Kick-Ass 2 (2013) and Kick-Ass (2010)
Granted, these expansions of the graphic novels by John Romita Jr. and Mark Millar aren’t built so much from gaming and technology, but they’re definitely running on the guts and communication of teen knowhow. Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloë Grace Moretz are the independent young ones who set out on the vigilante nights of the great, American metropolis (in reality: Toronto) to bust through the red tape and pointedly fight for right. The results (and Taylor-Johnson’s low-rent false starts) are brash, funny, violent and, ultimately, touching. (As the father of Moretz’s spunky Hit-Girl, Nicolas Cage’s Big Daddy is a revelation – particularly in a heart-wrenching death scene.)
The original did well enough out of the gate and clung on strong as a cult favourite, giving producers confidence to go to the well again. Sadly, Kick-Ass 2 came across as anything but fun. Co-star Jim Carrey, new to the mix, became so disarmed by the relentless violence in Kick-Ass 2 that he distanced himself from the film on the eve of its release. There is hope for redemption, though: a third installment is reportedly in the works.