Friday, April 16, 2010


What would happen if someone actually tried to be a superhero?  What would happen if you just put on a costume and tried to fight crime in the real world?
Answer: you'd get your ass kicked.

This movie is one of the most violent and vulgar films I've ever seen.  There's f-bombs casually thrown into virtually every other sentence, and the violence just gets more and more extreme as the film goes on.  There's nothing vomit-inducing, but it's pretty intense.  At the same time, however, the heavier the action gets in the film, the more stylized and "comic-book" it gets, which keeps it from simply getting disgusting.  There's also some sexual humor in the first half of the movie, though it's not "extreme."  All that to say that there will be many who are completely offended by the movie, and I don't fault them for that.  Heck, I don't even recommend the movie to anyone who's not a male over the age of 18, and even then I'm selective about it.  So yeah, there's my disclaimer.  Read my review and watch the film at your own risk.

The film's story centers on Dave Lizewski (center above), an "average" and "unremarkable" teenager in every sense.  He and his fellow comic book nerd-friends simply live their lives, going from one stupid and unremarkable day to the next.
One day, Dave asks the question: why hasn't anyone actually put on a costume and tried to be a superhero?  His friends quickly give him the obvious answer: "because it's f***in' crazy, man. you'd get your ass kicked."
Later, after being the victim of a mugging, Dave decides that enough is enough.  He puts on a bright green full-body wetsuit, grabs a tactical baton, and goes out to actually fight crime in his neighborhood, under the name "Kick-Ass."  He gets beaten to the edge of death.

Somehow, this only strengthens his resolve, and he returns to his vigilante ways.  He doesn't get his ass kicked quite as badly this time, and actually manages to become somewhat of a local hero in the process.  His situation gets more and more complicated, however, when he discovers that he isn't the only costumed hero on the streets, and inadvertently gets involved in a bloody war between the father-daughter vigilante duo of "Big Daddy" and "Hit Girl" and their nemesis, crime boss Frank D'Amico.

Perhaps the most remarkable and amazing character in the film is Mindy Macready ("Hit Girl"), an eleven-year-old foul-mouthed super-assassin.  She's simultaneously adorable and jaw-droppingly fierce.  She steals every single scene, and is constantly entertaining.  Seriously.  Little girls like this are why I'm slightly wary of my ten-year-old cousin.  (I'm pretty sure she could kill me if she wanted to. o_o )

Nicolas Cage also stars in this film, and, for once, does a great job.  He's absolutely perfect as Big Daddy, who's essentially a cross between Adam West-Batman and The Punisher.
This film has made me actually like Nick Cage, which is just amazing.  I mean, it's NICOLAS CAGE.  The guy who SINGLE-HANDEDLY RUINS MOVIES.  The BANE OF SUPERHERO FILMS.  And yet, somehow, he totally rocks this role to the very core of awesomeness.

A weird switch occurs in the middle of the movie, where it goes from following the non-lethal adventures of Kick-Ass to also following the exploits of Big Daddy and Hit Girl, who unremorsefully slaughter their criminal opponents.  Once the switch is made from "Batman" to "Punisher," however, it all works wonderfully.

Kick-Ass balances comedy with action and drama to such a fine degree that it's exquisitely entertaining for those few that aren't bothered by the heavy content.  This is the first movie I've seen in a long time that I've enjoyed this much.  Even though I have some severe reservations about some of its more extreme content, I still can't help but love the film.

It really does kick ass.

(come on, you thought I wasn't going to use that pun?  It's just too easy to pass up...)