Kick-Ass, without a doubt, kicks all sorts of ass. Yes, that’s how I’m starting off this review and if you don’t like it then too bad! Bwa ha ha! I find that it’s not the easiest thing in the world to make a wonderful movie based off a comic book, for such attempts have been made before and not all of them were successful. Director Matthew Vaughn seemed to have made it his mission to deliver one hell of a movie and indeed he accomplishes this feat. Sure, some folks will say that Kick-Ass is just an ultra violent flick and maybe it’s because I’ve already read the comic or my general de-sensitivity to violence in action movies, but I thought the action was fairly tame compared to a lot of other movies.
Kick-Ass takes the idea of what it would be like if a normal person decided to don a superhero outfit and then go out and fight crime; the end result is not pretty. That doesn’t stop Dave Lizewski, played by Aaron Johnson to take on the guise of Kick-Ass and start patrolling the streets of his fair city. I’d go into more of the plot, but no, I don’t feel like it. If you have any general interest about seeing the movie, then you already have an idea on what it’s about. Hit Girl, the adorable engine of utter destruction and mayhem steals the show whenever it comes to kicking ass. Accompanied by her father Big Daddy, the two have taken it upon themselves to rid the city of the local crime syndicate.
From that point on we get a ride of pure hilarity and complete chaos. Granted, violence is not something to advocate, but the comics were infinitely more brutal, and the comedic vibe from the action comes from just how over-the-top it all is. That said, there wasn’t much that I found wrong with this movie. You see, I enjoy superhero movies, they fulfill the sort of escapism that I’m looking for when I head to the theater and Kick-Ass provides that sort of experience in full. It provides the sense that one can go out, dress up and kick some criminal ass, albeit possibly getting stabbed in the process, but hey, such as life.
The movie is very faithful to the comic, which is good, though it eliminates some rather gratuitous bits, which is also not a bad thing. Perhaps the one scene that I found disturbing to watch, and sorry for the mini-spoiler alert, is when Big Daddy and Kick-Ass are being tortured ruthlessly by the mob, with millions of onlookers viewing through their computers, via a live feed. There’s a degree of deathly silence in this part of the movie as everyone can only look on in abject revulsion and there was an equal amount of unnerved quiet in the theater I was in. For the most part, everyone seemed pretty horrified during that instance.
I feel that I should mention Nicholas Cage, since he does appear throughout a good deal of the film. Having taken bits of Adam West’s Batman, Cage’s superhero persona, talks much like the Batman from the 60s, which is certainly humorous. Aside from that though, he’s one of the more intense characters in the movie. Really, the emotional ties come from the relationships between Hit Girl and Big Daddy and between mob boss Frank D’Amico (played by Mark Strong) and his son Chris. Kick-Ass and his father don’t really have much interaction throughout the movie, so you never really feel anything for their family.
The action sequences, as mentioned earlier, are intense and oh-so-much fun. To see a small girl jumping around like some sort of spider monkey, taking names as she goes, is not something you get to see every day and thereby something that’s worth seeing. Kick-Ass is going to be one of those movies where you either love it or hate it, because there isn’t much room for a happy medium. Is Kick-Ass worth watching? Well, if you have no problem with watching a slightly exaggerated view of “realistic” crime-fighting then sure, you’re in for one hell of a treat. If you’re morally opposed to lots of beautifully shot scenes of pandemonium, then stay at home.