MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -4

Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, ChloŽ Grace Moretz, Mark Strong, and Nicolas Cage. Comic adventure. Written by Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn. Based on the Comic Book Written by: Mark Millar and John S. Romita, Jr. Directed by Matthew Vaughn.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Average teenager Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), a comic-book fanboy, decides to go from obsessive fan to real-life superhero.† As any good superhero would, he chooses a new name - Kick-Ass - assembles a suit and mask to wear, and gets to work fighting crime.† Thereís only one problem standing in his way:† Kick-Ass has absolutely no superpowers. Still he manages to go up against the local super villain.

PREVIEW REVIEW: I feel guilty, but thereís a lot I liked about this Kill Bill-styled action comedy. First, the premise is creative, the humor truly witty and little ChloŽ Grace Moretz is the Hollywood find of the year. This 12-year-old, who is already a veteran with over a dozen film performances to date, has what every grownup actress wants Ė timing. I also got a kick out of the offbeat Nicolas Cage. In the supporting role of a demented but likable framed ex-con/now vigilante, Mr. Cage dons a Batman disguise, complete with Adam Westís staccato speech pattern. Whatís more, thereís a great deal of clever humor in the film. And it is relatable. What kid hasnít donned a beach towel and pretended to best the baddies after leaping tall buildings in a single bound? Alas, the content is troublesome.

Like with Quentin Tarantinoís Kill Bill, much of the violence is stylized and blended with bizarre comic book outlandishness. But although there is an exuberant panache to the action sequences, they also serve to further desensitize us. Some eyes will roll at that statement, as the amount of violence in films has been talked to death. But it canít be argued that we moviegoers are bombarded by graphic violence. And it can be argued that it is hurting us.

In 1972 The Cowboys, starring John Wayne, came under fire by critics and fans because young boys were seen killing outlaws, often in a brutal fashion, as they sought vengeance against their trail bossís murderers. It was one of the first times when children were seen taking the law into their own hands and killing adults. Nowadays, such activity in films is more accepted. And it is now more prevalent in real life.

Here two teenagers and one little girl are doing much of the kicking and killing. Though comic strip in presentation, the visual abundance of sliced and diced bodies may be having more of a counter social effect on our psyches than we suspect.

In one scene, the villain finally gets the upper hand on the caped crusading kiddy. After sheís nearly unconscious from their battle, he then punches her in the face. Itís cut so we donít actually see the fist hitting her, but we hear the hit and then see blood forming at her nose. Seeing a little girl hit in the head bothered me, even though I knew she wasnít really getting hurt. The imagery was disturbing. I pity the people it didnít disturb.

One of the truths we gain from Bible study is the need for moderation. Thatís a word that goes out the window when Tarantino wannabes script an action adventure. If you feel your psyche has been pounded by the recent caretakers of this cartoon noir genre, you might want to take a stand. You donít have to put on a superhero suit. Just donít give the boxoffice your loot.

Please read the adjoining content before deciding to see this film.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Crude language and imagery throughout.

Obscene Language: Around 80 obscenities, mostly the f-word, and several of them coming from a little girl.

Profanity: I caught four profane uses of Godís name and two of Christís, some from the teen protagonist.

Violence: A great deal of visual violence Ė though mostly cartoonish, still thereís a lot of it, much from a child; a man is squished to death as the car he is trapped in is compacted; lots of battles and shootings; a teen dressed in a superhero uniform jumps to his death off a building and hits a car; another person is suddenly hit by a car; a father shoots at his daughter Ė she is wearing a bulletproof vest, but still the imagery is disturbing; a child kills several people with a swordÖand on it goes. Blood: Some blood; blood spurts when a man is squished to death, and another is seen in a giant microwave until he explodes.

Sex: Two high schoolers have sex, the scene being more implied than graphic.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: A visual gag concerning masturbation; the little girl uses obscene words in describing female body parts.

Drugs: Teen seen smoking.

Other: None

Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Mature viewers

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.