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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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Seldom do films actually live up to their boastful titles. This is one that does.

  • Feb 1, 2011
Rating:
+4
***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), it's still an entertaining ride jam packed with gratuitous violence, profanity, and action. It certainly is not a film for the faint of heart, although it is for those who either grew up with or just plain love comic books. Like I've said before, there is a film for everyone. "Caddyshack" is as much for golfers as "Kick-Ass" is for comic book geeks. It's a super hero satire that never forgets to leave out the "kick-ass" of super hero badness. Those who do not like it may not like it because it is daring and even controversial. It does indeed almost promote violence for minors as well as gleeful profanity. Hit Girl's character in particular will probably offend most generic parents. Do I really care? Hell no, I just sat down and watched the damn movie. It doesn't require too much thought (for it is a simple minded film), but it's a well made one none the less. I mean, a bad film can't really kick much ass after all, right? Therefore, I think "Kick-Ass" makes a good point. It's not perfect, but it stays very faithful to the comic in the best of ways. It's not like "Watchmen" (so faithful that it looses some of its intended heart), but nor is it like "V For Vendetta" (semi-faithful, and at the same time just plain epic). At least "Kick-Ass" gets the "epic" part right, because it is indeed what one would call "epic". Critics may be offended and therefore will say that this film is trying to be "cool". That's like saying "Kill Bill" was trying to be "cool". Not so "cool" now, is it? No, I don't think so. "Kick-Ass" isn't helmed by the best of directors, nor does it have the biggest stars, but it doesn't need either to be the piece of awesome that it is. Along with "Scott Pilgrim", I'd say that "Kick-Ass" is one of this year's most entertaining pieces of work. It takes the super hero genre to new visual levels and sets sights higher for bigger (and possibly even better) super hero flicks. Best comic book movie ever? Possibly, but not quite. Awesome in pretty much every way? Yes. I hate saying that a film is "awesome", but be honest with yourself. How else can you vaguely describe a movie like this?

Dave is just another guy. He's a comic book geek who has other comic book geek friends, and crushes on the most beautiful girl in school, and also lives with only his father (since his mother has passed away). He doesn't have much of a life, and that's precisely why he tries to change that. Dave begins to wonder why there are no real super heroes in our world that we live in, and why people just sit and watch bad things happen. Tired of being mugged every day and living as a nobody, Dave takes matters into his own hands. He decides to order a wetsuit which he will use as a costume for his superhero alter-ego, Kick-Ass. This titular hero brings out the best and bravest parts of Dave, and soon our hero begins some self-training. However, he soon learns that fighting crime is harder than it sounds. In one of his first attempts, he is stabbed and since he is wearing only the suit, supposedly found naked. In school, he becomes known as "the gay kid", which actually lands him a friendship with his dream girl Katy. Despite all these petty social distractions, Dave still intends to give crime an ass-whooping as Kick-Ass, and proceeds to fight crime in the cleanest way possible. Then one day, he meets Hit Girl and Big Daddy. Hit Girl is the daughter of ex-cop Big Daddy, who have thus retired from a real life and gone on to fighting crime. And they're pretty good at it too. But Big Daddy has a score to settle with a crime boss named Frank. Frankie has a son named Chris, who only wants one thing in the world: to help his father with his work. Frank however, is a very bad sort of father. He pays no attention to Chris whatsoever. So when Kick-Ass comes along, and Frankie wants him dead, Chris suggests that he go in as Red Mist, to learn from the "inside" (kind of like Avatar, minus the blue monkeys, CGI Space Crafts, failed melodrama, and change of heart from the "villain"). But Chris has a sudden "change of heart", and only wants his father to kill Hit Girl and Big Daddy. Sadly, every superhero learns that fighting crime is a bitch. A really big bitch. Then the story descends into violence and 11 year old girl abuse and all that jazz. It's fun, despite what it sounds like. This film lives up to its name in pretty much every way. The only complaint I have about the plot is the end, which is the same as the comic. And I greatly disliked the ending to the comic. So essentially, it still sucks here. Sequel anyone? I'm in (although it probably won't happen unless they hurry-the-hell-up with Kick-Ass 2 as a comic). But since you don't need complexity to make a movie entertaining, "Kick-Ass" delivers on everything that it promises (even semi-awesome characters).

