Thursday, February 2, 2012

Kick-Ass - Movie Review

Over the last decade or so, comic book characters have come to dominate the world of major motion pictures as advancements in technology have allowed film makers to tell these stories as they should be told. Up until now, big special effects paired with fun and sometimes clichéd storytelling have been fundamental ingredients of the superhero genre. With 'Kick-Ass' we have a movie that has completely turned the world of comic book movies upside down by pointing out everything that is flawed about the genre while at the same time creating a new breed of hero that advances the storytelling aspect by leaps and bounds.

Kick-Ass is about as smart and edgy of a movie as you will find in any genre while maintaining a nice balance of drama and action without ever taking itself too seriously. This is the story of Dave Lizewski who has lived a life of relative anonymity except, of course when he is being bullied or picked on. One day, after a conversation about real life super heroes with his fellow comic book reading friends, Dave decides that living out that dream might not be such a bad idea.

After creating a costume from items he ordered online including a green and yellow diving suit, Dave sets out to fight crime and maybe save a helpless citizen or two. What follows is a fight with a group of muggers that gets filmed by a teenager with a camera phone and quickly becomes an internet sensation. Before you know it, Kick-Ass is thrown in to a world he was unprepared for as a pair of costumed crime fighters that go by the names Big Daddy and Hit Girl show him what its really like to take on the bad guys.

The pair are also father and daughter and are on a mission to take on the biggest crime boss in the city. What happens next is bigger and more explosive than anyone could have imagined and, it he can survive, it will be up to Kick-Ass to save the day. The cast of this movie couldn't be more perfect and features breakout performances from newcomers like Aaron Johnson and Chloë Grace Moretz as well as Nicholas Cage who for once actually plays a character I really like. The casting turns out to be very important as Kick-Ass is actually more of a character driven film that is high on drama to go along with the mix of action and comedy.

Matthew Vaughn, who directed and co-wrote the screenplay, shows how much of a passion he has for the genre and comic books in general by giving us something we haven't seen before. The movie never feels indulgent and yet it also doesn't cater to a mainstream audience just to maximize box office. Kick-Ass grabs the audience by the throat and then shoots, kicks, chops, smacks, and curses its way to the end and before you know it and before you want them to, the credits begin to roll.

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