Movie review: ‘Kick-Ass 2’ decries violence, then revels in it
Published: August 20, 2013 10:29PM
Updated: August 16, 2013 03:00PM
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Daniel Smith | Universal Pictures "Kick-Ass 2" • Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) rides into action in this sequel to the do-it-yourself superhero franchise. (Opens August 16.)

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