Sunday, April 25, 2010
Adapted from Mark Millar's hyper-violent comic book of the same name, director Matthew Vaughn's (Layer Cake) vigilante superhero film tells the tale of an average New York teenager who decides to don a costume and fight crime. Comic book geek Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) may not have good coordination or special powers, but that doesn't mean he isn't a fully capable crime fighter. After purchasing a flashy wet suit on the Internet, Dave starts busting up baddies with nothing but brute force. He calls himself Kick-Ass, and he can take a beating as good as he can dish one out. Before long, Kick-Ass has become a local sensation, and others are following his lead. Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) and Hit-Girl (Chloe Moretz) are a father-daughter crime-fighting duo who have set their sights on local mob heavy Frank D'Amico (Mark Strong). They're doing a decent job of dismantling Frank's sizable underworld empire when Kick-Ass gets drawn into the fray. But Frank's men play rough, and his son, Chris (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), is about to become Kick-Ass' very first arch nemesis. When Chris assumes the persona of Red Mist, the stage is set for a superhero showdown that could spell the end of Kick-Ass once and for all. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Cast: Aaron Johnson, Nicolas Cage, Chloe Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Mark Strong.
Release Date: Apr 16, 2010
Rated R for strong brutal violence throughout, pervasive language, sexual content, nudity and some drug use -- some involving children
Runtime: 1 hr. 57 min.
Matthew Vaughn’s Kick Ass lives up to its name at various times throughout it hyper violent run but its change in tone is so drastic you start to wonder if Vaughn might destroy the clutch on this film. Vaughn gives this film an impressive visual style throughout that keeps your eyes and mind entertained throughout by a wonderful use of smart edits during some of the more drawn out action sequences. In the lead role Aaron Johnson gives the titular Kick Ass a decent blend of nerdiness, naiveté and earnestness in the role. He does fine work throughout but the role doesn’t give him much chance to shine and it’s easy for him to disappear into the background. This is especially true once Nicolas Cage and Chloe Moretz show up. Nicolas Cage fits into his role so well you can sense his glee every time he’s on screen. Chloe Moretz is equally strong as the psychopathic foul mouthed Hit Girl. She’s got some of the strongest comedic and emotional moments in the entire film. Christopher Mintz-Plasse & Mark Strong both deliver strong if generic performances in underwritten roles. Cage and Moretz’s are by far the most interesting characters in the film and make the other story lines look like placeholders until they hit screen again. This choppiness in story and tone becomes more jarring as the film head to its conclusion. Kick Ass shifts from satire to shoot em up to standard comic book movie throughout. Having not read the original comic I don’t know if it’s an issue that inherent to story or if it was something that occurred in the transition. Even with its imperfections, Kick Ass is funny and engaging enough to make for an enjoyable experience for comic book movie fans.