''I Hate Reboots,"reads a funny T-shirt that comic book/movie superhero nerd Dave Lizewski wears in "Kick Ass 2"—an obvious shot at "Spider-Man,""Superman"and other franchises that wind down, then return to life entirely too soon on the big screen.
But how do you feel about superhero sequels that pretty much nobody asks for, Dave? And we're not talking about "Percy Jackson" here.
"Kick Ass 2" comes three years after the modest ($48 million) success of "Kick Ass." Covering much of the same ground, with a lot of the cute worn off or aged out of — Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) is no longer a pre-teen, Kick Ass himself (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) strains to look like a high school senior — the sequel is notable for some amusing bits, a few cool scenes, and its wince-worthy violence and staggering body count.
"This is the real world," Dave's long-suffering dad (Garrett M. Brown) lectures. "It has consequences."
So Dave suffers terrible beatings and Hit Girl delivers nastier ones, with blood and bullets and worse. And the mobster's son once known as Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) rounds up a posse of evil henchmen, becomes a supervillain and kills or maims scores of cops and civilians.
And there are no consequences.
But here's what works. Dave and Hit Girl talk about teaming up. They go to the same high school, after all.
"We should be like Batman and Robin," he begs.
"NOBODY wants to be Robin," she snaps back.
Hit Girl is hitting puberty and having second thoughts about this night vigilante thing. She is thrown in with some mean-girl cheerleaders (led by an amusingly nasty Claudia Lee). And they try to teach her the joys of makeup, making out with boys and Union J. (They're the hot boy band of the moment, the One Direction in this comic-book universe.) All the high school stuff plays as wacky with a hint of reality about it.