the extremely violent and vulgar content. A sequence set in a high school is riddled with sex, as if to say that teen girls must be sexy and sex-savvy to succeed in the world. (Although this could also be a parody of the same idea; it's unclear.)
Positive Role Models
Hit Girl is now 15, as opposed to 11 in the last movie. She exhibits questionable behavior throughout the film, such as skipping school and shooting and killing some of the bad guys. But when she's forced to go back to school, she stands up to some cruel bullies in a way that, while not particularly admirable, is at least satisfying. For teen girls, the example she sets -- that you don't have to fit in, that you can just be who you really are -- is worth noting, even if she's not exactly role model material.
Violence & Scariness
The frequent, pervasive violence is of the over-the-top, fantasy, comic-book fighting variety, but it gets pretty brutal (with loud punching, pummeling, and falling) and does include gore -- such as spurting blood from heads, stomachs, and feet. Minor characters are brutally run over and destroyed by speeding cars. Characters are stabbed to death with pool cues and bits of broken glass, as well as shot and killed and decapitated. A character is fried inside a tanning booth. A character is devoured by a shark, with clouds of blood in the water. A man is strangled, and a gory photograph of the body is shown. Women are beaten up. Someone's testicles are chewed by a dog. Teen girls are shown violently vomiting and with diarrhea.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Hit Girl, now 15, becomes interested in sex for the first time. Watching a boy band video with three other girls, the movie hints that she becomes aroused for the first time (though she doesn't seem to know what just happened). She has the same reaction when she sees the shirtless (now ripped) Kick-Ass. Two topless women are shown in one scene and are said to be prostitutes. Some references to/suggested masturbation. Kick-Ass kisses and has sex with a girl superhero in a bathroom stall; feet and the tops of heads are all that's visible. Female characters wear revealing costumes, and "The Motherf----r" wears an S&M-style costume. Auditioning for the cheer squad, a teen girl does a sexy "pole dance"-type routine. Sexual innuendo and sexual humor are very strong throughout.
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Language is extremely strong, with heavy sexual innuendo. Characters are actually named "The Motherf----r," and "Night Bitch." Words used include (but aren't limited to) "f--k," "s--t," "c--t," "c--k," "c--ksucker," "p---y," "a--hole," "gash," "d--k," "balls," "bitch," "t-ts," "prick," "hell," "damn," "f----t," "penis," "rim job," "knob," "douche," "goddamn," "Jesus Christ," "oh my God," and, of course, "ass." Also plenty of belittling insults, such as "loser" and "nerd."
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Products & Purchases
In one scene set in a convenience store, The Motherf----r shoots up several refrigerators full of Pepsi cans, with several close-ups of exploding cans. Mention of Mountain Dew. The movie is part of a popular comic book franchise.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A character's mother is seen pouring some vodka into a pitcher, and that's about it. No other drinking, smoking, or drugs -- though Hit Girl does take an injection of adrenaline during the final fight.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, like the original Kick-Ass, Kick-Ass 2 is insanely violent, taking comic book carnage to new heights. Viewers see many deaths, spurting blood, stabbings with pool cues and broken glass, shootings, and heavy fighting, punching, pummeling, and slamming of bodies. Language is also extremely strong, riddled with "f--k" and "s--t," as well as tons of sexual innuendo. (Characters are actually named "The Motherf----r" and "Night Bitch.") Hit Girl, who was 11 in the first movie, is now 15, so it's not quite as shocking when she participates in all this. But this time she becomes aware of sex for the first time, which is suggested in various ways. The older Kick-Ass has sex with a girl hero, and two topless women are shown. Bottom line? It's far more intense than your typical superhero movie and definitely not for kids.
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Based on 22 parent reviews
I didn't mind it, but didn't really like it either
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Kick Ass 2 is not what I expected
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What's the Story?
After watching so many new superheroes arrive on the scene, the retired Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) decides to once again don his Kick-Ass costume, hoping to team up with Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz). Unfortunately, Hit Girl's new guardian (Morris Chestnut) wants her to stay in school, where she faces a new challenge: mean girls. So Kick-Ass joins a new supergroup led by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey) and connects with the attractive Night Bitch (Lindy Booth). Meanwhile, the former Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) has inherited a fortune and takes on a new identity, the supervillain known as "The Motherf----r," whose main goal is to get his revenge on Kick-Ass.
Is It Any Good?
The original Kick-Ass was a crazy, wild shocker that, while successful, was hardly a smash hit; this sequel seems arbitrary, obligatory, and unnecessary. KICK-ASS 2 lacks both the first movie's shock factor and its sense of humor. It doesn't even seem to have a cohesive idea or theme, bouncing back and forth between concepts of being a hero with a costume and being a hero without one. It sends Hit Girl back to high school for a bit of biting social satire, but that's quickly wrapped up and dropped. What's more, actor Taylor-Johnson, now big and muscular, is hardly the "ordinary" guy he was in the first movie. There's also a new director, Jeff Wadlow, who lacks the smarts and style of former director Matthew Vaughn. But the ultimate sign of "meh" is that not even Carrey (who publicly spoke out against the movie's violence after production was complete) can muster up anything exciting or loony to do. Certainly, prior knowledge of the characters conjures up a bit of goodwill at the start, but eventually, Kick-Ass 2 just throws in the towel.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about Kick-Ass 2's violence. Is it necessary to the story to show such extreme, over-the-top fighting? Does it help illustrate the movie's themes better or more clearly? Could the movie have been less violent and just as effective?
What's interesting (or tragic) about the 15-year-old Hit Girl character? Is the idea of a skilled, confident teen girl superhero cool or disturbing? Or both? Why? Is she a role model or a cautionary tale?
What does the movie have to say about sex among high schoolers? Is Hit Girl too young to be thinking about sex? What's the fatal flaw of Kick-Ass's relationship with Night Bitch? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.
What is the movie trying to say, overall? Can anyone truly be a superhero? Does being a superhero require a costume?
- In theaters: August 16, 2013
- On DVD or streaming: December 17, 2013
- Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jim Carrey
- Director: Jeff Wadlow
- Studio: Universal Studios
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Superheroes
- Run time: 113 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong violence, pervasive language, crude and sexual content, and brief nudity
- Last updated: March 1, 2023
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