Cert: 15 Runtime: 117 mins Director: Matthew Vaughn Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Mark Strong and Nicholas Cage
Fuck this shit, I’m getting the bazooka!
The spring of 2010 brought a big cult surprise to the world of cinema, Matthew Vaughn brought us the world of Kick-Ass. A very controversial movie due to its high sense of violence and a 12 year old girl that swears a lot and kills. Kick-Ass became an over night success and made Aaron Johnson and Chloe Moretz into over night stars. Based on a comic book by the great Mark Millar and John Romita Jr., Lionsgate took a massive gamble on this but it paid off. Kick-Ass 2 is out this week, but we mite as well start from the start. In New York, teenager Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is a loser at high-school, a fan of comic books and ignored at school.One day, Dave decides to make a difference to his life by becoming a masked superhero named Kick-Ass. In his first superhero role he attempts to prevent a car theft by two punks, but he is inadvertently stabbed by one of them and hit by a car later. Dave is taken to hospital where his bones are fixed with metal. When he recovers, Katie begins to notices him. That night, Dave helps a man being hunted down by three guys in front of a cafeteria, the teenagers record the fight with their cell phone cameras. Then they put the footage in Internet and Kick-Ass immediately becomes famous. Meanwhile the powerful gangster Frank D’Amico (Mark Strong) believes that Kick-Ass is responsible for actions against his gang and plots a scheme to destroy him.
In light of this, Kick-Ass is a story that eschews the fantasy and candidly faces the facts. This is not a world where people like Batman, Superman, the X-Men, or whoever can save the day and get the girl completely unscathed. Nor is it a world where everything is a concrete black-and-white good-vs-evil affair. Crimes happen and people often just look on without bothering to intervene. Real heroes get the snot beaten out of them, and can even die; there is no invincibility, only vulnerabilities. The film shows all of this straight-up, approaching the subject of masked vigilantism in a light that’s far more realistic than most other superhero films to date (a few other good contenders being “Super” and “Watchmen”).However, this film is not all about the realism. In fact, realism in superhero lore is just something the film harps on sarcastically. The film has its share of crazy action, extreme violence, and includes some scenes that are just too crazy to happen in real life. The film is also quite the comedy, loaded up with funny lines and situations that are so sad that they’re funny (or just plain funny). It pulls a lot of punches, delivering a shock and awe style of entertainment that will likely offend the most sensitive and conservative of viewers (this film will likely be forever notorious for showcasing an eleven-year-old girl cutting people up and cursing like an adult: you have been warned!). At the same time, the film is colourful and upbeat, contrasting heavily with the messed-up violence and situations; the poignant combination of light and dark is part of what makes the film so funny, so provocative, and so thrilling.
No matter how offensive or unbelievable things get, the story still matters, and it is quite strong. With the premise mentioned above, it does invoke some thought concerning masked vigilantism. It also ties in with the character and helps weave a tale of the characters’ origins. The film follows the comic pretty closely, with only a few liberties taken (including an alternate take on the love interest, which I find better in the film than in the comic).The film is certainly stylish, with quality photography and unique editing effects. There is one scene I find quite erratic with its use of strobe lighting, but it is mercifully short. Acting is good: Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Nicholas Cage, and Mark Strong all fulfil their respective roles really well. Exceptional praise goes to Chloe Moretz, whose performance for Hit Girl shows remarkable physical aptitude and skilful nuance (in addition to putting up with the vulgar script). Writing is not bad, swearing and all. This is one of those movies that looks more expensive than it is; all of the sets, props, and costumes look snazzy, with just a few weak spots. There is a plethora of interesting musical choices in this film, and they all help in the experience.While I find that the vast majority of superhero films entertain one way or another, “Kick-Ass” is a one-of-a-kind feature that entertains by shattering the standard conventions and smacking the viewers upside the head. Chances are that some of you viewers will find this distasteful; if you are easily offended, then you should probably avoid this film like the plague. For most everybody else, it comes recommended!