April 16, 2010
Review - " Kickass " - (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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Directed by; Matthew Vaughn
Starring: Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloe Grace
Moretz, Nicolas Cage, Mark Strong.
One of the first thing you will notice in the movie is its tone. Although
the characters take everything seriously, the tone of the movie is a
shameless self-acknowledgment of its own outlandishness. Dark humor
and satire permeates the very fabric of Kick Ass and this where it
diverges from every comic book movie that came before it. We are
never really sure at any point in time whether things should be taken
with a grain of salt or not. This is a movie about superheroes where no
one has superpowers.
Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) is your average teen whose “only
super power was being invisible to girls”. The only way he can get the
attention of the girl of his affection (the comely Lyndsy Fonseca) is by
pretending to be gay. One day, after being mugged in plain day, he
wonders why no one ever thought about becoming a selfless
superhero. Dave dons in a ridiculous looking turquoise wetsuit and
becomes the vigilante “Kick Ass”. After a YouTube video of him
defending a man from a street gang appears on the internet, Kick
Ass becomes an overnight sensation.
Kick Ass adventures are often hilarious but it is the duo of Big Daddy
(Nicolas Cage) and Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) who will get most of
your attention. Unlike Kick Ass, father and daughter play two highly
trained and deadly vigilantes who are after New York City’s mafia
kingpin Frank D’Amico (Mark Strong). Wielding often outlandish weaponry, Hit Girl is a foul-mouthed 11 yr-old girl with a
knack for killing thugs in close combat. It is by no accident that the movie is rated-R. Her introductory scene comes with
complete and jaw-dropping shock to both Kick Ass and viewers as she stabs, cuts throats, and swears with incredible
virtuosity. One thing that would have made the movie even more shocking and effective would have been to eliminate all
scenes involving Big Daddy and Hit Girl before that point and make them appear completely out of nowhere.
Performance-wise, Aaron Johnson was relatively solid as Kick Ass. Some have complained that he is boring but isn’t he
supposed to? He is playing a completely average “boring” dweeb who is trying to be a super hero. Anyone foolish enough to
do that would also go through stages of doubt like he did. Chloe Moretz, now 13, is the star-making highlight of the show and
infuses the movie with an odd charm of spirit. It is so out of place that a fearless little girl would use so many profanities and
kill dozens of people like she does that it is akin to some sort of disturbing cathartic release to actually see it happen. She
shares a winkle of sarcasm with Nicolas Cage who overacts at times (like he usually does) when delivering his lines which are
often ambiguous whether they are really grounded in reality or sarcastic. Christopher Mintz-Plasse is the weak link here as
Red Mist, Frank’s geek son. He just didn’t feel right for the part once he became Red Mist. Finally, Mark Strong is his usual
reliable self in another bad guy role.
The movie had nice pacing: despite a few slow parts
and some of the humor that just wasn’t that funny. It
had a perfectly proportioned beginning, middle, and
end. I definitely felt that I got my money’s worth, and
just when I thought the movie had ended, the last 30
minutes were the best and most action-packed.
Despite the movie’s title, Hit-girl is the real star, and
Kick-Ass just plays second fiddle to her. Kick-Ass is
a violent and shocking movie. Both the good guys and
bad seem to start bleeding profusely simply from
taking a single hit. Although, the most shocking aspect
will probably be watching 11-year-old Hit-Girl spew a
plethora of profanities that you probably didn’t even
know existed when you were her age!
In the end, it all makes out to be a good time, though.
Kick-Ass is not another teen comedy like American Pie or an overdramic action-hero movie like The Dark Knight, but the vibe
of the movie hits a nice medium between the two.
What it comes down to is that Kick-Ass is a story that takes the fantasy of superheroes and thrusts it into the harsh light of
day, and the result is something that makes you laugh and cringe at the same time. As long as you don’t have too many
qualms about violence or profanity, particularly coming from a kid, then chances are it’ll be one of the funniest things you'll
Combining outlandishly over-the-top action, hilarious dialogue, and intelligent dark humor, Kick Ass is a wildly exhilarating
watch that dared to do it its own way, whether you like or not.
There's only one thing I can say about Kick-ass: It's Kick-Ass!