Thursday, 1 April 2010

Kick-Ass - Review


Based on a two year old comic book by Mark Millar Kick-Ass tells the story of Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), just an ordinary kid who dares to dream about what life could be like as a real life crime fighter.  His both failed and marginally successful attempts are both graphic and comic, all at once.



Kick-Ass works exceptionally as a Watchmen lite approach to ordinary people as comic book heroes.  There's pretty much no holding back on the violence and language either, you will see an 11 year old girl drop a C-Bomb, but there's so much to savour here in a sharp witty script that never condescends its audience.

The set up is simple, Lizewski wants to be a comic book hero, so he orders a costume from the internet and goes out onto the streets of New York with a couple of sticks strapped to his back determined to fight crime.  After one horribly botched attempt to stop a couple of car thieves he goes on a mission, now adorned with his new moniker Kick-Ass, to stop a drug dealer harassing the girl of his dreams.  It's during this potentially disastrous mission that he meets 11 year old Hit Girl and her father, Big Daddy.  Nicholas Cage, in a surprise turn (he's actually good in this), brings Big Daddy to life, desperately seeking vengeance for the death of his wife and he's dragged his daughter along for the ride.  Kick-Ass gets inadvertently sucked into their story although for most of the film he remains pretty much unaware of this, more interested in the object of his affections, who's convinced he's gay.

Chloe Moretz delivers the stand out performance as Hit Girl and also the killer line that is destined to become a favourite at schools up and down the country for years.  Sorry if you wanna hear it, you gotta go see it.

Seeing an 11 year old girl bounce around the screen, kicking, knifing and shooting the shit out of almost all the bad guys could, frankly, have been as funny as the first time we saw Yoda fighting.  But here it's just so visceral from the get go that you never question it.  It's Moretz' and Cage's character (who looks like a Batman fancy dress costume owner gone mad) that you empathise with the most through out the movie.  Kick-Ass is pretty much a bystander to their story but you warm to him none the less.

In the last few years there's been a cavalcade of superhero movies and although this treads in similar waters to Watchmen it still stands head and shoulders above much of what's been produced.

Kick-Ass, kicks ass.  Go see.