Apr 19 2010

Kick-Ass

On Friday night, we went to see Matthew Vaughn’s movie adaptation of Mark Millar’s 2008 comic book “Kick-Ass” (2010). The movie follows a number of “real-life” (i.e., no super powers) people who decide to don superhero costumes and fight crime. Although the movie is ostensibly about high school nerd Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) and the creation of his crime-fighting alter-ego Kick-Ass, his part is completely eclipsed by 11-year old commando/assassin Hit-Girl (Chloe Moretz) and batman wannabe Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage). The movie feels like the retarded (*sigh* so soon after reading “Flowers for Algernon” too…) but lovable crotch-fruit of “Spider-Man” (2002) and “Wanted” (2008), which unsurprisingly is another Mark Millar creation. So, what about the story…

The story is pretty straight forward. Teenage boy decides to make a costume and fight crime. He has no training and gets the shit beat out of him, repeatedly. Through a particularly bad mishap, he gains the “super power” of not being able to feel pain as much as he should… which basically means he can fight longer and get beaten-up even more! Not the super power I would wish for, but if you’re going to get beaten up on a regular basis, a high pain threshold isn’t such a bad thing! During the course of his patrols, he crosses paths with a father-daughter duo who actually have training and weapons, and is shamed by how well the “pros” handle themselves. His superhero misadventures continue, eventually culminating in a grand mêlée with the army of a crime boss. A great deal of blood, broken bones, maiming, and death later… and it’s a wrap! But, is it any good…

The movie is filled with mildly funny scenes and memorable (short-term memory) fights. I wouldn’t expect more than that from a movie titled “Kick-Ass”. While the hand-to-hand fight scenes are brutal, most of the gore is candy red. Having been desensitized to movie violence (like most of us) the fights didn’t bother me a bit. The only thing that was disturbing was when the tables were turned on Hit-Girl. Here’s an 11-year old girl that can purée a roomful of armed opponents like Rambo on crack, but when she’s finally forced to suffer a few blows from her adult adversaries your brain inevitably takes a mental back-step and protests “Hey, that big guy is beating-up on a little girl!” Then you remember that the hallways are littered with the shattered bodies of her foes and you try to convince yourself that she deserves this… but… but… kind of disturbing. Overall, the movie is enjoyable but never rises to the level of other superhero success stories, e.g., “Spider-Man”, “Iron Man” (2008), “The Dark Knight” (2008). In summary, Kick-Ass is worth seeing but paying for the big screen experience is debatable.

“With no power comes no responsibility.”

3.5 out of 5