Why Kick-Ass Makes Me Feel Like a Geezer

Kick-Ass 2, the long-awaited-by-some sequel to Kick-Ass, finally reaches theaters next month. And from the wording of the previous sentence, you’ve probably guessed that I’m not part of the “some.”

Why? Closer to “20 years ago” now than I care to admit, I was a struggling baby screenwriter having a meeting with people who were way beyond me in success, experience, and connections. And I was digging in my heels over the idea of turning the villain of my script into the hero’s mother, because then our climax would be a 25-year-old guy beating the living crap out of a middle-aged woman. I was certain the reviewers would crucify us for that and the audience would turn against us.

Closer to “20 years later” than I care to admit, I put Kick-Ass in the DVD player, sat down on the couch with my wife, and watched an 11-year-old child (“Hit Girl“) on a bloody, mass murdering rampage and a climax that featured a middle-aged thug beating the living crap out of that same 11-year-old girl. Suddenly, that long-ago argument about where to draw the line seemed downright quaint. And I had never felt so old.

At least until I heard they were actually making a sequel.

Roger Ebert pegged the first Kick-Ass exactly right, I’ve always thought. And I can’t help but wonder how he would review Kick-Ass 2, if he were still alive. Probably the same way I would if I could ever bring myself to watch it, which quite honestly, I can’t.

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