Review: Kick Ass

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Show’s over, motherfuckers

Kick Ass is brazen, audacious and hilarious and holds in deep contempt any sense of morality. It’s a fun and exciting ride from start to finish and ranks among one of the more entertaining films of the year. It attempts to deconstruct the comic book genre and mass culture as well, features some excellent performances, a very good soundtrack and some assured directing and scripting. Despite my gushing the film is not without its problems that may derail the enjoyment of others.

Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) is a loser. He goes to High school and like any teenager wants to get laid and pines for a girl at his school (Lyndsey Fonseca). Like his friends Marty and Todd (Clark Duke & Evan Peters), he’s a comic book nerd and he asks the question; why doesn’t someone become a superhero?

A superhero exists in a world of fantasy, they can’t exist in the real world unless, that is, the people behind the masks are twisted individuals. They arrive in the form of Big Daddy (Nicholas Cage) and Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz). Kick Ass gets involved in a feud between that duo and New York crime boss Frank D’amico (Mark Strong) that escalates and threatens to get nasty for all involved.

What’s striking about Kick Ass is its freshness. After many years of superhero films in mainstream cinema, the film syill brings something interesting to the genre. It’s also supremely entertaining and never lets up throughout and there are times where it goes too far and oversteps the mark. Those problems don’t take too much away from how entertaining the film is but they are noticeable.

The good stuff is Aaron Johnson who puts on a convincing American accent and displays the naivety of the character as well as in engaging in the silliness of the whole setup. With him is Chloe Moretz and Nicholas Cage. Cage can be too distracting and is often hit and miss, but here he’s most definitely a hit here, drawing upon Adam West from the old Batman series.

When he says “Hit-Girl, back to headquarters!” drapes his cloak and climbs out of a window you can’t help but have a silly grin on your face. Moretz is sensational as the foul mouthed child who is an expert in killing. Its’ a deeply twisted character and she stabs, shoots and punches her way through the film. The relationship between the two is touching if completely warped and it’s to Kick Ass’s benefit that it can make something so bizarre so interesting

Mark Strong does well even if he’s hampered with the mob boss caricature. Christopher Mintz-Plasse gets in among the violence as Chris D’amico/Red Mist. Like Lizewski he’s also a bit of loser always looking for his father’s love. The acting across the board is very good with each character coming across as ‘real’ even if they’re decisions are a little less believable.

The action is also pretty fantastic; each one has its own verve and style. My favourite is Kick Ass’ first appearance where he fights three gang members to the sound of Prodigy’s Omen.

The music should also get a mention, whether it songs that the film has borrowed from other films (28 Days Later and Sunshine) to Prodigy’s Omen and the Banana Splits by The Dickies. It’s a great selection of music.

The biggest problems with Kick Ass are the violence and the more fantastic elements. These elements are completely intentional but the effect is distracting, especially one moment towards the end.

The film revels in its violence and at times it verges on the sadistic. As a result of the violence being over the top, the reality of situation seems to fade away into the background.

Kick Ass is hilarious; action packed and deserved to have more of a success than it did. What we have is one of the more delightfully crazy films of the past year and a really enjoyable film that gets better with every watch.

8/10

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Posted on 25/10/2010, in Reviews and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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