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Kick Ass (Movie)

A 2010 superhero film based on the comic book of the same name by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr.

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You Wanna Be A....WHAT??!!!!!...Remember....With NO Power, Comes NO Responsibility!

  • Apr 16, 2010

Let’s get one thing out of the way; there is no way Hollywood can ever match the awesomeness that is Mark Millar’s and John Romita Jr.’s comic book mini series titled "KICK ASS" (see my review here). The comic series was just a different the way it was successful in mixing black humor, action and a dark premise about isolation and loneliness that made me doubt my insanity why I read comic books. But since Hollywood is one major money-making machine, (as is Marvel) of course a mainstream version of the extremely violent, deliciously dark and gritty comic book will be presented to mainstream movie fans.
Director Matthew Vaughn’s version is a watered down adaptation of Mark Millar’s creation. It is a fun, cheeky, violent, comedic experience that has crowd-pleasing qualities that has the enough key scenes to keep fans of the comic happy…but hardcore fans of the comic like me, not so much. Because the movie misses the point to the comic book. 


            Aaron Johnson as Dave/Kick-Ass, Chloe Grace Moretz as Mindy/Hit Girl and Nicolas Cage as Damon/Big Daddy in "Kick-Ass."
Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) is a typical teenager who has the usual pains of growing up; he is ignored by his crush Katie (Lyndsy Fonseca), has fantasies about his teacher, madly surfs the internet for porn and he likes comic books. One day he decides to become a super-hero like the ones he reads about in the comic books; and after a beat down on his debut that lands him in the hospital, Dave’s resolve to become a super-hero becomes etched in him. After a melee that ends with him becoming an overnight sensation in the internet, Dave becomes Kick Ass and he has inspired some wannabe heroes such as the Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). But there are also the vigilantes called “Big Daddy” (Nicholas Cage) and an 11 year old ninja called “Hit Girl” (Chloe Grace Moretz) who takes him along on a collision course with a ruthless crime lord (Mark Strong). 

“Kick Ass” captures the premise of the comic series as it has enough scenes to pay homage to its source material especially in the first half. The dialogue is also very similar to the comic on some scenes. I said it captures the premise, but it misses the tone and mood. While the comic was about depression, isolation and loneliness being the source of Dave’s “super-heroing“, this time around, Dave is a bright-eyed, optimistic, good-intentioned, naïve teenager who thinks he can make a difference. I was alright with this change until the movie takes on a totally different turn for being predictable. It does have some similar elements and a lot of altered ones; I wasn’t expecting the movie to be 100 % faithful to the material but please, it missed the point when it fell to the trappings of Hollywood.
The costumes in the film looked a lot more flashy (with the exception of Dave’s costume) and Big Daddy looked like a Batman rip off (heck, Nic Cage even channels Adam West when he talks). Part of the reasons why the comic was so effective was because the costumes looked very original as they looked like something anyone could stitch together. This time around, they looked more…shall we say “spiffier”? They looked like something only a real tailor can do. Nothing wrong with that, the film has to try to please everyone. 

        kick ass

         Aaron Johnson in "Kick-Ass."
I said that the movie had crowd-pleasing qualities right? The film does make use of the source material’s formula nicely. It did change the tone to a more upbeat one, which gave the movie the feel of an almost super-hero parody. It didn’t bother me, as it added some scenes that made me buy into the change. “Bazooka”?!…just made me laugh. I also didn’t mind some changes as to how Mindy got into the mob’s fortress. The alterations to the Frank D’Amico character was acceptable but it did give him a more likeable personality than the actual ruthless one in the comic. The action is real fun to watch as it mixes violence and funny one-liners that were undoubtedly inspired by the comic. There is also a good homage to a Bond movie and while it was fun, it did lose all similarities to the source material.
This time around, “Hit Girl” is a more a gun-slinging Polly Pocket than a sword-swinging kid-witch. Aaron Johnson seemed alright as Dave and he played his role right. But the real star of the film was “Hit Girl” as expected. Moretz delivered her lines with such funny fervor that she just stole the show. Mark Strong was good as the mob boss and Mintz Plasse was also convincing as the geeky son of a mob boss. I guess the alterations in the script had its good points as the relationship between father and son was better developed than in the comic. Dave's buddies were also a little better developed but they weren't that too much of the 'unusual' group that they were in the comic when they started their own 'swear word'.
Some changes did bother me a bit especially in the film’s ‘happy ending’. I also didn’t like the way the “Big Daddy” character was changed extensively both in character and appearance. “Kick Ass” the comic series kicked major ass as a brilliant, compelling, brutally violent piece of comic book fiction; I knew the movie would be inferior but I was still disappointed that once again Hollywood missed the point. This film has all the trappings of a comic book movie and it bothered me, but it is still pretty good. Matthew Vaughn’s “Kick-Ass” is an extremely watered down, commercial  adaptation but honestly, his version was good for what it wanted to be. It is a fun, comedic, violent “I wanna be a super-hero” tale that is still quite entertaining...although it missed the whole point of the source material.
Now don’t be a douche and read the comic book ok?
Recommended! [3 ½ Out of 5 Stars]

