Warning: Kick-Ass spoilers follow. If you haven't seen the film, you may want to avoid reading further.
There were only three things that truly shocked me about Kick-Ass. Only one of those pearl-clutching moments was due to the film's violence. The other was the way it dealt with sex. Shocked may be the wrong word for it -- disappointed would be more accurate.
Kick-Ass introduces us to a very typical 16 year-old boy, Dave Lizewski. There's already been a bit of digital ink spilled about the wadded-up Kleenex the film (and its making of book) proudly dwells on. It was a deliberate toilet humor moment that might have been a little more effective if the same joke hadn't been made in the Adam Sandler trailer that preceded my showing. Lizewski's hormones are rampant. He has no outlet. We're shown and told.
Lizewski also reads comic books. Obviously, this is no surprise. The main conceit of Kick-Ass, the one voiced over the trailer, is that Dave wonders why no one else has actually pursued being a superhero. He's a fan of comics, he's disgusted by the petty crime of the neighborhood, and he sees a natural course of action. He'll become a superhero. As he points out to his friends, you don't need superpowers, you just need a suit and a weapon. Batman does it without superpowers, so why couldn't an ordinary mortal? Again, this is the main marketing thrust of the film, and what is supposedly so innovative about Mark Millar's story.