Here is an interesting true story for you. In addition to seeing Kick-Ass yesterday evening, I also happened to read Marvels (by Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross) the same day. I should probably review it separately, but since I read them as someone’s loaned comics instead of in a book, I have nothing to reliably link to, which is one of my lines for “shouldn’t get reviewed after all”. But also, it makes a very convenient companion piece, and so here we are. So, quick nutshell: Marvels is a four-issue comic that shows stories from the golden and silver age through the eyes of a news photographer, a regular guy who is the stand-in for the audience. Pretty much, a reaction shot to stories that the reader is theoretically already familiar with. A way to show not what being a superhero is like, but what living in a world with superheroes is like.
But, anyway, Kick-Ass. It is almost exactly the same thing, except that the world doesn’t really have superheroes (or does it?), and the stand-in character wants to be one. Named Kick-Ass, as you may have already surmised? And I understand that this doesn’t really sound the same at all, but I don’t want to go much further into the plot, because it works extremely well fresh, or at least I thought so. The similarity is that Kick-Ass is in far over his head, in a world that he doesn’t yet know the rules of and has no real power over, and yet he still struggles to impose his values upon it. To the good of the world? To the good of himself? Neither? I say, just as in Marvels, that this isn’t the point; the struggle is.
The only problem with this review is that I’m making the movie sound far more high-minded than it is. I think it is high-minded, don’t get me wrong, but only in the deep undercurrents that I could for that matter be imagining. On the surface, it’s an insane, ultra-violent romp through several origin stories and culminating in an over-the-top spectacle of a battle royale with the supervillain, the way most comic books movies want to be. And it is threaded through with the essential humanity of every one of its characters, the way more comic books and their movies should aspire to, but frequently do not.
 It’s also pretty good / recommendable, if that matters.
 I am utterly mystified how it got a PG-13 rating.