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Isu­per­hero sort-of-com­edy, rated R, Re­gal Sta­dium 14, If you’ve only heard one thing about Kick-Ass, it’s no doubt about Chloë Grace Moretz’s char­ac­ter Hit-Girl, the 11-year-old potty-mouthed pseudo-su­per­hero who ad­min­is­ters (and re­ceives) a whole lot of the old ul­tra­vi­o­lence. Hit-Girl is, ac­cord­ing to her crit­ics, the lat­est sign of a break­down in morals and a loss of in­no­cence in our coun­try (this is likely the only thing that Fox News and Roger Ebert will agree on this year). Or, at least, in our movies.

I found the char­ac­ter shock­ing, but in an ob­vi­ous way, as if ev­ery­one in­volved in the film were sim­ply hav­ing a gig­gle over break­ing some mi­nor ta­boos. But I also felt her scenes were elec­tric, giv­ing the movie a much-needed burst of en­ergy. I’ve seen the Ja­panese-schoolkid ac­tion pic Bat­tle Royale (2000), so I didn’t think Hit-Girl ven­tured into much new ter­ri­tory. I un­der­stand why some would find her rep­re­hen­si­ble, though I doubt it’s the opin­ion of many peo­ple who would ever ut­ter the sen­tence, “I’d like two tick­ets to Kick-Ass, please.” This is a movie that’s more for peo­ple who shop at Hot Topic than it is for those who read about hot topics in the news.

With that out of the way, let’s get down to the part of the movie that fewer peo­ple are talk­ing about: the main char­ac­ter and his story. Dave Lizewski (Aaron John­son) is an or­di­nary teenager who loves comic books and hates bul­lies. He puts two and two to­gether in a most ex­tra­or­di­nary fashion, mod­i­fies a wet suit, and takes to the streets to fight crime. He does not bother with tri­fles like su­per­pow­ers or even train­ing. All he needs is a MyS­pace page and a nick­name — Kick-Ass — be­fore set­ting out to get stabbed, beaten, run over by cars, and so on.

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