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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.
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.
Families can talk 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 is the movie trying to say, overall? Can anyone truly be a superhero? Does being a superhero require a costume?
|Theatrical release date:||August 16, 2013|
|DVD release date:||December 17, 2013|
|Cast:||Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jim Carrey|
|Run time:||113 minutes|
|MPAA explanation:||strong violence, pervasive language, crude and sexual content, and brief nudity|