Director: Matthew Vaughn
Cast: Aaron Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Mark Strong, Lyndsy Fonseca, Clark Duke, Evan Peters and Nicolas Cage
Plot: A social outsider (Johnson) wonders why no one has decided to just become a superhero, resulting in him experimenting with the life of a vigilante.
Finally, I got around to watching Kick-Ass, one of the most hyped about films around, and it did not disappoint. Kick-Ass has a habit of exploding onto the screen, not really bothered about how violent or inappropriate the resulting aftermath looks like. And that is exactly why people sit down to watch this movie.
David Lizewski cannot shake a burning question. Everyone around him lives mundane lives, escaping into the world of comic books for escapism. Well, how come, with the streets kept unsafe by local criminals and a dangerous mob boss running riot, that no one decides to break from their routine and become a superhero themselves? This question drives Dave into buying his own costume, giving himself the alter-ego of Kick-Ass, and going out stopping crime. Vaughn has fun, telling his unorthodox origin story, with the first fight scene ending surprisingly short and, in a way, that I didn’t see coming. The origin story also influences other people into becoming heroes, Vaughn using social media to add a new dynamic to a superhero story. These superheroes like the idea of becoming public heroes. The new hero on the block, taking Kick-Ass’s shoes, has a TV interview, publically revealing himself. Kick-Ass uses MySpace to take requests on what crime he should stop next. This is the anti-superhero movie, taking stock storylines, and having fun with it, but at the same time, never losing touch with that sense of fantasy that actual superhero movie fans come to these films to see.
Of course, star of the show and the main thing people leave this movie raving about are Hit-Girl. She was a massive risk here and only the crazy tone Kick-Ass creates makes it feel tasteful, rather than needlessly violent. She is a ten year old girl that kills, beats up and causes endless havoc. She even uses the C word, something that feels like a hilarious slap in the face. However, the vulgarity is all part of the joke and when you see Hit-Girl tearing into a room full of drug dealers, you cannot help but laugh at everything you are seeing. It helps that Chloe Grace Moretz attacks the role with the passion of a natural. She embodies the role so well that, at times, you forget she is a little girl. This helps for the final battle where Hit-Girl essentially gets beaten up by the film’s big bad. It is a tricky moment to get right, but the honesty of the violence makes it feel less shocking. And on the plus side, because Vaughn nails the moment, we get a really good villain character in Mark Strong, whose mob boss is willing to kick the shit out of a young girl.
Kick-Ass does struggle as the movie progresses. It is a parody superhero movie, but it needs to smoothly evolve into an actual superhero story. It feels restricted, when it has to enter the motions of your stereotypical identity crisis plot point, that needs to be brought up, but it does throw a spanner into the works. There isn’t so much a storyline, as the foundations of a storyline. The girlfriend character is a theme, rather than a character. The mob is little more than a mob. However, while you can criticise the story, Kick-Ass does become a series of ‘cool’ moments. You don’t need a strong story, because you are happy to watch random sequences of Hit-Girl clearing a room of bad guys. The surrounding exposition is forgotten in the fun of the scene anyway. Kick-Ass might have its flaws, but when it comes to mindless fun that isn’t afraid to get its hands dirty, it excels.
Final Verdict: The superhero movie for people that hate superhero movies. Kick-Ass earns every fan that raves about it.