If you're concerned that you might be offended by something in "Kick-Ass 2," there is certainly plenty to choose from. It is a happily offensive film. It makes no bones about giving the characters deep flaws as people. I don't for a moment believe that I'm meant to emulate anyone in the film, but rather, I think Millar's books tap into this merry prankster spirit, and what Wadlow does with that is commentary without necessarily choosing sides. He presents these characters with their flaws, their weaknesses, their hatred, their ignorance, and he lets them be those people without trying to pretty it up. I don't think Wadlow's telling us to emulate anyone in the films. He's just showing you what sort of moral free-for-all lies just beneath the surface, and what happens when you empower people to expose every part of themselves while supposedly safe and anonymous. I look at the characters in "Kick-Ass 2," and what I see is the Internet, a place where people get to choose their identities, a place where you are largely defined by choices you make. Your screen name. The sites you bookmark. The things you read. The things you choose to believe. The ongoing vendettas. The shocking casual racism and homophobia and misogyny. Maybe you will meet people who become part of your real life, people who become your family, your best friends, but chances are you will also meet people who enrage you, who become enraged by you, who push you just for the sake of pushing you. How you emerge from all of that, how you choose to process and react, that says a lot about who you are, and in this film, Dave, Chris, and Mindy are all forced to figure out who they are in the wake of everything we've seen go down between them. It is a surprisingly intimate set of stakes for a summer movie about superheroes, but by being that small, we can identify with it more, and "Kick-Ass 2" ultimately delivers some unpleasant truth in a way I wouldn't have expected.
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