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Movie review: 'Kick-Ass 2' decries violence, then revels in it

Published August 20, 2013 10:29 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Even more than its predecessor, the comic-book-driven "Kick-Ass 2" can't bridge the inconsistencies between its depiction of cartoonish ultra-violence and its characters talking about the deadly consequences of such violence.

Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is torn about whether to reprise his superhero persona of Kick-Ass, but is encouraged by Mindy Macready (Chlöe Grace Moretz), a k a Hit-Girl. But when Mindy feels the urge to leave crimefighting behind and try to be a normal high-school student, Dave joins a team of less-experienced wannabe superheroes, led by the tough-talking Colonel Stars & Stripes (Jim Carrey).

Meanwhile, Dave's nemesis Chris D'Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) vows to become a supervillain (with a name The Tribune won't print) and uses his vast fortune to amass an army of super henchmen.

The screenplay, adapted from the Mark Millar/John S. Romita Jr. comic book by director Jeff Wadlow ("Never Back Down"), pays lip service to the dangers these costumed vigilantes face on New York's mean streets — but then turns around and presents violence, like the murder of many cops or a rape scene, as a punchline.

Carrey disavowed the movie after the real-life shooting spree that killed 26 at a Connecticut elementary school; after enduring the meanness of the fake bloodshed here, I would acknowledge that he has a point.

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'Kick-Ass 2'

Opens Friday, Aug. 16, at theaters everywhere; rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, crude and sexual content, and brief nudity; 103 minutes.