Directed by Matthew Vaughn
Starring Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Lyndsey Fonsenca, Chloe Moretz, and Nicholas Cage.
Well, as the superhero genre becomes more and more mainstream, I’m sure we’ll be treated to more deconstructions of the genre. “How would superheroes be treated in the real world?” “What would possess a person to actually put on a costume and beat up criminals?” The latest attempt to tackle these questions is Kick-Ass, based on a comic created by comic book writer Mark Millar. How are these questions tackled in the film?
Dave Lizewski is just your average high school kid. Girls ignore him. Bullies beat him up. He fantasizes about his hot teacher. And he and his buddies like to hang out and read comic books. So, one day, after reading some comics, Dave asks, “How come no one has ever done it? Donned a costume and become a superhero?” Dave decides to do just that. He buys a wet suit off the Internet, modifies it into a superhero costume, sets up a special MySpace page where people can send him crimes to investigate, and he takes the superhero name “Kick-Ass.” After some first attempts at beating up muggers go horribly awry, Kick-Ass finally has a victory, and the fight footage is posted on YouTube, and he soon becomes a viral sensation. He even inspires other heroes to come forward, including the Batman-esque Big Daddy, his sidekick, the foul-mouthed and homicidal 11-year old known as Hit Girl, and the mysterious Red Mist. But before you know it, Kick-Ass is in over his head, and is being hunted down by the city’s biggest drug lord. Will Kick-Ass and his fellow heroes prevail?
What I Liked
I was surprised at how funny this film was. Granted, a lot of it is dark humor, as it involves body counts, and a lot of it comes from the shock of having an 11-year old girl who curses like a sailor and slaughters drug dealers with a wide variety of bladed weapons. I also like the fact that this was an independent film, giving it a nice, gritty, low-budget feel that adds to it’s “superheroes in the real world” premise.
What I Didn’t Like
Kick-Ass does kind of fall prey to the Shrek conundrum. And that is, about 2/3 of the way through the film, it switches from mocking the cliches of the genre to falling back on them. It does turn into a full-out regular superhero film for the final battle.
This movie is all kinds of messed up, but in a good way.