dir: Jeff Wadlow
I know, I know, whenever you hear “It’s better than the first one!” regarding a sequel to an ordinary movie, the immediate response is "well, that's not saying much."
In some ways, though, ways that probably don't matter that much, Kick-Ass 2 is probably a better, or at least less repugnant movie that the first one, though not from want of trying.
The Kick-Ass stories falls into a sub-genre of hero flicks which are about regular people with no discernable skills or abilities wanting to be crimefighters. Also, of regular scumbags who want to be supervillains despite having nothing that makes them particularly super or villainous.
Kick-Ass himself is defined by a look, being a green-and-yellow wetsuit, the wielding of two batons, and no actual abilities. But he has the desire, the will to do good for the city, and he has inspired others to do the same.
And we're meant to applaud them for it. "Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing", is a line from someone more profoundly famous that myself, insofar as John Stuart Mills said it and not Edmund Burke, who everyone always attributes the "all it requires for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing" line, despite it not being true. I am and never will be more famous than either philosopher, but look at it this way, right now, at this very point in time, you're reading my writing instead of theirs, and that is a small victory indeed.
Different people interpret the call to public service differently. Some serve their community by working for charities, in health, as educators, or as cops, or firies, saving people and burning kittens from trees. Others put themselves forward as lawyers, either defending the innocent/guilty or prosecuting the innocent/guilty, either way keeping the scum in and out of jail respectively.
And some people just want to beat up other people. It helps if they're baddies, but they don't have to be, I guess. You just want to make a difference, is all.
Kick-Ass, or Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) as his father would know him, is pretty much just a regular "kid", who I guess is still in high school, since he goes to one. He still gets to see Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz), who he met in the first film, and she endeavours to train him up to better fight crime in the city, since she's the only person in the enterprise with skills, abilities and equipment with which to fight crime, or kill a whole bunch of people, whichever comes first.
There is a tension, not between them, but between themselves and the various promises they've made to various people, living or dead. Hit Girl wants to be killing scumbags and drug dealers and other scum, like her daddy Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) trained her, but she's made a promise to her guardian (Morris Chestnut, what a pointless role) that she will lay down her arms and become a regular girl.