Kick-Ass 2

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -4

Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, ChloŽ Grace Moretz, Jim Carrey. Written by Jeff Wadlow and Mark Millar. Directed by Jeff Wadlow.

FILM SYNOPSIS: The costumed high-school hero Kick-Ass joins with a group of normal citizens who have been inspired to fight crime in costume. Meanwhile, the Red Mist plots an act of revenge under a new name (which I canít mention here as itís pretty obscene). And Hit Girl tries to fit in as a high school freshman.

PREVIEW REVIEW: I feel guilty admitting this, but there was something I liked about the 2010 Kill Bill-styled action comedy Kick-Ass. First, the premise was creative, the humor truly witty, and little ChloŽ Grace Moretz (Hugo, Dark Shadows) was the Hollywood find of the year. I also got a kick out of the offbeat Nicolas Cage doing a faux Batman, replete with an Adam West vocal delivery. None of that is to suggest my endorsement. It was justly rated R and we are bombarded with R-rated material in todayís movies (even when theyíre only rated PG-13).

As for our little Hit Girl (Miss Moretz), sheís pretty much the central figure in this sequel. But unlike in the comic books, superkids played by humans grow up. Sheís more Hit-ager now, and being a teen her attitude resembles that of just about every other 15-year-old. I presume that in the next sequel, sheíll be dating Red Mist, then go a little more to the badder side until sheís rescued by K.A.

As to the film itself, I kept thinking itís unnecessary. Itís a sequel and it knows it, despite the fact that at one point we see the male lead wearing a t-shirt with the pronouncement ďI Hate Reboots.Ē

Like with Quentin Tarantinoís Kill Bill, much of the violence in the original was stylized and blended with bizarre comic book outlandishness. But although there was an exuberant panache to the action sequences, they also served to further desensitize us. And this being a sequel, guess what we get more of? Right, more violence, the humor is even darker, and the sexuality incorporates the sexploitation of underage girls. Thereís a new character, Colonel Stars and Stripes, played by Jim Carrey, but mostly, thereís more swearing, more hitting, and more sexual exploration. Though comic strip in presentation, the visual abundance of sliced and diced bodies may be having more of a counter social effect on our psyches than we suspect. But Iíve already discussed to death the issue of too much violence in our media. The complaints donít seem to be doing much good, do they?

Something that surprised me Ė the Jim Carrey character is a reformed crook who is now a born again Christian. He even chastises others for taking the Lordís name in vain. He does this at least twice. By filmís end, the other superhero wannabes take this to heart and swear not to swear. Colonel Stars and Stripes new-found faith is not mocked and it signals a search for righteousness in other characters Ė even Hit Girl, who does her best to give her word and keep it.

Your word of honor means something to the lead good guys. Still, I wouldnít call this a spiritually uplifting film. This isnít a film about accepting Christ. The language will cause the ears to bleed, thereís grown-up sexuality and sexual situations, and in one scene the underage girls are seen in skimpy clothing trying out for dance team at school. Mind you, this isnít a film for adolescents, due to R-rated material. And I felt uncomfortable with the exploitation of the teenage female body. Are we grownups supposed to be watching this scene? No? Then whyís it in the film?

Then thereís the violence. I wonít go on and on about it, but it is excessive. Several main characters are murdered, people are shot to death, some have their throats cut and a few even get run over by vehicles. All of the action is well choreographed and executed (so to speak), but itís brutal and often jolting.

One of the truths we gain from Bible study is the need for moderation. Thatís a word that goes out the window when Tarantino wannabes script an action adventure. If you feel your psyche has been pounded too much by the recent exploiters of this cartoon noir genre, you might want to take a stand. You donít have to put on a superhero suit. Just donít give the box office your loot.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Crude language throughout.

Obscene Language: Obscene language throughout.

Profanity: I caught six profane uses of Godís name or Christís, some from the teen protagonist.

Violence: A great deal of visual violence Ė though mostly cartoonish, still thereís a lot of it, much from a child; there are several jolting murders; lots of battles and shootings; a couple of guys are seen run over by a vehicle.

Sex: A visual gag concerning masturbation; a couple have sex in a public toilet.

Nudity: Brief topless nudity and we see pole dancers performing.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: None

Running Time: 103 minutes
Intended Audience: Mature viewers

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