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Kick-Ass 2 (2013) When the original Kick-Ass hit theaters in 2010, it had three things going for it: an inspired premise about an invisible high-school schnook (Aaron Taylor-Johnson)… 2013-08-16 Action/Adventure Nicolas Cage Aaron Johnson John Leguizamo Christopher Mintz-Plasse Chloe Grace Moretz Universal Pictures
Movie Review

Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

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Movie Guide | KID SASS Chloë Grace Moretz returns as the lovable profanity-spewing, wig-wearing, crime-fighting superhero Hit-Girl
Image credit: Universal
KID SASS Chloë Grace Moretz returns as the lovable profanity-spewing, wig-wearing, crime-fighting superhero Hit-Girl
EW's GRADE
C

Details Release Date: Aug 16, 2013; Genre: Action/Adventure; With: Nicolas Cage, Aaron Johnson, John Leguizamo, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Chloe Grace Moretz; Distributor: Universal Pictures

When the original Kick-Ass hit theaters in 2010, it had three things going for it: an inspired premise about an invisible high-school schnook (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) who becomes a DIY superhero; a gonzo performance by Nicolas Cage; and a pre-teen vigilante (Chloë Grace Moretz) with a raunchy mouth. Now, in writer/director Jeff Wadlow's witless and unnecessary sequel, all of those assets have been replaced with tone-deaf jokes and cringe-inducing carnage.

Picking up a few years after the cartoonishly clever events of the first film (which was directed by Matthew Vaughn, here in a producer role), Taylor-Johnson's Dave Lizewski is a high school senior who's hung up his lime-green unitard and Kick-Ass alter ego to focus on fitting in. Meanwhile, Moretz's Mindy Macready is now a hormone-addled teenage orphan grappling with Cage's dying wish that she leave her pain-inducing, pint-sized Hit Girl persona behind. Problem is, both of them are bored silly. They miss the thrill of street justice on the sly. While Mindy tries to make friends with a clique of popular mean girls swooning over boy bands and shopping sprees, Dave searches for new partners in crime-fighting and finds them in Justice Forever, a ragtag posse of hapless (and unfunny), spandex-clad wannabe enforcers led by Jim Carrey's sadistic Colonel Stars and Stripes. Carrey, who's publicly disavowed Kick-Ass 2's ultra violence in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, manages to bring some loose-screw electricity to the film. But he's right about the movie's overall tone. It glamorizes videogame-style bloodshed, never quite finding the line between satire and nihilism.

All heroes, whether they're blessed with supernatural gifts or not, require a villain, of course. And here, the film makes a misstep recycling Christopher Mintz-Plasse's Red Mist character from the original Kick-Ass and turning him into a lisping, bondage-gear-wearing baddie who christens himself ''The Motherf---er''. He's as painfully unfunny as his name. Will his evil plan to bring down Kick-Ass force Mindy to pick up her nunchucks and Hit Girl costume again? Take a wild guess. Moretz, who is 16 now, can't manufacture the same that's-so-wrong jolt she managed the first time around. Back then, it was hilariously taboo to see a little girl spout arias of profanity. Now, she's just another teenager swearing. Like the rest of the film, what was once shocking now just elicits a shrug. C

Originally posted Aug 15, 2013
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Weekend of Apr 20 Box Office Source: Rentrak Corp.
Rank Title Weekend Gross* Weeks on Chart Cume. Gross* EW Grade
1. $26.6 3 $201.5 B+
2.
Rio 2
Fox
$22.5 2 $75.4 C+
3. $21.5 1 $28.5 C
4.
Transcendence
Warner Bros.
$11.2 1 $11.2 C
5.
A Haunted House 2
Open Road
$9.1 1 $9.1 D
6.
Draft Day
Lionsgate/Summit
$5.9 2 $19.5 B
7.
Divergent
Lionsgate/Summit
$5.7 5 $133.9 B+
8.
Oculus
Relativity
$5.2 2 $21.2 C
9.
Noah
Paramount
$5.0 4 $93.3 C+
10.
God's Not Dead
Freestyle
$4.8 5 $48.3 NA
* in millions