Kick-Ass (2010)

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Starring: Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Mark Strong, Nicolas Cage and Chloë Grace Moretz

It’s become increasingly rare for me to be thoroughly excited about a movie I’m watching, a movie that gets me so pumped up that once it’s over I’m on the edge of my seat, gawking slack-jawed at the screen and longing for more. Kick-Ass did just that.

A group of friends and I saw Kick-Ass about a week ago and it’s been on my mind since. We had so much adrenaline pumping through us afterwards that once we finally stopped talking about “how freaking awesome that movie was!” we started planning out our own superheroes, costumes, names, powers and all (even drawing the concept art, which could possibly end up on this site…).

I was looking at some other reviews for this movie and most of them (not surprisingly) were negative. What most critics failed to realize about this movie, however, is that it takes you on a ride. Sure, there isn’t that much emotional connection to the movie or any real kind of aesthetic appeal, but this movie is fun. From start to finish, I was having the time of my life and watching that movie went from being a pass time to an experience.

Matthew Vaughn creates a pitch-black satire of the comic genre in his film adaptation of the Marvel comic Kick-Ass. The movie follows the same basic structure that’s become increasingly popular over the years (Wanted and Zombieland are just a few that come to mind), a loser protagonist narrating his experience from zero to hero.

The movie tells the story of an average-Joe High Schooler, Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) who transforms into an internet celebrity and local hero when a video of him risking his life to save someone from a brutal mugging (all while dressed in his make-shift super hero costume) becomes a viral hit on YouTube. Not only is his MySpace page getting thousands of views and requests for help, but he’s suddenly got the attention of his lifelong crush, Katie (Lyndsy Fonseca) although she’s only into him because she thinks he’s gay…

The plot thickens when Kick-Ass runs into actual super heroes, Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) and Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz), a crime fighting father/daughter duo who straight up murder people. The duo offer to team up with Kick-Ass, offering their assistance whenever he needs it. Up until this point, Kick-Ass has been enjoying his time in the lime light and the new found fame he has, claiming that “with no power, comes no responsibility”. However, he soon finds himself involved in a war between Big Daddy and local crime syndicate leader Frank D’Amico (Mark Strong) and quickly discovers this whole superhero business isn’t all it’s cracked up to be…

Aaron Johnson played an excellent nerdy superhero, Mark Strong did what he does best-played the bad guy and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (who plays D’Amico’s nerdy son) was an excellent rival for Kick-Ass and his McLovin-ish character made for an awesome nerd-on-nerd battle towards the end of the movie, but Nicolas Cage and Chloë Grace Moretz completely stole the show.

na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na BIG DADDY!

Nicolas Cage plays Damon Macready, a former cop who is framed by D’Amico and sent to prison. To make matters worse, his pregnant wife dies while giving birth to his daughter, Mindy.

After his release from prison (time he spent totally pumping up) he does what any single father would do, trains his little girl to be a killing machine.

Cage finally broke away from his seemingly endless line of movies where he played the same National Treasurey character, and his twisted, absurd performance reminded me of some of his earlier work (Raising Arizona and Adaptation specifically). He’s so engulfed with revenge, that he makes Batman look like a melodramatic teenage girl and Cage’s Adam West/William Shatner voice is absolutely hilarious.

Chloë plays Macready’s daughter,Mindy who takes on the masked persona of Hit-Girl. I would’ve been perfectly fine if this movie just revolved around her character because she was amazing. I’ve never seen a young actress say something like “contact the mayor’s office, he has a special signal he shines in the sky—it’s in the shape of a giant cock” and deliver it with such devastating wit. She has the most intense fight scenes in the whole movie, at one point single handedly taking out all of D’Amico’s guards and henchmen in the most gruesome ways she can think of, and behind all the bullet dodging and knife throwing, you can tell Chloë is having an absolute blast. And so was I.

HIT-GIRL

On the surface, this movie seems like just another run-o-the-mill super hero flick, but it is so chock full of super hero references, that it becomes a shameless parody, completely self aware of what it’s trying to do. Kick-Ass satirizes the entire comic genre by making the ultimate comic movie and the result is an exciting two hours that you will never forget. In short: this movie kicks ass. So what are you waiting for? GO WATCH IT!


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