That being said, the “Kick-Ass” trailer showcasing the foul-mouthed, cap-busting 11-year-old character Hit-Girl is bananas. My friend T., who studied film in college, described it perfectly as “One of the most appalling movie clips I’ve ever seen, and one of the most awesome.” I haven’t read Mark Millar’s “Kick-Ass” comic, but based on this clip alone, I kinda wish the movie was just about Hit-Girl.
There’s been some discussion of whether 12-year-old Chloe Moretz’s bloody turn as a pint-sized assassin is yet another sign of our depraved, hell-in-a-handbasket times. Obviously, in real life, a child (or anyone) shooting folks in the face is horrifying. But personally, I find the success of the “Saw” franchise and child beauty pageants far more troubling than this clip for a movie that is so not for kids. As V. put it, if you replaced Moretz with Charlize Theron, it would just be another action flick. (I also wonder if people would be less disturbed by Hit Boy. Anybody remember how 10-year-old Damian Wayne decapitated a criminal and then tried to put Tim Drake on ice in “Son of Batman?” I’m just saying.)
Maybe it’s because I grew up in the ’70s when Jodie Foster and Brooke Shields were playing tween prostitutes and the original Bad News Bears cursed like sailors, but I can’t get into an End Times tizzy over this. If anything, the Hit-Girl clip stands in stark contrast to the chicks-as-victims stereotype we’ve seen a zillion times. I suppose you could make the case that an impressionable child could find the clip on YouTube and mimic the violence, but a kid who is roaming the Internet unsupervised will find a whole lot worse than this.
Given that the world is full of real children who are forced into the unthinkable — child soldiers come to mind — wringing our hands over a fictional character’s acts of cartoon violence seems a bit silly. As Hit-Girl herself might put it, this made-to-shock clip is just %$#@ng with us.