“Kick-Ass” took a baseball bat upside my head and did some major ass-kicking! What a refreshing, original take on the superhero genre. A kid in New York decides he’s tired of reading comic books and decides to be a superhero himself, en route to this new lifestyle he meets a man who dresses as Batman who has trained Hit-Girl, his 11 year-old daughter to be the fiercest of them all.
Why you’ll like this:
Bloody comic book-y action; well shot; plenty of fight scenes
Quite a clever film, it takes on the perspective of an average kid that feels largely unnoticed except by his small circle of friends. “Kick-Ass” does a great job of feeling very authentic by building a genuine title character, you see how he’s a kid tired of being ignored by the cute girl and that he thinks being a superhero can change his world. The other smart move taken is by allowing Kick-Ass to be smeared in his first outing, and he gets creamed in a fairly epic style which takes away any notion of this being a kid-friendly Spider-Man film. No, it’s indeed a dark edgy take on teenagers taking on the underbelly of New York City.
The action is executed incredibly well, kind of the opposite of the Bourne films, shot in a way that let’s you follow what’s happening while putting a polish in the editing room, it’s lightning fast but really fun. Superhero movies are nearly always PG-13 to capture the young teen crowd so I was really happy to see this go more in the direction of “Watchmen” or “Ninja Assassin” in that it’s bloody and death is a certainty. There’s a specific moment where they actually switch from this being a fairly edgy take to a full-on violent escapade.
My only actual conflict with this movie wasn’t that it had a little girl doing extremely violent things with knives and guns. Nope. My sole beef lies in the the soundtrack. Apparently Matthew Vaughn is a big Danny Boyle fan, hey, so am I, so I’d prefer it if he didn’t lift all the freaking music from his films. Namely “Sunshine”, it was incredibly distracting to me that I couldn’t hardly even focus on all the beautiful action going on because it felt like a beat-for-emotional-beat lifting from Boyle’s films. My assumption is that Vaughn tracked the movie with those cuts in it and as often happens with these place-holders he fell in love with it just that way and decided to use it. Awful awful decision, be creative enough to find some obscure band to use or even take the time to hire a freaking composer to create something entirely unique for your brilliant film. It’s a tragedy to resort to this, as the rest of the film picks funny unique tracks to complete a moment but then hijacks Boyle. That really hurt this movie and I hope he’ll change it out for the DVD release. Yes, it’s that big of a deal to me, and if you’ve seen “Sunshine” or “28 Days Later” then perhaps you’ll appreciate the soundtracks as much as I do, because Boyle is a visual and auditory genius in compiling his films so seeing it used like that rubs me raw.
Why you won’t like this:
violence with little kids may be disturbing
Acting-wise, the performances were all spot-on. Nic Cage playing super-proper father/daughter went over quite well for me, which is largely thanks to the rest of the cast putting on great performances, because without that then the Big Daddy and Hit-Girl routine would probably come off as rather poor acting when it’s anything but. If you like R-rated action with some blood then this is definitely the film for you, there’s tons of action sequences and they all deliver. The humor plays well and the story develops at a natural pace and leaves you with an easy storyline to pick up in the next film. Let’s hope it kicks our ass soon.
4.5 out of 5 Stars.
Starring: Aaron Johnson, Clark Duke, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Nicholas Cage, Chloe Moretz
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Genre: Action (Comic Book), Comedy
Running Time: 1 hr. 57 min.
Release Date: April 16, 2010