The over-the-top action picture genre is hit-or-miss with me. Hits have included most of Guy Richie's stuff, the little praised but much seen Wanted and the little seen but much praised Shoot 'Em Up. Misses include the Jason Statham collection, which is getting pretty hefty, and much of the lesser comics-to-cinema attempts starting, I think, with Daredevil (2003). Kick-Ass is a comic-to-cinema film that is as self-referential as a movie can get. A high school nobody is inspired to amateur superherodom by little more than reading comics and asking the question "Why not?" His first foray into crime fighting ends with him getting his "ass kicked" but through the intercession of modern medicine he is turned into a schmo who can take a punch better than most. The young British actor Aaron Johnson plays the youthful schlub and Nicolas Cage adds some gravitas (in a weird Christopher Walken kind of way) as a Batmanesque crusader Big Daddy. But the true star is 13-year-old Chloe Moretz who plays Hit-Girl a pre-teen badass who spits the c-word (yes, that c-word) like a pro. The movie's base vulgarity is exceeded only by the bloodletting. Do NOT take the kids.