Aaron Johnson is good as Dave, who is indeed the film's titular character. Johnson has a sort of "charm" to his performance, even though he isn't quite the show-stopper here. That would be Chloe Moretz, who is just plain amazing. You say offensive acting? I say hilarious for a little girl. Many will think that Moretz's performance is the worst thing about this film since it's a bit "out there" to have a girl saying and being knowledgeable of adult things (but hey, Terry Gilliam did it in Tideland). Nevertheless, I'd call it a sort of unique. Nicolas Cage is also a decent spot-light hogger here, giving a good follow-up performance to his spectacular acting in "Bad Lieutenant". Mark Strong also shines as Frank the crime boss, who is possibly the worst dad of them all. As Hit Girl would say, "What a Douche". Christopher Mintz-Plasse (aka McLovin' from "Superbad") also gives another sort of quirky performance. He's genuinely entertaining to watch as he unleashes his overall awkwardness into the world of Kick-Ass. And then there are a couple of stereotypical body-guard characters who do well in their roles and so-and-so. There's even a cameo from Craig Ferguson as…you guessed it, Craig Ferguson.

"Kick-Ass" really proves what a comic book film can do, and how good it can get. This is simply and overall visually impressive, fully engaging comic book film. It's fueled on adrenalin 24/7, and never let's go of its raw, fast-as-hell nerve. It's full of energy, and that is why some people may say "no" to it. Those people are most likely old and/or crazy, since they can't take into account that "Kick-Ass" is essentially good ol' nostalgia for people like me. I can say that I grew up with this film, and will probably cherish it along with tons of other even better films. This is however, the ultimate definition of entertainment. Screw irrelevance, this is what I mean by action film. Every action sequence is visually impressive and filled with violence. Too sickening for you? Well, read the goddamn comic. It even says "Sickening violence, just the way you like it" (or something like that). It gives you everything that it promises, including cultural references galore and solid quotes. It's a nicely shot, perfectly badass example of solid filmmaking. Also, it has a pretty darn awesome soundtrack, which includes original tracks from John Murphy ("In the House…In a Heartbeat" playing while Big Daddy knifes the hell out of Frankie's men, anyone?). Joy!

Stylish, hip, and intoxicatingly entertaining, "Kick-Ass" is a daring entry to the superhero film genre. It arrives with lurid violence, intensity, and a profane 11 year old girl. It's proud of everything that it has, and Matthew Vaughn leaves nothing behind. He's able to adapt "Kick-Ass" into something that matches (if not surpasses) the source material. I liked how Vaughn was able to make something that can often times be hilarious but at the same time be touching. He gives the characters more depth than they had in the comic (supposedly), and makes things a bit simpler for the American audience. I'm not saying that most Americans are going to enjoy "Kick-Ass". Hell, I don't think most of them will (due to the content), but what I do know is that this is one heck of a film. It is well crafted, hugely entertaining, and fun as hell for parties. Awesome! It's good for people who enjoy a little brutality and just aren't Americans at heart (much like me). Screw culture, I'm going to enjoy a movie no matter how "graphic" or "offensive" it is. Unlike some people, content does not obscure my vision when watching a movie. It's just something that it easy to wipe off the windshield, even if the rain continues to pour down for most people. But the sun shall come out, guaranteeing those who have read the comic (or enjoy a little ultra violence) a genuinely good time. In that way, "Kick-Ass"…..kicks ass.

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February 02, 2011
Loved your write up--entertaining and enormously fun to read. I do however, don't agree that this may be better than the source material. I would have to say it is more accessible but the source material was bolder and bleaker. Thanks for the review!
February 09, 2011
Yep.
 
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More Kick-Ass (movie) reviews
review by . April 16, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
You Wanna Be A....WHAT??!!!!!
   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 …
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 . 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 (Chloë Grace Moretz) and her father (Nicholas Cage); they stand in an …
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Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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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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Details

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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