Kick-Ass (2010) Review

"Kick-Ass" Korean Theatrical Poster

"Kick-Ass" Korean Theatrical Poster

Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writer: Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman, Mark Millar, John S. Romita
Cast: Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Mark Strong, Chloe Grace Moretz, Nicolas Cage
Running Time: 117 min.

By Mighty Peking Man

Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), a not-so-average comic book dork, has had enough of watching innocent people – including himself – be victimized by the scum of society; he orders a cool wetsuit-like costume from amazon.com, arms himself with a pair of batons and begins training (which mostly consists of him looking in the mirror a la Robert DeNiro’s “Are You Talkin’ To Me?’ dialogue) so he can become a ‘superhero’. He names himself Kick-Ass and immediately hits the streets to look for some bad guys to set straight.

After beating up some thugs – and in the process, getting himself beat up even more – he is captured on video by witnesses, who upload the footage on youtube. Instantly, he becomes an internet sensation, not to mention the top story on all local news stations.

As his popularity soars, Kick-Ass discovers that he’s not the only costumed character fighting for justice. He crosses paths with a father/daughter pair of vigilantes – Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) and Hit-Girl (Chloe Moretz) – who have a personal vendetta against a crime boss (Mark Strong); not to mention his tricky son, Red Mist (Christopher “McLovin” Mintz-Plasse).

Directed by Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake, Stardust) and based on Mark Millar’s 2008 comic book, Kick-Ass has a lot to offer. Comedy, romance, thriller, teen scenarios, adventure and of course, action; which is well thoughtout, choreographed and staged.

At first glance, the trailers and posters make Kick-Ass look like a light-hearted, funny teenage superhero flick. It is light-hearted and funny, but it’s also brutal, violent and bloody; and you know what, I loved every minute of it.

Surprisingly, most of the carnage comes from the character of Hit-Girl, played by 13-year old Chloe Moretz. Obviously, the image of a young kid slaughtering a room full of baddies (Kill Bill Vol. 1 finale-style) might raise an eyebrow or two; it’s definitely bound to piss off all sorts of hardcore Christians and anybody who has a hard time separating fantasy from real life. You know what I say? Fuck ‘em. When are people going to realize that a kid’s mind is more affected by what goes on in households than from an R-rated movie of this nature? Not an issue, folks. I’d be more worried about that filipino altar boy standing next to Father Vincent.

Also of notable mention is the film’s music selection. Another mixed bag of greatness; we have some Ennio Morricone (“For a Few Dollars More” theme), Elvis Presley (“Battle Hymn of the Republic/Extract from An American Trilogy)”, New York Dolls (“We’re All in Love”), Gnarls Barkley (“Crazy”), The Prodigy (“Omen”) and even some recently recycled John Murphy music (“In the House – In a Heartbeat”) from the 28 Days Later soundtrack.

I’ve never read Mark Millar’s comic book of the same name, so I can’t make a comparison. I have heard that it’s pretty damn close and may be one of the most accurate comic book-to-film examples ever. With that said, I’m naturally interested in checking out the books.

Best ‘superhero’ movie since The Incredibles; better Ninja movie than Ninja Assassin (and this movie didn’t even have ninjas); and is more crafty, original and entertaining than Transformers 1, 2 and Avatar (and future Avatars) combined.

Mighty Peking Man’s Rating: 8/10

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