Spandex for beginners
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.