Kick-Ass Review

April 28, 2010 at 9:25 pm (Movies)

Adaptations of superhero tales have had possibly the rockiest road to travel, ranging from the terrible as in Frank Miller’s take on The Spirit to the acclaimed with Zac Snyder’s Watchmen and Christopher Nolan’s heralded The Dark Knight. Fortunately, Matthew Vaughn’s interpretation of Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass falls closer to the latter, and thankfully never forgets its roots in being a daringly fun and unflinchingly violent superhero story. Kick-Ass goes straight for the throat by telling a brutally honest story of quite honestly the worst case scenario when a teenager decides to become a superhero and ends up going head-to-head with the ruthless mob. Much like Zac Snyder’s Watchmen last year, tit aims for the angle of stark realism, but instead of blue schlongs and sociopath protagonists, we get twelve-year-old little girls with a preference for saying the c-word and wielding double-edge swords.  Matthew Vaughn fills his film adaptation, just like the comic, with more  graphic violence than a vintage Clint Eastwood outing, however keeps its style at the forefront with an impressive soundtrack and some surprisingly hilarious leads. The music in the movie ranges from The Dickies’ hysterically inappropriately fun pop tune “Banana Splits” during Hit Girl’s first featured murder rampage to the infectious tunes by The Prodigy and The Pretty Reckless in the opening and closing credits. Vaughn’s team also fills the ranks with normally comedic actors that aren’t afraid to get down and dirty with the action. Aaron Johnson and Christopher-Mintz Plasse move the geek typecast forward some with a few great one-liners in the vein of Superbad and execute some frantic nerd-violence flailing. The real meat and bones though comes from the pairing of Nicolas Cage and Chloe Grace Muretz as Big Daddy and Hit Girl, two recklessly violent murder machines that aren’t afraid of anything and prove to have some of the most entertaining segments on screen thanks to Nicolas Cage’s hysterical Adam West-esque accent and Muretz’ fearlessness on screen while capping multiple baddies at once. The script penned by Vaughn is one of the film’s finest aspects, capturing the pure Apatow-esque comedy of being a teenager with the hallmarks of heroics the comic acclaims to. All in all, any casual moviegoer heading in is sure to have a grand time with the film’s daring and exciting perfect balance of comedy and action, although in some spots it can lean with the latter. However, for those that have had a turn through the pages of the comic, there will be some considerable head turning when it comes to the changes that have been made in the plot.  Some enormously bizarre shifts in the story come in the latter half and how certain characters are revealed that are drastically different from the comic’s version. This can be a complete turnoff for some viewers who know nothing else but the comic, however if  you enter into it with an open mind, Vaughn’s tweaks begin to make their own sense in a way. While this is by far the weakest part of the film, one can’t help but wonder why Vaughn made the changes he did to some of the best elements that worked so well on the page. The film also has some trouble pacing itself towards the halfway mark in the film, as it seems to slow down things a lot and beginning to shift towards getting to know the characters. Not that this banter isn’t ridiculously entertaining, it just seems that there should have been a little bit more hardcore action when the film’s called Kick-Ass. These are nothing more than small complaints, as Kick-Ass is still one heck of a ride. The inner comic nerd in me feels some disdain for the alterations made to the story, however the film Matthew Vaughn is still a daring and exciting piece of superhero gore-laden fantasy, and deserves to be seen by anyone planning on taking their own adventures into the vigilante business anytime soon.

4 out of 5

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1 Comment

  1. darkcloak said,

    Didn’t like this film.

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