Dave Lizewski, a comic-book fanboy, decides to take his obsession as inspiration to become a real-life superhero. As any good superhero would, he chooses a new name -- Kick-Ass -- assembles a suit and mask to wear, and gets to work fighting crime. There's only one problem standing in his way: Kick-Ass has absolutely no superpowers. His life is forever changed as he inspires a subculture of copy cats, is hunted by assorted violent and unpleasant characters, and meets up with a pair of crazed vigilantes, including an 11-year-old sword-wielding dynamo, Hit Girl and her father, Big Daddy.
Kick-Ass is everything it’s title eludes to. From start to finish, the film delivers all that is promised and more. It’s got teen angst, a love story, a revenge plot, great action sequences, and a message all wrapped neatly together. It also has a certain pop culture hipness to it.
Storywise, it’s everything you would expect from writer Mark Millar who brought you Wanted. It has a similar flavor and feel to it reminiscent of that movie. The film features everyday people being put into (or putting themselves into) extraordinary situations. Don’t get me wrong – you definitely have to apply some suspension of disbelief. It feels kind of like Spider-Man meets The Punisher.
The characters are all fleshed out well by the actors that play them. Aaron Johnson is absolutely believable in the role of nerdy comic book reading Dave Lizewski / Kick-Ass. Nicolas Cage as Damon Macready / Big Daddy basically ends up playing himself – a guy who has wanted to be or play a super hero his whole life. His channeling of Adam West for his “disguised” hero voice is absolutely hilarious. Chloe Grace Moretz is incredible in the role of Mindy Macready / Hit-Girl. It’s amazing to see this young girl do all this seriously “heavy” adult-oriented acting, but still hang on to her childish nature. What parent let her play this role? Believe me, she will be seen in films for years to come. Mark Strong channels the New York high society drug dealer and “Soprano” type of macho-ness and meshes it all together to create a character you can’t wait to see get his due in the role of Frank D'Amico.
Visually, the film is strikingly well-shot. It’s not really anything new and borrows it’s cinematography angles and tricks from several other movies, but gets the job done. Really, the thing that’s the most shocking to take in is Hit Girl - a little girl - stabbing, shooting, beating up, and cutting up villains left and right. Then, watching Mark Strong – this big grown tough guy – beating the crap out of this little 11-year old girl adds to the shock value.
The movie definitely accomplishes what it was aiming for I believe. It’s a violently action-packed film that aims to shock you and push the envelope while delivering some social commentary. Pretty fun stuff in my opinion. (Review by Eric Shirey)