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The Blue & Gray Press | December 12, 2018

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“Kick-Ass 2” hits harder, gets gorier but lacks morals

kickass4webBy SARAH DEFFENBAUGH

On Aug. 14, the much awaited sequel to the hit film “Kick-Ass” was released.

“Kick-Ass 2” picks up where its predecessor left audiences in 2010. Dave Lizewski, the secret identity of superhero Kick-Ass, (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is still in high school and took a break from crime fighting to relax and enjoy his youth.

Meanwhile Mindy Macready, also known as Hit Girl, (Chloe Grace Moretz) chose to skip high school and focus on becoming even more lethal and awesome than before.

In the hopes of getting back into the hero game, Dave convinces Mindy to train him and eventually partner up. However, when Mindy is forced by her foster father, a police officer, to retire her wig and nunchucks, Kick-Ass turns to a group of amateur superheroes he found through the internet who call themselves “Justice Forever.”

Justice Forever is fronted by Colonel Stars and Stripes, played by Jim Carrey in an almost unrecognizable and hilarious, albeit small, role.

Through their heroic deeds, Justice Forever attracts the attention of Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), who becomes hell-bent on destroying Kick-Ass and everything the hero loves most in order to seek revenge for his father’s death.

As the violence and ass kickings escalate in Dave’s life, Mindy is forced to choose between keeping her promise to her foster-father or go back to her Hit Girl roots and join Kick-Ass in overthrowing Chris and the army of villains he has assembled.

Although “Kick-Ass 2” does deliver some genuinely hilarious moments, as well as plenty of action and gore, it fails to live up to the glory of its originator. Jeff Wadlow, a newcomer to the scene, took over the role of writer and director from Matthew Vaughn, and the directorial difference is very evident.

The original “Kick-Ass” offered moviegoers a sincere and genuine look at humanity and the obligation citizens of the world have to step up and do what is right, especially in difficult situations. Though humorous, it offered up a meatier fare than your average teenage movie.

While “Kick-Ass 2” attempts to follow the path of the original, it never quite seemed to get there. At times it came close, but the moral messages always feel a bit flat and contrived. In general, the whole movie is somewhat static compared to the first; it never summoned the energy, wit and chaotic fun of “Kick-Ass.”

However, fans of the original will appreciate the movie, as it delivers even more gore and violence. Lawn mowers are turned into deadly and bloody weapons, glass shards are used to turn someone into a human etch-a-sketch, limbs fly off of bodies and crudeness and gore prevail.

Even though the action scenes never reach the thrill and beauty of Hit Girl’s original entrance in “Kick-Ass,” they are entertaining and eye popping (sometimes literally).