When we told Kick-Ass star Aaron Johnson about a vitriolic review of his new movie in the UK’s Daily Mail (of the film’s 11-year-old superkid Hit Girl, they say “Paedophiles are going to adore her.”), he went off on a tirade that left him blasting the lyrics of the Rihanna hit “Rude Boy.” But the Daily Mail wasn’t the only publication to lambaste the superhero flick. Even though it’s tracking towards a solid opening weekend, critics either love or hate this film (say it ain’t so, Roger!). Here are some critics that really, really hate it.
● “Shall I have feelings, or should I pretend to be cool? Will I seem hopelessly square if I find “Kick-Ass” morally reprehensible and will I appear to have missed the point? Let’s say you’re a big fan of the original comic book, and you think the movie does it justice. You know what? You inhabit a world I am so very not interested in.”—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times
● “I started hating this movie around the midpoint. And while Hit Girl’s single usage of a c-word more commonly heard in Britain than in America has generated some controversy, the more pressing issue is how stupidly relentless the gore is, from beginning to end.”—Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
● “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.” —James Rocchi, MSN
● “That a protagonist lacks superpowers is no reason for him to lack motivation, conviction, or purpose. That’s right, I just mentioned moral vision in a review of a comic-book movie. Go ahead and call me a sententious schoolmarm (you cunts)”.—Dana Stevens, Slate
● “In its own hyperviolent, controversy-baiting way, Kick-Ass is as empty and superficial as the biggest studio production, which is no surprise coming from Millar, a writer known as much for his self-promotion as for his actual work—which tends to be condescending, flashy and exhausting.”—Josh Bell, Las Vegas Weekly
● “Johnson affects a full-on puberty squeak and flails about with his pair of electric-taped-up batons with all the grace of a wet fart.”—Simon Abrams, New York Press
● “Are we really supposed to get excited about a little girl saying words like “cock” and “douche”? Anything passed through this many filters would come out weak. Never as shocking as it thinks it is, as funny as it should be, or as engaged in cultural critique as it could be, Kick-Ass is half-assed.”—Karina Longworth, The Village Voice
So yeah, people are offended, but we still think it’ll be a phenomenon.