In Kick-Ass 2 (2013), a frightfully masculine Jim Carrey plays a superhero called Colonel Stars and Stripes, who is as violent as he is humanitarian, and is ostensibly born-again.
It’s an encouraging fact: Never does Jeff Wadlow’s sequel to Kick-Ass disparage the born-again Christian label, any more than it scoffs at the crimefighting gay guy who has been bullied in his life. This rowdy pop movie is as inclusive as it is illiberal, as anti-criminal as it is comical.
Again there is Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Dave/Kick-Ass and Chloe Grace Moretz’s Mindy/Hit-Girl, who are good friends now. The latter is hitting puberty, with a quickly beating heart over the sight of TV heartthrobs and of Dave’s bare chest. I can do without the teenage queen bee cliches—Mindy confronts the high school skanks—but it’s nice to see Hit-Girl’s vulnerable side and a few affecting moments. It isn’t long, however, before she’s in hair-raising peril and starts cracking skulls.
Like the first Kick-Ass pic, Kick-Ass 2 is politically incorrect to a minimal extent (Dave, posing as a pimp: “I’m the whitest pimp in the world”). Mostly it’s just edgy, and forceful. It’s sort of the cinematic equivalent of a pleasant hard rock song: Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box,” say.