Movie Review: Kick-Ass
Do you know what the short nickname for Melinda is? Mindy. I’ve always hated that; it’s such a cutesy I-like-ponies-rainbows-and-cupcakes type of name and I’ve always refused to let people call me that. After watching Kick-Ass though, from all the random thoughts I had during that movie, the one that will always stick with me is: “I’ve never been more proud that I can call myself Mindy”.
I’ve been excited for Kick-Ass ever since I first heard about it. Stardust was one of my favourite movies of the past 3 years, so naturally I was curious to see what director Matthew Vaughn and co-screenplay writer Jane Goldman would do next. After seeing the first two trailers, it became one of my Must See movies of 2010, especially after the trailer dedicated to Hit Girl. To my delight I was lucky enough to see Kick-Ass a month before its release… and on my birthday. So was Kick-Ass everything I hoped it could be? YES.
Based on the comic from Mark Millar, Kick-Ass is about Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), a teenage boy, who decides to become a real-life superhero after being inspired by the heroes of comic books. He soon encounters a mysterious vigilante called Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage), and his daughter Hit-Girl (Chloë Moretz), who are working to bring down the local drug baron Frank D’Amico (Mark Strong).
Kick-Ass is one of the funnest movies I’ve seen in the cinema. It’s not the greatest movie ever made, it’s not even the greatest comic book movie ever made, but it’s been a long time since I had so much fun at the movies. I came out of the cinema grinning like crazy and just wanted to jump right back in to watch again. Everything in this movie just comes together: the story, the cast, the action sequences, the music, everything just works.
The main story isn’t exactly one we haven’t seen before: ordinary boy becomes a superhero. But unlike some of the more familiar superheroes tales, this one is slightly more grounded in reality. There is no radioactive spider that gives him powers overnight. He isn’t a multimillionaire with the coolest gadgets and gizmos. Dave Lizewski is just a normal teenager who has read too many comic books and thinks that if he puts on a costume made out of a wetsuit, he’ll be a superhero. He’s one of us, a fellow geek with a crazy idea, and that’s what makes this story so compelling. Nothing special happened to this guy, he just decided he’d become a superhero.
Aaron Johnson is great as the titular character, delivering a believable performance as the geeky and gangly Dave. As expected though Big Daddy and Hit Girl completely steal the show, and they should. They are the real superheroes in this movie and it’s through them that Dave realizes that he’s only doing it for pretends. I was a bit nervous about Nicholas Cage as Big Daddy, and was scared that it would go too over the top. But he’s cast perfectly in this role, and his Big Daddy “voice” is spot on (just wait until you hear it).
Chloë Moretz is amazing as Hit Girl aka Mindy Macready. This character is a weird blend of a cursing leg-severing assassin and sweet little girl, and in another actress’s hands it could have gone terribly gone. Moretz manages to balance both sides perfectly, bringing us some awesome action and bad-assness in one scene and yet making us care about her as a small girl in the next. I can’t wait to see what she’ll do in the future; at only 13 I think she could have an amazing career in front of her.
There are a couple of beautifully choreographed fight sequences in Kick-Ass, all accentuated by the great soundtrack. One in particular stands out for me where Hit Girl makes her way down a corridor with the song Bad Reputation from Joan Jett playing in the background. And there are more moments where it almost feels like Hit Girl and Big Daddy are in a dance with their opponents, gliding smoothly from one enemy to the next.
Kick-Ass is an awesome movie and one I’d recommend to anyone who likes the big action-y superhero movies. I was hoping I’d like it, but wasn’t expecting to have this much fun. Everything from story to music works in this movie and I guarantee you’ll have a great time. I so want to see it again once it’s released!
Kick-Ass is released in the UK on the 26th of March and in the US on the 16th of April.