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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 04.13.10] movie review action comic

Year: 2010
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writers: Jane Goldman / Mark Millar
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: Marina Antunes
Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Be sure to also check out rochefort's SXSW review of the film.

It may be called Kick-Ass but as one of the trailers suggested, the real reason to see Matthew Vaughn’s film wasn’t to see a bunch of guys with no powers and cool toys running around in tights saving the day. Oh no, the excitement was really about seeing an 11-year old girl taking names and in that respect, as well as a few others, Kick-Ass proves to be a huge success.

Adapted from Mark Millar’s comic series, the film stars Aaron Johnson as Dave Lizewski, a geeky teenager who decides to enter the world of vigilantes, buying himself a ridiculous green suit and heading out to save the world. His shenanigans are pathetic in comparison to the much more capable duo of Big Daddy and Hit Girl but as one event spirals into another, we have Kick-Ass on the run with another wannabe superhero, Red Mist, and a crime syndicate on the hunt for the masked super heroes because, you know, do gooders are bad for business.

It’s a simple story but one that touches on everything from the lurid appeal of superheroes, the perks and disadvantages of fame and even the morality of right and wrong. It’s no The Dark Night asking “big moral questions” but Vaughn never sets out to make a film heavy on the messages. He’s clearly more interested in making an action packed adventure story and the result is an apparently light hearted action comedy which has more lurking in the edges than just mindless fun.

I’m not familiar with Millar’s story though it does surprise me that until this point, I’d never even heard mention of a comic that features the supreme awesomeness of a girl, one that doesn’t look like a sex pot, saving the day. And that’s really what has stuck with me since the credits rolled; sure the gadgets are fun, the attempts at comedy humorous enough but it’s the simple fact that a little girl in all her innocence is the only one truly capable of saving the day that tickles my fancy. Some may be taken aback by it but while others will enjoy the fact that Chloe Moretz beautifully embodies the take-no-prisoners pre-puberty assassin in a plaid skirt and pigtails while still others, myself included, are happy to discuss what this means, if anything, for film. As beautifully outlined by Melissa Silverstein at Women & Hollywood, this is the first film of it’s kind, one in which a female character, free of the sexualization which is commonly associated with such characters, saves the day and the audience, for the most part, cheers.

But Kick-Ass moves beyond the politics which, in reality, it doesn’t even touch on save for the fact that the characters seem happy to play second fiddle and let the girl save the day. Vaughn and his cast, which includes a purposefully dry performance from Nicolas Cage who nails his role as a wronged ex-cop seeking revenge, the great Mark Strong as the crime boss on the hunt and Christopher Mintz-Plasse as an even dorkier than Kick-Ass superhero wannabe, have delivered an entertaining, action filled romp.

And if you’re tempted to introduce your daughter to the awesomeness of Hit-Girl, don’t. Not unless she’s in her teens; the rating is warranted.

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agentorange (9 years ago) Reply

This movie was so very excellent. It really should be called Hit Girl. Chloe Moretz steals every scene. The preview audience I saw it with kept yelling things at the screen they were so into it. Usually this bothers me, but in this case it seemed warranted.

In regards to exposing young kids to the film, I should say that I was shocked to see so many young (like 10) kids there without any parents. In a way it was cool because you could tell the film was blowing their impressionable minds and changing them into movie junkies for life.


cali (9 years ago) Reply

Pre-order your Kick-Ass tickets today!!


Andreas (9 years ago) Reply

Awesome movie! One of the best so far this year. 9/10 at least.


Kresh (9 years ago) Reply

Review at BigHollywood:


Anonymous (9 years ago) Reply

easily the best super hero/comic book adaptation of all time.
Makes spider man look terrible, romantic crap.

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