 Hype Level: Being “Hyped” by critics as the best comic book movie is NOT fulfilled. A good movie, but it wasn’t the best or the greatest comic book movie ever. I told you the dreaded NC-17 rating would be required to really capture the tone and realism of the source material.

         Aaron Johnson as Dave Lizewski and Clark Duke as Marty in "Kick-Ass."


Poster art for "Kick-Ass."  Poster art for "Kick-Ass."
You Wanna Be A....WHAT??!!!!! You Wanna Be A....WHAT??!!!!! You Wanna Be A....WHAT??!!!!! You Wanna Be A....WHAT??!!!!!

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January 24, 2011
I thought this movie looked stupid but it was actually pretty had some funny dialouge and omg the "mist mobile" was just about as sexy as a ford can get! And hit girl was pretty much a bad ass!
January 24, 2011
Heck Yeah Hit Girl was ssoo bad ass!! I liked this movie but I have to say the source material was much bleaker, darker and maybe even scary. Glad you liked the movie, I reviewed the graphic novel as you can access the link in the first paragraph here. Hit girl is not afraid of ...."seven days".....LOL!
April 25, 2010
I'm not too big on comparing source materials, but I'm guessing there were two reasons the violence was toned down.  The first is that the Graphic Novel crowd seems to be pretty niche.  So making a movie as violent as said graphic novel meant there was a chance to lose profits for a studio that needs those profits to keep making money.  Likewise, I'm guessing that's why there would be no NC-17 movie... because the budget has to only be hundreds of thousands instead of millions for that.  At least if I'm to believe the things I know about directors and the MPAA and making a profit.  Unfortunately Hollywood is a business.  Here's to hoping for a director's cut!

