Kick-Ass (2010)

R, 117 minutes, Crime

StarringAaron Taylor-JohnsonChloe Grace MoretzMark StrongNicolas CageChristopher Mintz-Plasse

We’ve all wanted to stand up for something. We see the kids getting bullied, friends go through hardships, and jerks cut us off on the freeway, but have we ever really put ourselves in the position to seek justice? Or perhaps to enact our own version of justice…?

Kick-Ass plays off of a bizarre trend (okay, so maybe it’s just me that thinks it’s bizarre) where average citizens dawn masks and capes in order to fight crime. No, I mean it. Real people. Like, this is a thing that actually happens. Except, of course, our story takes the reality of the trend and mashes it with the glitz and glam of comic books. What comic book nerd hasn’t thought of running around stopping purse snatchers and metallic supervillains who have tapped into the power of the Dark Arts?

I just wanted to find Mr. Bitey!!!

Meet Dave (Taylor-Johnson), better known in this case as Kick-Ass.  Dave gets the idea to go vigilante from the pages of his favorite comics because he keeps getting robbed. When his first attempt at being a superhero doesn’t go so well, he gains the attention of other like-minded individuals. Before he knows it, Kick-Ass becomes embroiled in a war against a drug lord that turns out to be more than he can handle.

Although this movie plays off comic panels with familiar notations like “Meanwhile…” and “Elsewhere…” the stand out aspect is actually the color-coding of the main cast. When on screen, each hero pops against the background thus gaining territory over the frame. The bright colors are reminiscent of the drawn inspirations, because let’s face it–what superhero looks good on paper without bright colors? Don’t answer that…

Hey, look! It’s Batman! Wait, why does he have a sniper rifle and a Fu Manchu?

On the controversial side, this flick does a grandiose job of making cute, little Mindy/Danger Girl (Moretz) into a stabbing, swearing, slicing, killing machine. Moretz filmed this movie when she was still about 12 or 13. Her age and her acting caused some people to fret as they didn’t think she should be depicted as dropping f-bombs and hacking people to bits. Ah, Hollywood…

Overall this title isn’t going to outshine the rest of the Marvel line-up. It isn’t even going to involve the rest of the Marvel line-up. It plays outside of the rules by being a superhero movie that isn’t technically a superhero movie. It’s coarse and it’s unfair. It’s introspective and it’s hormonal. It’s… mortal. It’s more just a movie for the rest of us.

Rating: Watch it.

Watch: Offbeat superhero film about people who aren’t superheros.
Don’t watch: Violence, gore, and free-flowing swearing (mostly involving a 13 year-old girl).


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