Kick-Ass (2010)

Directed by Matthew Vaughn
Written by Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn

My friends wanted to go see this and afterward, when I asked them what they thought of it, they all pretty much said that it was not what they expected it to be. They did not expect it to be so violent, or not as funny as it was. I, on the other hand, was expecting that and it was probably more from the buzz I had heard than anything, especially the trailer, which the was the only source of reference for my friends. Despite being not what they had expected, all of my friends also still liked it, and I also liked it. I will say that it is not what one might expect from a super hero movie or even a typical comedy, it was kind of a breed of its own in terms of style and genre. There was a lot of violence and there was a lot of superhero story arcs that seemed almost cliched, but what made them work was the feel and tone of the film.

The story basically follows Dave (Aaron Johnson), a middle of the road kid who is neither popular nor infamous enough to garner any notoriety at his school apart from his two buddies. He is into comic books somewhat, as well as a few other “choice” things which he describes. But one day he calls into question why, with all the superhero fans in the world, no one has ever tried to be one, even if it sounds crazy. They have a short discussion and conclude just how crazy it is, but Dave soon attempts to become one anyway. He becomes Kick-Ass, and soon finds he is a hit with the people of New York, and also that he is not alone, but has fellow superheroes Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz) and Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) by his side. The plot comes in when the bad guy (Mark Strong) and his son, soon to be Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), come into the picture.

The plot itself is not great, though it holds its own. What this film strives for is the action and the violence, and every time it comes into play, it is awesome. The film also features a good deal of comedy, but it becomes somewhat morbid when coupled with the violence, which is not always a bad thing, violence can be funny if done right. And Nicolas Cage’s superhero voice is easily the funniest thing in the entire flick. What stood out the most to me about the film was its realism. Despite it being an over the top superhero movie, it was not that over the top. Kick-Ass in particular was extremely human. He could get hurt and go to the hospital; he was beatable. I was fooled by the direction numerous times. I cannot tell you how many times I thought that what I was watching was some sort of fantasy or dream that followed the narration only to find out that no, that is what really happened, like it might have in real life almost. Some of the characters and maybe a but of the ending were a little less believable, but I found most of the film to be quite realistic and, at times, graphically so. Again, I though this was a major strength of the film. The tonality of the film threw me a little bit. I could sometimes not tell whether it was supposed to be funny or serious or just how to take it because the tone was jumping all over the place.

In the end, the film was everything it was supposed to be: great action scenes, some real characters, good humor, and a plot good enough to keep me interested. The acting all around was solid and I can see Aaron Johnson and Chloe Moretz, who has the mean lip curl down pat, potentially becoming a stars one day. Nicolas Cage turns in yet another solid performance. At the end of the night I was satisfied and know I saw a solid film.

*** – Good

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