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Photo by Daniel Smith - Courtesy of Universal Pictures

The original Kick-Ass made me squirm, but this foul-minded follow-up made me want to leave the theater. What an ordeal to sit through! Even in a summer dominated by unwelcome sequels and bloated blockbusters, Kick-Ass 2 stands out as a genuinely repugnant movie. Like so many sequels, it’s clear from the start that there is no real reason for its existence: the promising story points that fueled the original are gone, along with key characters, and all writer-director Jeff Wadlow can do is spin his wheels.

Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who was just Aaron Johnson when he made the first movie) has forsaken his one-man superhero campaign, while the orphaned Hit-Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) has been grounded by her guardian (Morris Chestnut). But the former Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) isn’t content to lie low: he wants revenge for the death of his mobster dad, so he adopts a new name that I can’t print here and recruits every scumbag in the City to join him.

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Photo by Daniel Smith - Courtesy of Universal Pictures

I realize that some people enjoyed the first film, which even I liked at first; compared to this lame attempt at storytelling it’s a masterpiece. If you have a fondness for antisocial activity, projectile-vomiting and overall squalor, this movie has your name on it…and you’re welcome to it.