In theaters.

The title Kick-Ass is something of a misnomer. Sure, wannabe superhero Dave Lizewski, a.k.a. Kick-Ass, is the ostensible protagonist, but the best he can hope to achieve is status as a sidekick. What’s more, he doesn’t have a good reason—an interesting reason—for wanting to be a superhero. In the opening narration, he bluntly acknowledges that he doesn’t have a traumatic past or a loved one to avenge; he just naïvely thinks costumed vigilante crime-fighting would be cool. But there is someone in the movie who has excellent superhero credentials, the training and equipment and open eyes, not to mention a darkly fitting rationale for following that path. For a variety of reasons, the movie is not titled Hit Girl, but no matter: she’s the reason to see it, think about it, be disturbed by it, and remember it. Hit Girl is what’s wrong and what’s right about the movie. Hit Girl is the movie, no matter its name.