Kick-Ass

12 Jul

Title: Kick-Ass
Year: 2010
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writers: Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman, adapting form the comic book by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.
Starring: Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloë Grace Moretz, Nicolas Cage, Mark Strong
MPAA Rating: R, strong brutal violence throughout, pervasive language, sexual content, nudity and some drug use – some involving children
Runtime: 117 min
Major Awards:
IMDb Rating: 8.2
Rotten Tomatoes: 76%

This was one of the films I was anticipated the most this year, the buzz surrounding it was surreal, and, when the moment of truth came, I actually found myself loving Kick-Ass just as much as I first thought I would, which is saying a whole lot, and I love it when films live up to their hype for me. I am a huge huge fan of the comic book, and I relate to the main hero so much it’s unbelievable, and I’m obviously not alone in saying that, after all, what teenager doesn’t dream to be a superhero?

Kick-Ass is outstanding, really. Yes, it’s hugely violent and the best violence in the film is done by a pre-teen girl, but that’s part of what I love about this film, because it tackled that by being calculating, and by being really self-aware, and that’s a quality these type of films all need and most lack, a film like this needs to know what it is and not pretend to be something else, even if the pretension is accidental. The aforementioned pre-teen girl is the best part of a film with a lot of great parts, she’s played by Chloë Grace Moretz, and she kills people and she uses so much cuss words in such great ways she would have looked right in place in Pulp Fiction or some other cool Tarantino film, and yes, talking about Tarantino films I guess this one does have a bit of Kill Bill in it.

Moretz is Hit Girl, who learned her superhero skills from her daddy in what has to be one of the best parenting role models ever in film, her dad (Damon by day, Big Daddy when kicking ass) is played by Nicolas Cage who in this film does what he does best, which is to give a hugely entertaining, high-octane, no holds barred performance, and he rocks the shit out of Big Daddy, he’s just great in this one, both Mark Whalberg and Daniel Craig were considered for this role before he got it, and while I like those two actors as well, this film wouldn’t have been nearly as great had they gotten it. Plus, Nicolas Cage is a huge comic book fan, like, seriously huge, and the influence of comic books is incredible in this movie, that’s another thing I love so much about it, Big Daddy talks like Adam West’s Batman, the Red Mist characters quotes the Joker, there are references to Watchmen and The Spirit and to a Robin comic and the obligatory use of the “great power comes great responsibility” quote form Spider-Man, albeit implying that with no power comes no responsibilities.

The movie starts with Dave Lizewski, played by Aaron Johnson a British actor who’s pretty good at concealing the accent, he is the aforementioned teenager who we all relate to that wants to become a superhero, he goes online and buys a costume, adopts the film’s name as his superhero moniker and goes to street to fight crime and subsequently goes viral on YouTube, then he gets the attention of Hit-Girl and Big Daddy and the attention of Frank D’Amico, the millionaire villain of the story who has a teenager himself, who’s played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who will then adopt a superhero personna himself to try and impress daddy.

I really like the directorial style of Matthew Vaugh, too, a British filmmaker who also adapted the screenplay form the comic book along with Jane Goldman, he really knows how to do this stuff really well, the grotesque violence while at the same time not making it dark and keeping it light and funny, and he also deals really well with the complexities of his characters, especially when we dig into the backstory of Big Daddy and Hit-Girl, it’s a great and emotional ride this one, and it works so well because Cage and Moretz have ridiculous chemistry, it works so well in fact, that I doubt anyone liked the main storyline, that one being Dave’s, better than this one, because this is what makes the film stand-out, the discovery of a seriously bright young star in Moretz and the enjoyment we get of seeing Cage rocking the shit out of roles, this guy has been in bad movies the past decade, but when he’s good he’s seriously good.

The sequel to Kick-Ass has already been greenlit, and I can’t wait to watch it, what I can’t wait to watch either is whatever Chloë Moretz does next, and according to her IMDb page that includes, excluding the sequel to this, the Let The Right One In American remake, a Martin Scorsese film, a Seth Gordon film, roles alongside the likes of Sam Worthington, Jessica Biel and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and this one compilation of comedy shorts that has an unbelievable cast and which I actually didn’t knew about before writing this but that sounds pretty damn orgasmic. But, seriously, I loved Kick-Ass, and I enjoy it time and time again when I rewatch it, many critics have been negative about it, many people have complained about Moretz and the violence and swearing seen from a pre-teen, she was eleven when she filmed this one and used the word “cunt” among many other expletives all too freely and awesomely, but to me that just added to the fun of it all, I fucking loved her kicking the shit out of them cunts.

Grade: A

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