Is it a problem that Kick-Ass is by far the most violent movie ever to feature kids as heroes? Parents should consider themselves warned, though personally, I just wish that the film had ended up a bit less of an over-the-top action ride.
Fast, periodically spit-funny and often grotesquely violent, the film at once embraces and satirizes contemporary action-film cliches with Tarantino-esque self-regard -- it's the latest in giggles-and-guts entertainment.
Peppering an action flick with comedy is hardly original, but the mocking tone and off-kilter vibe set this film apart. It even has a hearty dose of charm, thanks mostly to the most outrageous performance by a child in recent memory.
Kick-Ass stands as an intriguing fantasy of social networking. To achieve superhero status, you simply put up your own Web site, announce it on MySpace and Facebook and you're on your mythic way.
The film has the courage of its genre convictions. It doesn't have even a whiff of market testing. It does everything on its own terms, and in this age of McMansion movies, that's a super accomplishment.
"Kick-Ass" isn't just broken by its flaws ... It's flawed to start with, a hypocritical mess whose attempts to swagger turn into clumsy stumbling and whose knowing wink blinds it to its own problems.