Kick-Ass Movie Review

The team behind Stardust brings us the superhero movie we always wanted: brazen, raucous and without a single politically correct moment from start to finish. And yes, it's both wildly rude and great fun.

Dave (Johnson) is a shy New York teen who wonders why no one sticks up for each other. So he creates a secret alter-ego, Kick-Ass, and sets out to make a difference. Of course he gets beaten to a pulp. But he also catches the city's imagination. The problem is that gangster Frank (Strong) thinks he's to blame for a series of setbacks and helps his son (Mintz-Plasse) create a rival hero, Red Mist. But Frank's nemesis is actually a man (Cage) who has turned his 12-year-old daughter (Moretz) into a killing machine.

From the opening gag, we know we're not in standard superhero territory. Vaughn and Goldman gleefully throw every comic book cliche into a shredder while maintaining a snappy visual style that owes a debt to Tarantino. No one has superpowers (although you could argue the point about Dave, and not just because he's invisible to girls). And every scene takes a sharp turn, veering off in a direction we couldn't expect. The result is exhilarating, keeping us happily off balance and constantly amused.

Johnson is a terrific everyteen, bland enough to be a hero but also endearing and sympathetic. Strong and Mintz-Plasse gleefully twist their usual villain and nerd types, respectively. And Cage gives his best comical performance in ages (if you don't count The Bad Lieutenant), with an amusing Adam West parody in his character's thinly veiled Batman alter-ego Big Daddy. But the film is stolen completely by Moretz as the sparky Mindy, aka the whirling, kicking, foul-mouthed Hit Girl. She's an instant icon.

There's a point near the end when the plot crosses a line that will leave a bad taste in the mouths of discerning viewers. But by then the film's juggernaut of thunderous entertainment has reached such a high speed that it's virtually impossible to imagine that a sequel won't be on its way soon. And it's not quite enough to diminish the subtle but important message woven throughout this story: would you risk anything for someone who was in heed of help?


Comments

Kick-Ass Rating

" Excellent "

Rating: 15, 2010

Editors Recommendations

Is The Cannes Palme d'Or Heading David Cronenberg’s Way for 'Map to the Stars'?

The Cannes Film festival is sneaking up fast. The Oscars felt like they were 8 minutes ago...

Is The Cannes Palme d'Or Heading David Cronenberg’s Way for 'Map to the Stars'?

CounterPoint Festival 2014 To Feature Hometown Return of Outkast

Next weekend's CounterPoint Festival will be the event's first year at a new 5000-acre site, featuring...

CounterPoint Festival 2014 To Feature Hometown Return of Outkast

'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' - Not Perfect, But Really, Really Fun

Superhero movies have been striving towards the almost unobtainable goal set...

'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' - Not Perfect, But Really, Really Fun

Ricky Gervais is "Hooked" on David Brent Again - Former Paper Merchant To Return

A return for David Brent has been mooted ever since the character was wheeled...

Ricky Gervais is

This Labor Day, Jay Z Is Bringing "Made In America" To Downtown Los Angeles

Jay Z and the Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti have announced that the rapper’s...

This Labor Day, Jay Z Is Bringing

Anna Wintour wants 'more exclusive' Met Ball 2014

The editor-in-chief of US VOGUE magazine is reportedly determined for the annual...

Anna Wintour - Anna Wintour wants 'more exclusive' Met Ball 2014

'Mrs Doubtfire' Sequel Will Be Made 21 Years After The Original

The comedy classic 'Mrs. Doubtfire' is reportedly set to return to the big-screen...

'Mrs Doubtfire' Sequel Will Be Made 21 Years After The Original

'Of Mice And Men' Brings Out Broadway Talents Of James Franco, Chris O'Dowd

Of Mice And Men premiered on Broadway last night, giving critics a chance to cast...

'Of Mice And Men' Brings Out Broadway Talents Of James Franco, Chris O'Dowd

Sofia Vergara On Her Menage a Trois in Woody Allen's 'Fading Gigolo'

Sofia Vergara has been speaking about her nerves at shooting a ménage a trois with...

Sofia Vergara On Her Menage a Trois in Woody Allen's 'Fading Gigolo'


More recommendations