Along those lines, I think I was much harsher than you were and we gave it around the same rating.  Although I actualy didn't mind Nicholas Cage.  He had that sort of campiness that I think actually worked for his character.  In the sense that he was trying to play the part of a "real" hero.  I was actually entertained by it.  Although I think this is the first good movie Cage has been in within the past like, ten years or so.  
April 26, 2010
I actually agree with some of your points. But I really was bothered with how they altered several key points of the storyline. (involving the Big Daddy Character). The movie was great for what it wanted to be; but it just missed the point of the graphic novel. And yes, this may well be Cage's best flick in years LOL!
April 23, 2010
How about for 9 year olds. Benji is a real tight ass. He won't go see an R-rated movie, and we have to sneak them past him on DVD. He's even up tight about PG-13. We have to tell him that it was the rating for the trailer he just saw in order to get him to watch the movie. It's funny because Kris can't get him to follow any of HER rules but he won't even consider breaking anyone else's.
April 27, 2010
Will you be seeing this? it doesn't seem like your type of film...
April 29, 2010
I don't know. I was wondering if the movie was cleaned up enough for 9 year olds. If so then I might take the boys.
April 29, 2010
It has a lot of profanity, Karen, so I think you'll be better off not seeing it with the kids. Wish me luck...I may go see the new "Nightmare on Elm Street"...
April 29, 2010
Why, Woop, why? You're gonna need more than luck. But as for profanities, Benji's first words were literally, "oh shit."
April 29, 2010
Dave talked me into it..LOL! Benji's seems to be one cool kid! I remember that movie "Jay and Silent Bob strike back"--one of Jay's first words as a kid was the EFF word LOL
April 29, 2010
Well he hasn't gone that far yet. At least not around us. =)
April 29, 2010
I remember my first swear word was s.o.b. See the zombie book I just reviewed?
April 29, 2010
Not yet but I'll be there soon.
April 16, 2010
I'll be reading this in its entirety after I see the film this weekend. =D
April 16, 2010
I see you've updated the wiki even more...thanks!
April 16, 2010
No, just added the attribute template and some tags.
April 19, 2010
I loved this flick. I don't remember the last time I laughed so much. It was like a Tarantino film written by Kevin Smith. And damn, if Moretz doesn't get a load of award nominations then it's proof that the award committees don't know shit. My only issue with this film was that I didn't like the editing and the fact that they hinted at a sequel. Why would anyone want to make a sequel when this one pretty much puts a cap on the story?
April 19, 2010
Glad you loved it. I was thinking that I would've loved it if I didn't read the comic series first. The final scene does appear in the comic book; but not as a hint for a definite sequel but as a display of insanity.
April 19, 2010
Now, were the books this humorous or was that something that Vaughn added more of to avoid controversy. Also, the character of "Kick-Ass" seemed different from what I've read about the series on-line. Did they change him much?
April 19, 2010
Yes...the characters were changed for the mainstream viewing crowd. If you liked them here, you will LOVE the comic book.
April 19, 2010
I do hope that they do a director's cut, since parts of the film felt like they cut away too quickly. Another thing that bugged me a little bit was that some scenes were too dramatic right after the comedy and you don't get the time to recover from one before being plunged into another. The scene where Big Daddy gets torched as Hit Girl watches and then she shoots the camera, while Dave's geek friends joke about how hot Hit Girl was felt ill-timed. There were a couple of moments like that, where the filmmakers had me laughing for whole minutes and the tried to turn to drama or vice versa. It was slightly uneven in that way. Those few flaws aside, I loved it. Nic Cage was actually good in something. Weird, huh?
April 19, 2010
I actually disliked the Big Daddy character. You going to read the comic?
April 19, 2010
If I can get my hands on copy of the whole series for cheap.
April 22, 2010
I'll keep an eye out for a cheaper want my 'reading' copy??
April 22, 2010
I'll just keep my eyes open at local used bookstores.
April 22, 2010
ok, let me know, I can always something else to the package I am already sending you...
April 22, 2010
Well, I wouldn't object, but I don't have anything to send you at the moment.
April 22, 2010
Not expecting anything in return..."No power comes no responsibilty" remember? LOL
April 23, 2010
Yes, but I have great power, just not cash. LOL!
April 23, 2010
I know....we both have the potential power of NO CASH!! LMFAO
April 16, 2010
Yeah man I wanna see this one for sure, great review.
April 18, 2010
go see it, it is entertaining enough...
April 16, 2010
Count me in.
April 16, 2010
read the comic book? It was extremely violent...
April 16, 2010
Very detailed review comparing the film to the comic series. I'm not sure when/if I will see this one, but if I do, I shall be sure to offer you a write-up. I'm going to check out your comic review next!
April 16, 2010
Thnak you my friend, wanna take a guess where the review of the comic is going now after I am done hyping up this movie? ;-)
April 16, 2010
lol! I wondered...but I didn't want to presume. It's another great write-up. Do they give credit to the comic at any point during the credits of the film?
April 16, 2010
Yes, they did in the opening credits. Yep, the graphic novel review was sent to your neck of the woods now; (I knew it didn't exactly belong here) I just wanted to 'Hype" this movie up...
April 16, 2010
That's good. I really appreciate it when the printed original versions of a movie are acknowledged at the beginning. The hope for me is always that maybe somebody will be inspired to read what the movie was adapted from. Sometimes if they hide this information at the end, people miss it. I think you did a fantastic job of hyping the movie up, btw! It was a very clever idea! And many thanks for giving your review a new home in the Cafe Libri Community!
April 17, 2010
But of course. I like your community, I may as well add my graphic novel reviews to your community since those are the only ones I can contribute on for now!
April 18, 2010
Aw, thanks, William! I am really happy that you enjoy it! I just watched a movie called "Life as a House" that I will probably review and add to this community. I'm going to finish a few more reality show reviews first, though. It's coming, though. :)
More Kick-Ass (movie) reviews
review by . December 19, 2010
I just saw this not an hour ago and I can safely say that it is one of the best comic book films of all time. The acting is great, the story (essentially about an amateur superhero's days in crime-fighting) is great, the action is great, and it has some great humour mixed with a fair amout of gore and swearing. That being said, this movie is definitely not for everyone, especially those who aren't comfortable with a young girl swearing and killing people. There are also some reasonably …
review by . February 01, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
***1/2 out of ****     "Kick-Ass" pretty much kicks ass in every way possible. It's profane, slightly irrelevant, and equally as entertaining to watch as it was to read when it was a comic. Despite the typical art style, I personally loved reading the "Kick-Ass" comic. It isn't extremely deep, but hey. It kicked ass. Well, now there's a film adaptation, and it kicks more ass than a horse in the stable. While it will certainly not appeal to everyone (looking at you, Roger Ebert), …
review by . April 29, 2010
A friend invited me to see Kick Ass and I went knowing nothing about the movie besides it was a comedy.  I love seeing movies that way.      I was drawn into the plot until the introduction of Hit Girl and the level of violence.  This 13-year old girl single handedly kills numerous grown men using a variety of weapons, laughing much of the time.      On one hand, sure, it was pretty cute to have a super hero girl.  On the other, it was too …
Quick Tip by . June 03, 2013
If you enjoyed the film I recommend reading the graphic novel, its brilliant
review by . April 21, 2010
Kick-Ass: It's Watchmen minus emotional drama and Dr. Manhattan
I've had my fair share of watching comic book based movies (Spider-Man, Fantastic 4, Iron Man, X-Men, Watchmen, Batman) and each of them have unique ways of presenting the super hero and their heroic actions. But Kick-Ass kinda veers the opposite and kinda reminds me of seeing Watchmen (even the promotional posters kinda relate).      The reason why I reference Watchmen is that both relate to having costumed vigilantes taking down crimes on a daily basis. Kick-Ass twists things …
review by . July 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
What Pompted You to write a Review?   I was prompted to write this review because never has any of the comic movies I have seen in the last 5 years or so have realistically resembled the actual comic book. Most big hollywood comic book movies do not closely follow the actual storyline or have characters that are far from physically looking like the actual comic book characters this movie followed the book well.      How was the Plot, Acting, Direction?   …
review by . April 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
As a kid, when it came to the heroes that I liked to watch on television or the comics I read, there was always this sort of sense of wanting to be a superhero.  If you were one of those really dorky kids, you made a cape and pretended you could fly by jumping on your bed when no one was there.  I think most kids who admired the likes of Superman, Spider-Man, Batman, etc. did that sort of thing from time to time.  This is, more or less, the basis behind Kick-Ass.  Based off the …
review by . August 05, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Have you ever wanted to be a superhero. Kick-Ass is about four very different people who take very different paths to become superheroes. With a few exceptions, they do provide some innovative fighting scenes and hilarious moments.      First, the great. One of the superheroes, Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz), is a adorable 10-year old girl who has a passion for guns and slaughtering bad guys the way other young girls get excited for jewelry or dolls. Chloe is a great actress and gives …
review by . August 09, 2010
A cheesy fun violent comic book movie that was strangely marketed as a lighted hearted teen film.
Kick-Ass is a cheesy fun comic book movie based on a "graphic novel" of the same name.  The story revolves around some goofy teenage (Aaron Johnson) who decides to become a real life superhero (after donning a wet suit) named Kick-Ass.  After a rough start, he becomes an internet sensation when he gets involved in a brutal beat down in front of a cafe.  His actions and a near fatal attempt in trying to fight a local drug dealer catches the attention of a real crime fighter …
review by . April 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
At the start of "Kick-Ass," I couldn't help but feel somewhat excited, as I was introduced to the title character, who, when not dressed as a superhero, I found both engaging and amusing. While his thought process is not something I pretend to understand, the situations he finds himself in as a typical high schooler were somewhat relatable, and they got a chuckle or two out of me. But then we meet eleven-year-old Mindy Macready (ChloĆ« Grace Moretz) and her father (Nicholas Cage); they stand in an …
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About this movie


