Sunday, May 09, 2010


Year: 2010
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Cast: Aaron Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Nicolas Cage, Mark Strong, Christopher Mintz-Plasse

What's the reason behind certain special people becoming a superhero? Some become superheroes because they have an ability which allows them to do good, some want to use their gifts responsibly, while some others had a tragedy befall them which becomes the catalyst to them being a do-gooder.

But what if you wanted to be a superhero simply because you are a comicbook geek and you thought it was cool? That's the premise for the film I'm reviewing here, Kick-Ass.

Dave Lizewski is a normal, ordinary teenager who isn't popular or cool like most of his peers, he's more like the geek at school that girls shy away from and other guys just ignore, except for guys just like him. Dave had always wondered why people don't become the superheroes he reads about in comicbooks. He sees crime happening in his neighborhood and even becomes a victim occasionally, and wonders why there isn't anyone who steps up, in a costume and do something about it.

So one day, Dave decides to buy a green suit, wear a mask, arm himself with batons and fight crime. Just like that, with no training or powers, or a life affirming reason to do so. The result? He gets badly hurt and winds up in the hospital!

But it isn't nearly enough to stop him. He heals up and tries again, and this time he manages to save a guy from getting thrashed by 3 thugs. Some kids filmed it happening with their camera phones, and suddenly Kick-Ass (the name Dave gives himself) becomes a Youtube phenomenon.

However, Dave finds out quickly that he may have bitten off more than he can chew, after he crosses paths with a father-daughter duo of masked vigilantes: Big Daddy and Hit Girl. And unlike Dave, they both are well trained and play for keeps. Hit Girl, in particular is an 11 year old girl, but she is as good at killing as a professional assassin. These two have a beef with mob boss Frank D'Amico, and Kick-Ass gets caught in the crossfire....

Like most comic to film adaptations, Kick-Ass is inspired by a comicbook, and it presents an interesting satire on superheroes. But Kick-Ass isn't just a spoof on the genre, for a lot of the stuff that happens here is very real. The violence, sex and foul language are all evident without the sugar coating of the regular superhero films we have seen. It's a comedy, but also has plenty of serious kick-ass (pun intended) action sequences that manages to ground the film, but not too much so that we can still have fun with it.

Newcomer Aaron Johnson fits perfectly as the nerd turned hero Dave Lizewski, from image right down to mannerisms. However it's 13 year old Chloe Moretz who steals the show as Hit Girl. She has the moves and the foul mouth that you probably have never seen in any character her age. Nicolas Cage hams it up as Big Daddy, and he's a blast to watch. He's strange, and as father to Hit Girl, he can be considered demented for training her on how to take a bullet by shooting her in the chest. Mark Strong plays the villain Frank D'Amico effortlessly and Superbad's Christopher Mintz-Plasse is a bit wasted as Frank's son Chris, but I think he'll have a bigger part in the guaranteed sequel.

For what it's worth, Matthew Vaughn did an excellent job with this film. However, I shudder to think of what the politically correct audience would think of this movie. An 11 year old girl killing and spewing cuss words? A guy becoming a masked superhero simply because he thinks he can? Not exactly a good influence on the younger generation. To be fair, the film is rated R in the U.S. and 18 here, so perhaps young adults won't be affected too much. But even I can see how odd it is to have Hit Girl call her dad the best dad in the world because he used slower velocity bullets when he shot her in the chest. I sense the comedy there, but it's still odd to me.

But in the end, I had fun, and that's what matters essentially. If you go see this, don't bring the kids. (4/5)

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