Cast: Nicholas Cage, Chloe Moretz, Mark Strong, Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Running time: 117 minutes
What do you get if you combine a homemade superhero costume, a complete nerd and some poor fighting skills? You get your ass handed to you, that’s what. All that time spent as a kid wondering what superpower you’d want to have or style of Lycra you’d be adorning when you had said superpower resulted in nothing, didn’t it? Countless hours were wasted drawing pictures with a cape – and without a cape — only for them to then be tossed to the side when you finally came to the realisation that this dream would never be made a reality. Well, what if it did?
Effortlessly encapsulating all those moments you wanted to be awesome and didn’t know how, this film combines an Hollywood old-timer Cage (who plays Damon Macready/Big Daddy), Jane Goldman’s writing and the most beautiful Indie actors Moretz (who plays Mindy Macready/Hit-Girl) and Johnson (who plays Dave Lizewski/Kick-Ass) on the screen in wondrous harmony. The film derives its central plot from connecting together the dots from all the sub-plots and we’re introduced to the usual mundane lives these characters live, day by day, in New York City. The main character is a typically geeky high school kid who goes by the name of Dave and likes to spend his evenings with his friends in diners and comic book stores.
There’s also Mindy and her father who like to have fun with weapons — he’s an ex-cop and a single father raising his child to be the best she can be. This, in his mind, translates to being the best fighter to ever walk the earth, rather than letting her have a childhood. Meanwhile, the geeky kids spot Chris D’Amico (Mintz-Plasse) who just so happens to spend all his time by himself – with a bodyguard – because his rich father, Frank D’Amico (Strong) is too over-protective. Sooner or later, they all find their paths crossing to form one giant fight fest leaving you cringing and laughing in equal measure. It’s also exhilarating to know that amongst all the Hollywood tawdriness that is seeping out of the film world at the moment that an excellent amount of British talent went into making this what it is.
The themes in the film, although very adolescent in nature, take on a very macabre meaning for adults and youngsters alike. The struggles with growing up, the drug-pedaling gangsters taking lives and the simple meaning of the word family all come together to remind how easy it is to feel like a nobody in today’s society. This film should be the example that prospective filmmakers follow to ensure they produce good quality, well-written and acted pieces of brilliance. Cleverly bordering on juvenile and downright grotesque, Kick-Ass delivers a very poignant message to its audience: stand up for what you believe in — and although it doesn’t contain any real superheroes, this is easily the best superhero film out there.
Having my own personal history of playing with weapons, I can easily tell you that anyone with a penchant for martial arts (or ass-kicking) will immediately fall for this little beauty. That said, it’s not solely aimed at the fighters amongst you. There’s a child in it, for one. An ass-kicking child, but a child nonetheless; one that will probably shove a heap of wind up your rear pipe if you’re one of those people that think children should be wrapped in cotton wool. Or that children shouldn’t be commended for fighting or using weaponry. If you find yourself falling into one of these categories, please stay away from this production. And don’t be fooled by the little purple-haired wonder either — she’ll break you… and the horse you rode in on.
The problem I face with this review is giving away too much and that sure as hell isn’t my intention. Truth be told, I’ve barely given anything away and that’s how it should stay. What awaits you is a mesmerising story of those things we fantasise about and should be true, but never are. We finally get to see what it would be like if people pulled their fingers out and made themselves into the superheroes they want to be and I, for one, am absolutely in love with this film. So much so, I’m off to see it again. Toodle pip!
Kick-Ass gets an outstanding five out of five.