"Kick-Ass" most certainly does. Equal parts audacious dark comedy, wish-fulfillment fantasy and over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek action-adventure, Matthew Vaughn's bloody funny adaptation of a cult-fave comicbook series manages to be sufficiently faithful to its source material to please fervent fanboys while remaining easily accessible for ticketbuyers unfamiliar with the superhero storytelling conventions Vaughn ("Layer Cake") and co-scripter Jane Goldman satirize as well as celebrate. Scenes of hilariously overstated violence perpetrated by an 11-year-old girl doubtless will discomfort many and incense quite a few. But this deservedly R-rated Lionsgate release should nonetheless score a knockout in theatrical and homevid venues.
The title is both an alias and an attitude adopted by Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), an all-too-ordinary Manhattan high schooler who's neither especially nerdish, despite his immersion in comicbook culture, nor confidently cool. He's so eager to transcend his anonymity -- and, not incidentally, impress a pretty classmate (Lyndsy Fonseca) -- that he clads himself in a DIY superhero costume (a green-and-yellow scuba outfit ordered online) and sets out to prove you don't need otherworldly origins to fight crime and do derring-do. Unfortunately, Dave's first attempt at superheroics as Kick-Ass end with -- well, with his getting his ass kicked. But even a forced trip to the hospital is not enough to dissuade him.
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