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Review: Kick-Ass

After attending a screening of Matthew Vaughn's film, was surprised how badly this film played to me. I fit the main demographic Kick-Ass is aimed at (under 25 male, superhero enthusiast) and despite that everyone else at the screening really seemed to enjoy Kick-Ass. I wouldn't have written anything about the film, except the general theme of reviews seems to be that this is Pulp Fiction meets Spider-man. While it could be argued that the film is fun, it isn't up to par with a Batman Begins, or Iron Man.

The story starts off with a voice-over narration of Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) as the overlooked high-school student who decides that becoming a superhero in this day and age can be achieved. He dons the suit and mask of Kick-Ass and the story goes on. Unfortunately for Kick-Ass he discovers that he isn't even the most qualified vigilante on the streets and is soon outshined by the foul-mouthed and probably deranged Hit-Girl (Chloe Moritz) and Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage, doing his best Adam West impersonation).

Red Mist also makes an appearance (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) but he's definitely not my cup of tea - in any of his roles.

Now, walking into a film called Kick-Ass you expect some extreme action, and or violence. Beheadings, shotgun blasts to the face, etc. But when Kick-Ass and Big Daddy end up in a bad way, that is really unpleasant to watch, it becomes too much. If you watched No Country for Old Men and thought, "Why is this Anton Chigurh guy such a choir boy? He should act with some malice!" then this scene with head mobster Frank D'Amico (Mark Strong) might be your cup of tea. Anyone else, however, will probably be disgusted.

But there are two things going for it: Chloe Moritz and Nicolas Cage. Hit-Girl is an interesting take on why a sidekick becomes a sidekick, but ultimately it's just funny to watch a twelve year old girl kick the asses of low-life thugs. Nicolas Cage looks like he's finally found some career resurgence with this and the Bad Lieutenant reimagining, hopefully this career transition manages to last past Sorcerer's Apprentice and Season of the Witch. Cage, an avid comic-book aficionado  got his chance to play a decent superhero - no, I'm not counting Ghost Rider.

I didn't hate this film (violence against children aside), but it just doesn't seem to have that spark that most comic book films have. If you want a subversive film that skews the conventions of a comic-book film rent Defendor instead.


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