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Kick-Ass (2010) Movie Review

April 16, 2010

Lately there has been an explosion of superhero movies in Hollywood.  This current wave has brought out a less mainstream superhero movie that, while still based on a comic, is not what you would expect.  Dave Lizewski is an ordinary outcast who can’t get laid to save his life and doesn’t have much going for him.  Not only is his circle of friends limited to two other outcasts but he is commonly forcibly relieved of his cash by some local thugs.  One day Dave considers the possibility of creating his own superhero image and fighting crime while wondering to himself why nobody has ever done that before.

As soon as he orders a wet suit, cuts out a matching mask and starts patrolling around town with a baton he finds that he is no match for even the lowly thugs who regularly take his money.  Dave is stabbed and while he is trying to walk home is hit by a car.  Dave is rushed to the hospital where he is filled with numerous metal replacements for bones that have been broken in far too many places.  Strangely enough, his outfitting gives him a fresh dose of confidence even though any sane person would take it as a sign that he should give up before he gets himself killed.  Rumors also begin to circulate that he is gay because he has the paramedics burn his clothing so his identity as the superhero known as Kick-Ass is protected.

Soon after Kick-Ass shows up on the scene, two other more serious crime-fighters show up.  This father and daughter pair call themselves Hit-Girl and Big-Daddy.  Big-Daddy has been training Hit-Girl to kill for years and puts her to good use in his fight against crime.  There are many sub-plots going on that I won’t go into here but needless to say all parts of the plot work well together and form a cohesive whole.

Kick-Ass is part comedy, part violent action movie.  Despite all the cries I’ve heard that the movie is too violent, there isn’t much gore to see except for one scene where Hit-Girl lays into a group of thugs with a home-made swallow of sorts.  [For those who haven’t played Chrono Cross, a swallow is a long shaft with a blade on each end.]  Most of the scenes are well-executed gun-fights with a few surprises brought near the end that I won’t spoil.  Fight scenes have some blood but there is nothing excessive or even to the level of the latest Rambo movie.

The cast is overall solid.  Many of the younger actors do a great job even though I am not familiar with their other work.  Nicholas Cage plays Big-Daddy but his role is fairly minor and Hit-Girl thankfully is given most of the on-screen action.  Kick-Ass, despite the name, is pretty weak-sauce so you will realize early on why Hit-Girl is the star of the show.  Even near the end when given proper weapons, he stumbles around like he doesn’t really know what he is doing.  This doesn’t detract from the enjoyment of the movie because he is effective comic relief.

The soundtrack is a combination of original music written for the movie and some pre-existing songs.  There are a number of well-placed popular tracks in some scenes.  The filmmakers also make use of a track from Ennio Morricone’s  “For a Few Dollars More”, a piece by Mozart, and Gioacchino Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville Overture”.  The four composers on the soundtrack include John Murphy, Ilan Eshkeri, Marius De Vries, and Henry Jackman.  Fans of John Murphy’s work on “Sunshine” and the zombie flicks, “28 Days Later” and “28 Weeks Later” will be happy to hear a return of his best work.  Much of his signature flair returns with a bit more emphasis on the rock sound than the overbearing synthesizers.  The other composers wrote some fitting orchestral pieces that are effective.  The soundtrack is properly showcased in key scenes and given the attention it deserves.

If you enjoy superhero movies, over-the-top action, and comedy all mixed into one you will have a great time with “Kick-Ass”.   Anyone who claims that the movie is too violent needs to go see modern action movies.  The R rating should send a clear signal this movie is not for kids.  Also if you are the type of person who would be unsettled watching a young girl, age 11 or 12, slaughtering numerous armed men and swearing frequently, stay home and let those of us who appreciate the awesomeness of it enjoy it.  Most importantly, I had a great time with “Kick-Ass” and suggest that you go watch it if you enjoy wanton and almost-excessive violence.



From → Action, Comedy, Comic-Book

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