Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Review: Kick-Ass


I was very skeptical about Kick-Ass after seeing the trailer for the film a few months ago. It looked like a re-hashed version of Mystery Men with some bad acting and terrible costumes. After hearing some good reviews and buzz around this movie I decided to give it a try yesterday. Fortunately my initial vibe was wrong as this movie is worth seeing, especially for the early best female performance of the year.

The story of Kick-Ass (based on a comic book I'd never heard of) revolves around Dave Lizewski, a high school student who has an ambition to be a super hero by simply putting on a ridiculous looking green jumpsuit and mask. Dave's alter ego Kick-Ass becomes a national sensation after video of his terrible fighting moves and wannabe vigilantism gains attention on Youtube. Kick-Ass meets up with other super heros including revenge-seeking Father/Daughter duo Big Daddy (Nick Cage) and Hit Girl (brilliant newcomer Chloe Moretz). Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin) joins in on the action as Red Mist. His father is a mob boss that serves as the head "bad guy" in the film.

The movie started a bit slow for me. We see the origin of Kick-Ass and there's a lot of early setup scenes. The last half hour of the movie more than makes up for it though with some crazy intense fighting scenes, especially the ones featuring Hit Girl. Chloe Moretz starred in this movie as an 11-year-old and she ends up in the role of a lifetime. Hit Girl has been trained from a young age by her gun-loving Dad (Cage) and possesses the martial arts skills and weaponry expertise of someone more than twice her age. Watching her kill thug after thug and curse up a storm in the process (I believe she says all of George Carlin's seven dirty words) is an amazing spectacle. Her character completely reminds me of The Bride (Uma Thurman) in Kill Bill as she ends up killing at will for revenge. Moretz's acting is very good as well even when she's not in Hit Girl mode. I know this film is not Oscar bait but Moretz definitely deserves some consideration in the supporting actress category next year. It'll be interesting to see how her career progresses after being exposed to this type of role so early-on. My co-worker who saw the movie with me mentioned she thought Moretz may have a similar path as Natalie Portman did after staring in The Professional. We'll have to see if that holds true, as the Hit Girl role is so WAY over the top of what Portman was asked to do in that film.

The fight scenes and comedic bits are well orchestrated by Director Matthew Vaughn. This really is a pure action comedy throughout in the mold of Tarantino's best work. Overall I have to admit that the critics and fans were right and that Kick-Ass is worth seeing. I give it 4 out or 5 JR's and if you don't mind over the top martial arts or intense violence then go give it a look. Hit Girl is by far the most interesting character in the film (completely trumping the slighlty boring Kick-Ass). I would have rated this higher if it was called Hit Girl to be honest.

1 comment:

Nate said...

After this review, Doe will be all over this one.