‘Kick-Ass’: no laughing matter?

Chloe Moretz appears in the action comedy "Kick-Ass."

By Aaron Babcock

A few weeks ago, the movie “Kick-Ass” was released to vast commercial success.  However, its critical reception was far more tumultuous.  Some critics, including Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times and A.O. Scott of the New York Times, had many issues with the film, with Ebert going so far as to call it “morally reprehensible.”
According to Ebert, “A movie camera makes a record of whatever is placed in front of it, and in this case, it shows deadly carnage dished out by an 11-year-old girl, after which an adult man brutally hammers her to within an inch of her life. Blood everywhere. ”
Scott expressed similar feelings when he said, “I know it’s all supposed to be tongue in cheek and lots of fun, but frankly this turned my stomach.” However, not all critics agree with them. David Germain of the Associated Press described the film as “an action comedy so bloody funny – double emphasis on bloody – fans might need to see it again just to catch the gags they missed from laughing so hard the first time.”
Now the public is taking sides on this issue, too – with many Fitchburg State College students lining up opposite Ebert. “While I respect the opinions that Ebert and others have voiced about the moral issues surrounding this movie, the film itself is just infectiously fun,” said Zachary Hare. “It may not be the most moral movie ever made, but we are not living in moral times, and this film serves as a guilty pleasure.”
Another student stated, “The people don’t always like what the critics like and the critics don’t always like what the people like. I think many people probably didn’t like ‘Kick-Ass’ on moral grounds, but the fact is that even more people did like it.”
Overall, the public has responded well to ‘Kick-Ass,’ which netted over $9 million in its first weekend alone. If money talks, it seems to be saying that media violence is no longer a major concern to the public.