Kick-Ass is a 2010 superhero action thriller based on the comic book of the same name by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. The film was directed by Matthew Vaughn, who co-produced the film with actor Brad Pitt, and co-wrote the screenplay with Jane Goldman. The film's general release was on 26 March 2010 in the United Kingdom and on 16 April 2010 in the United States.
The film tells the story of an ordinary teenager, Dave, who sets out to become a real-life superhero calling himself Kick-Ass. Dave gets caught up in a bigger fight when he meets Big Daddy, a former cop who, in his quest to bring down the evil drug lord Frank D'Amico, has trained his 10-year-old daughter to be the ruthless vigilante Hit-Girl.
Kick-Ass has generated some controversy for its profanity and violence, particularly for the character Hit-Girl. The film received mostly positive reviews.
Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) is a normal teenager who wonders why nobody has ever decided to become a superhero like the ones in the comic books, so he decides to become a real-life superhero, despite having no superpowers  or training. During his first attempt to fight crime, Dave is beaten, stabbed, and hit by a car. Some of Dave's nerve endings are damaged as a result, giving him an enhanced capacity to endure pain, and metal plates are placed in his skeleton to support his bones. After a painful recovery, Dave returns to school only to find out that his longtime crush, Katie ...
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Director: Matthew Vaughn
Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime, Drama
Release Date: April 16, 2010 (USA)
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman
Runtime: 117 minutes
Studio: Plan B Entertainment, Marv Films, Lions Gate Films
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