I wrote this review on April 16th of this year for Pop Culture Shock since I saw the movie a month before release. Since that site is shutting down I thought I’d put it up here and build up my review post count (LOL!).
Bottom line, Kick Ass is a great movie. Yes I know that is very bland first sentence but it’s true. Kick Ass is the first real super hero action comedy that uses all the troupes and clichés of the genre and turns them on their head. I call it a comedy because even with its serious moments, it still doesn’t take itself too seriously. Much of this due to the fact that the hero of the movie is tweenage girl in a domino mask holding handguns blazing like Chow Yun Fat in Hard Boiled. Based on the comic by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr., the movie centers around Dave Lizewski, a teenage comic book fan who wonders why no one has ever tried to be a real life super hero. So Dave, without any training makes a costume and proceeds to go and be a hero, which he fails at miserably at first. But he keeps trying, and after one fateful night where he kinda succeeds at protecting someone, he becomes famous through YouTube. This sets off a chain of events that takes Dave through this crazy world of Violent Dynamic Duos, mob bosses, treacherous allies, and a jetpack (because, why not?!).
A lot of credit for this should go to director Matthew Vaughn. He helped craft a fine script and took what he felt didn’t work in the comic and what did work, and made a movie that really feels like the first half of the first Spider-man film. The movie doesn’t feel too far fetched and all the music cues works. You understand Dave’s world and his friends. I really enjoyed Aaron Johnson who plays Dave. He’s not as goofy or nerdy as the comic made him look, but it helps sell that Dave isn’t a total loser. He’s just a teen that’s in a awkward phase, which makes him that much more easier to relate to. The other main character in this is Hit-Girl, and man-o-man does Chloë Moretz do a fantastic job as this little terror in a domino mask. This may be Dave’s story, but Hit-Girl is the hero of it. She’s like a little John McClane in this. She’s funny, tough and sweet in a weird way. Every time Chloë is on screen is a treat. And you can’t speak on Hit-Girl without talking about Big Daddy. Nick Cage plays Big Daddy and this might be my favorite Nick Cage performance in years. Big Daddy is like daddy knows best, but his lessons are in killing. When he’s in costume it really hits home that Big Daddy’s greatest inspiration is the 60s Adam West Batman tv show. I almost fell out of my seat the first time I heard his line delivery in costume. Christopher Mintz-Plasse is what you expect of him if you have enjoyed him in his other movies. His J-Pop/Korean Pop star style costume is pretty hilarious in action. His interaction with his mod boss dad played by Mark Strong is more like his role in Role Models in that it’s more subdued in comparison to his costumed identity’s McLovin style banter and prat falls. Another cool thing about the movie is that they use art by the artist of the comic, John Romita Jr. in the actual film as Big Daddy’s art. That guy deserves all the shine there is to get.
In the end this a great start to the big movie season and a fine first salvo of this year’s comic property based movies line up.