Having pratically lived in the cinema this Easter, I have many reviews to write. Kick-Ass is one of them.
Superhero films instantly grab my attention, even if I haven’t heard of the titular superhero. Kick-Ass belongs in the “never heard of it” category. I was sort of anticipating it, but when I heard it was from the imagination of Mark Millar, scribe of the Wanted comics/film and co-written by Jane Goldman, co-writer on the surprisingly good Stardust, I was completely sold.
The plot is basically that of Spider-Man with a few twists. Nerdy teen Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) notices that people simply don’t help each other and takes it upon himself to dress up in a costume and re-invents himself as the superhero Kick-Ass. After defending a stranger from a brutal beating, Kick-Ass is filmed, put on the ‘Net and becomes a YouTube sensation. Little does Dave know that there are “proper” superheroes out there- Big Daddy (Nic Cage) and his fouled-mouthed daughter Hit-Girl (Chloe Moretz) watching his even move. The plot is great. As I said, it is pretty much a carbon copy of the first Spidey film, but it comes into its own later on. The film is part parody, part normal film and for the most part it works well. I thought all the leads were great, but the persistant scene-stealer is Chloe Moretz’s Hit-Girl who effortlessly draws your attention with her ultra-violent ways and her knowledge of four letter words. That’s not to downplay Nic Cage’s turn as Big Daddy who speaks in a dead-on (not to mention fucking funny) Adam West type voice. Special mention to Christopher Mintz-Plasse for his Red Mist portrayal. The guy’s hilarious.
One of the many things I liked about Kick-Ass was the fact that all the costumed crusaders are presented in a different way to the normal “eat justice and shit honour” bullshit that we are normally lumbered with. They are all varying forms of insane, especially the team of Big Daddy and Hit-Girl who are unbelievably likeable, but undeniably deserve to be carted off to Arkham Asylum or some similar institution. Funny thing is, the sanest character is probably big baddie Frank D’Amico (Mark Strong) which is a nice reversal from the norm.
There are some fantastic scenes too. In fact, many of the scenes in Kick-Ass are fantastic ones. It seems like a disservice to mention the select few. Having said that, I can’t write a review without mentioning one of my favourite bits- the origin of Big Daddy and Hit-Girl, which takes us into a 3D comic book style scene which impressed the living hell out of me.
However, I do feel there are some problems with it. Firstly, I felt that the film was trying way too hard to appeal to da yout’. For example, in one of the establishing scenes, Dave is on his MACBOOK, speaking to a friend on SKYPE. His friend asked if he’s seen the latest FAMILY GUY. Later on Kick-Ass has a MYSPACE page and is a huge hit on YOUTUBE. I have a horrible feeling that all the capitalised words were blank spaces in the script until a tea boy told them what was popular these days. (Also, you can replace the above capitalised words for rude ones like “arse”, for a fun game to play when you’ve lost the will to live.) My second problem is a small one, really. Many of the more graphically violent action scenes have some upbeat track playing over the top. A particular gripe was when Hit-Girl was kicking ass and taking legs to the strains of “Bad Reputation”. I realise that this is meant to make the violence less shocking, but c’mon- that feckin’ song was used in Shrek! It really took me out of the moment.
As you’ve probably guessed, I loved Kick-Ass. It’s a fun mix of insanity, ultra-violence and daft bastards in costumes. Go and see it as fast as your legs can carry you.