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kick-ass-2-postersThree years ago I described the original “Kick-Ass” movie as what it would be like, “If Quentin Tarantino made a kid’s coming-of-age movie… It has most of his trademarks—clever dialogue, good soundtrack and some high-octane violence—but there’s a twist. The bloodiest, most cut throat purveyor of ultra violence in the film is an eleven year old girl.”

It was most certainly not your average superhero flick. Instead it was a subversive story that allowed superheroes to leap off the pages of comic books and unto the streets of the real (ish) world.

Question is, does the sequel, well, kick ass as much as the original?

In the new film begins just weeks after the last one ended. Wannabe crime fighters Dave/Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Monday/Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) have hung up their capes but for different reasons. “It was way to dangerous,” says Dave. The only problem? Now he’s bored.

Mindy only quits when her guardian Detective Marcus Williams (Morris Chestnut) makes her promise she’ll stop wearing her Hit Girl suit and beating the tar out of bad guys.

They soon discover straight life isn’t for them when Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) turns supervillain—and gives himself a new name I can’t print here and a costume that resembles a glam rock getup circa 1973—vowing to take his revenge on Kick-Ass for the death of his father. Mindy mostly keeps her promise but Dave dons his suit and teams with Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey), an ex-mobster who leads a gang of Kick-Ass inspired vigilantes.

Following a blood soaked climax superhero Dr. Gravity (“Scrubs’” Donald Faison) says, “You know, we can never do that again,” to his crime fighting colleagues as police sirens blare. By that point in the movie, however, one secretly hopes he was talking to director Jeff Wadlow, who took interesting source material and shaped it into a violent, nasty and mean spirited sequel.

The satirical shock value of the first movie is spent, replaced by less-than-subtle observations on life inside and out of a high school clique, loyalty and a heaping of teenage drama. Oh, and don’t forget the gallons of fake blood.

Moretz is still entertaining and Taylor-Johnson has clearly been spending some time at the gym, but unfortunately their movie, despite the name, does not kick ass.

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