Kick-Ass 2

I saw the original Kick-Ass back in March 2010, about a month before its release, and loved it - it was Tarantino-esque in that it was super bloody, but also artsy, and very, very violent. I expected more of the same with Kick-Ass 2 and that's what I got; it's a great follow-up to its predecessor.

Mindy Macready (aka Hit Girl, played by Chloe Grace Moretz) now lives with her father's friend Marcus (Morris Chestnut), who took her in after her father died. She promises Marcus that she won't be Hit Girl, a superhero, any more, but she can't help it - she starts training with Kick-Ass, aka Dave (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), and it's only after a crazy night that she decides to make good on her promise. Meanwhile, however, Chris D'Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), aka Red Mist from the first movie, wants revenge on his father's death, and to do this he wants to kill Kick-Ass. He creates a new persona, The Mother f--ker, which he dubs "the first supervillain," and since he's a millionaire, he throws his cash at anyone that will help him form a "death squad" of sorts. Dave has also joined a squad, though for good, not evil, but once people start to die and things start to heat up, they have to decide if they really want to be a part of all that violence.

Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin' from Superbad) was great in the first movie, but he really steals the show in this one by bringing the crazy. We've also got a new set of characters, including Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey), a former mafia hitman turned good; Night Bitch (Lindy Booth); and a ton of evil characters that work for The Mother F--ker, including Mother Russia (Olga Kurkulina), who is quite scary - a former KGB officer who is looking for work. Although some of the scenes are not quite as "epic" as in the first film, there's definitely your fair share of action scenes here, and these characters help to make them memorable.

Yes, see this film. Do yourself a favor and see the first movie beforehand - it's not entirely necessary to do so, but there's a lot of nods to it throughout, and it helps to have seen it. Also make sure you stay tuned through the credits for a short end scene - I wasn't aware of this beforehand but luckily someone in the theater told me about it when I got up to leave, so I stayed. It's a bit short but it does change the fate of one of the characters, or at least what we thought his fate was, so it's worth staying for it. Kick-Ass 2 will appeal to fans of the first movie as well as action-movie buffs, and although it's very violent (same as the first film), it's got a sense of comic-book style to it as well, which is fun to watch.

Kick-Ass 2 is in theaters today, August 16th, and is rated R with a runtime of 103 minutes. 4 stars out of 5.

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