more and more I think about it, Kick-Ass was made
for me. Or fans like me, maybe.
I love superhero movies, and I love balls to the wall action
movies with whizzing bullets and galvanizing gunplay even
more. Throw in some cool, fun characters, some crazy, nuanced
performances and a slick directorial style and I’m
in for sure. Kick-Ass delivers all this and more
and pretty much turns the superhero genre on its head and
gives it a spanking. It’s pretty much Spider-Man meets
John Woo and I can’t help saying it, it kicks ASS!
on the Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. created comic of
the same name, Kick-Ass is brought to the screen
by Layer Cake and Stardust
auteur Matthew Vaughn. The source material was one of
the most crazy and violent comics in recent memory and became
infamous for its raw, realistic, vibe and insane bloodletting…and
of course, the nine year old assassin with the mouth of
a sailor. Luckily Vaughn, along with co-screenwriter Jane
Goldman, stayed faithful to the spirit of the comic book
and deliver a nose busting, knife throwing, gun blast of
is the story of Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), a high school
fanboy who wonders why nobody in the real world has ever
tried to be a superhero. Like any good nerd, he’s
awkward and shy, can’t get the girl, and hangs out
with his nerdy friends at the comic shop. One day, he’s
pushed too far and Dave’s daydreams about becoming
a costumed hero take over and soon after, Kick-Ass is born.
it to a kid with an overactive imagination and one living
in today’s world to name his costumed alter ego Kick-Ass
and not something more comic-based like Street Avenger,
The Revenger or Fight Man. The kid has a kick-ass idea and
names his hero Kick-Ass. And Kick-Ass is hip like that.
of the first things you really get a feel for in this movie
is how hip it really is. This is a film made for today’s
mindset. This isn’t a Marvel movie about a Stan Lee
creation that harkens back to the morals and standards of
is a film based in the world we live in now - a time when
crime is brutal and real. Criminals aren’t all about
robbing banks and taking over the world, they’re about
taking advantage of the weak, pouncing on the unprotected
and most of the time, doing it while others just look away.
At times, it’s hopeless.
Kick-Ass captures, in a weird and twisted way,
is that all it takes is one person to stand up to the oppression
of crime. One person can inspire hope. Even if it means
they’ve got to get their ass kicked and broken in
many places to do so. And in today’s world, hope spreads
so much faster with the help of social media like YouTube,
Twitter and MySpace. Or so we learn in Kick-Ass.
a video of Kick-Ass taking a beating saving a young punk’s
hide blows up on YouTube, he finds that he’s not only
inspired the city, but other costumed crime fighters as
well. On a mission to deliver a stern message to a neighborhood
tough, Kick-Ass meets nine year old bad ass, Hit Girl (Chloë
Grace Moretz) and Batman look-a-like Big Daddy (Nicolas
Cage). However, when the newcomers' ways are a tad more
permanent than what Kick-Ass had in mind, a career change
is suddenly contemplated.
Kick-Ass isn’t only getting positive attention. He’s
also garnered the attention of the local crime boss Frank
D’Amico (Mark Strong) and another costumed vigilante
called the Red Mist (Chris Mintz-Plasse). What follows could
be your typical “Coming of Age” super hero quest,
but in the hands of Vaughn, Kick-Ass becomes a
crowd-pleasing gut punch that makes you wince, grimace and
does the film live up to the comic and will fans of the
comic be fans of the movie? Well, there are three key plot
differences from the comic that aren’t in the film
which could be initially disappointing, but afterwards aren’t.
(And I’m not going to spoil them.)
matters here is that what’s on screen is the heart
of what made the comic cool. Kick-Ass is a winner
because it’s fun. Dirty, violent, oh so totally wrong
fun. And like the Kick-Ass comic, the film keeps
pushing it over the top, over and over again.
instance - Our first introduction to Hit Girl and Big Daddy
is when papa Macready (Cage) is prepping little Mindy (Moretz)
for a gunshot to her bullet proof vest at close range. Dad
quizzes her about the bullet's velocity and she bargains
some ice cream out of it and family bonding will never be
the same again. When Kick-Ass and Red Mist team up in the
“Mist Mobile” and they cruise the city streets,
bobbing their head to Gnarls Barkley’s "Crazy,"
you realize that these are just kids wearing costumes and
of all, Kick-Ass has a cohesive story and is easy
to follow. Told with a Spider-Man-like narrative,
the story plays a lot like Sam Raimi’s webslinger
tales except with an R rating. And the cast is pretty cool
as well with a lot to like. Aaron Johnson is amazing. Playing
the likable loser, Brit Johnson’s American accent
is flawless and the sheer fear and physicality he conveys
is honest and real. He would be the breakout star of the
film if it wasn’t for Chloë Grace Moretz.
film, almost like in the comic, Hit Girl steals the show.
Moretz’s twelve-year-old vigilante is so much fun
and her performance is a powerhouse. The girl shows wisdom
well beyond her years and her delivery is smooth and flawless.
From the way she teases her Daddy with surprise birthday
wishes to the way she disposes of gang bangers, Hit Girl
does the most ass-kicking in Kick-Ass. She’s sure
to inspire a lot of Grrl Power, much like the Power Puff
Girls did years back. Except with an R rating…
supporting cast is fun, too. Cage is awesome as the geeky,
yet purposed Big Daddy. Listen closely to his dialogue when
he’s got his costume on for an Adam West-like delivery.
Chris Mintz-Plasse is cool as Red Mist and is ever so surely
shedding the McLovin persona he was once known for. Teen
Movie stalwart, Clark Duke is solid as Dave’s friend
Marty, bringing a whole lot of teen cred. The apple of Dave’s
eye, Katie – played by the lovely Lyndsy Fonseca --
is super hot and provides the sexual tension needed to make
a successful teen flick.
successful it is. Kick-Ass is a strong film that
is sure to appeal to all the fanboys and fangirls as well
as the pre-teens, the teens and all those in between. Fans
of the comic need to not cling so closely to the book so
that they don’t have fun with the film. People coming
in without knowing anything about the property just need
to sit down, strap in and prepare to have their asses kicked.
a bullet to your bullet-proof vest, Kick-Ass will
beat you senseless with gasp out loud action, gutbusting
comedy and kids that can’t fly or see through walls
but could kick your ass. It’s a winner.