Cast: Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Clark Duke, Chloe Grace Moretz, Mark Strong & Nicolas Cage
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Suny Purchase '11
"When life gives you lemons, you clone those lemons and make super-lemons." -Clone High
Review By: Tom Herrmann
It’s a question that everyone has asked themselves; why aren’t there people dressing up like superheroes and fighting crime in real life? The subject has been addressed before, with characters like Batman and Ironman, but these aren’t characters that live in the real world. It may not answer the initial question, but Kick-Ass is a movie that dares to put our spandex-clad combatants in an unforgiving reality.
Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) is your average comic addicted teen who, after posing that same question, decides to do the unthinkable and fight crime. This doesn’t go very well as Dave is beaten within an inch of his life, but from that is given the bizarre gift of severe nerve damage, rendering him impervious to even the most intense pain. After another run in with some thugs finds its way onto the internet, Dave finds fame in his heroic alter-ego he calls “Kick-Ass,” as well as an alliance with the more qualified father-daughter duo of Damon Macready/Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) and Mindy/Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz)
The product that Kick-Ass delivers is hard to describe. It definitely works as an action-comedy, but for the sake of its ridiculousness, it loses sight of its purpose. As much as it was meant to have the action of a blockbuster with broken up by absurd comic relief, it was supposed to be realistic. As brutal as this film might be to our protagonist at times, it loses its realism when we are finally shown what the Damon and Mindy have been working on the entire film. Without spoiling anything, it is far too unlikely for a world of this context and disrespects the intelligence of its audience.
Despite what I have to say about this film, it has developed a strong following since its initial release, and any fan of the film will be more than pleased with the special features on this disc. They cover everything about the film from the making of, to the art galleries of marketing posters, to a background on the comic books: it has everything a true nerd could want in a feature set.
As far as disrespecting the audience goes Kick-Ass is guilty, but not for anything they did intentionally. It doesn’t make it any better, but the films faults are just the product of people not thinking about things in the tight context. What they were trying to do was to create as much fun as they could within the film, and in that they succeeded. The only issue is that it came at the expense of their mission statement to create a real superhero. With that in mind, Kick-Ass will only fall short if you expect it to deliver on a higher level than the purely sensational.