"The Weekend Rent offers quick-hit suggestions of what to watch at home to get psyched for new releases in theaters, on Friday."
The self-made superheroes Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Hit-Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) regroup with new friends to take on the Motherf****r (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and his gang of supervillains in Kick-Ass 2, now playing in theaters everywhere. Taylor-Johnson, Moretz and Mintz-Plasse (then known as Red Mist) all kicked ass in 2010's Kick-Ass, but in the two short years in between movies the threesome have explored other opportunities to kick ass on-screen independent of each other. Before you get your ass kicked by Kick-Ass 2, here are movies to rent by the three leads that surely helped them toughen up for the Kick-Ass sequel.
Chloë Grace Moretz: After surviving the first Kick-Ass, Moretz hung up Hit-Girl's cape to take on the role of Abby in Let Me In, which is the English-language remake of Let the Right One In. Abby is a young vampire living with her guardian in Los Alamos, New Mexico in the early '80s. She strikes up a friendship with a neighbor—a 12-year-old boy named Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) who is bullied at school. Abby tells Owen to fight back and that she will help if needed. To drive home the point to the audience that Abby means business, there are terrifying scenes of Abby playing helpless to attract a victim and then going full vampire on locals for blood. By the time Owen is cornered in the school's pool by the bullies, it's clear to the audience that Abby has the limb-severing skills to make sure that no one hurts Owen again.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse: Like Moretz, Mintz-Plasse also starred in a horror remake after the first Kick-Ass. In the 2011 reimagining of the 1985 horror movie Fright Night, Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) discovers that a suspicious man named Jerry (Colin Farrell) has moved next door to him in their Las Vegas suburb. Mintz-Plasse plays Charley's former best friend, "Evil" Ed Lee—a geek who is the one who suggests to Charley that his new neighbor is a vampire. Charley becomes fed up with Ed, but eventually realizes that Ed knew the truth. When Charley meets Ed again, Ed has transformed into a vampire after having been bitten by Jerry. Ed bares fangs and goes all supernatural on Charley in a violent smackdown high above the Vegas Strip.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson: If you even recognize the scruffy, dreadlocked stoner Ben in Savages as the guy who played Kick-Ass, you'll be floored that he was somehow able to revert to being a nerdy high school student for Kick-Ass 2 after looking all twentysomething and getting violent for Oliver Stone in this 2012 film. Ben is a marijuana grower in Laguna Beach, California who shares a girlfriend, Ophelia (Blake Lively), with his best friend, Chon (Taylor Kitsch). Their polyamorous situation literally goes to pot when they lock horns with a Mexican drug cartel headed up by Elena Sanchez (Salma Hayek). When Elena has Ophelia kidnapped, gentle Ben sees red and goes on a bloody rampage to get his shared woman back.
All of the movies listed above are available on DVD and Blu-ray as well as various VOD services.
Follow Robert B. DeSalvo @zuulboy