‘Kick-Ass’ is not just another superhero movie
Movie CriticThe opening line of the film “Kick-Ass,”—“I always wondered why no one did it before me.”—made me wonder the same thing about the movie: how could no one have made this movie before? The story of a nerdy teenager deciding to become a superhero—even though he has no superpowers—is pure delight. And yet this film moves beyond what was shown in the trailer, to make a movie that is not just another teen sex comedy with some slapstick fight scenes. It’s an exciting action film, and a truly scathing satire. Aaron Johnson stars as Dave Lizewski, your typical high school loser. After being mugged, he becomes appalled by the violence in his neighborhood and decides to don a costume, take on the identity of Kick-Ass and go out to fight it. After becoming a You Tube sensation when one of his exploits is caught on camera, he meets Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) and his eleven-year-old daughter Hit-Girl (Chloe Moretz), who, unlike “Kick-Ass,” fights big-time criminals, and also fight to the death. Suddenly the would-be hero, who was inspired by comic books, is sucked into a world of all-too real violence as he must battle ruthless mobsters and drug dealers. “Kick-Ass” is a rare film in that it accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do. As a nerdy-underdog-conquering-the-bad-guys comedy it is consistently funny, and as an action film it offers excitement. Most surprisingly, “Kick-Ass” gives an effectively harsh look at the very real problems of violence in society. Instead of leaving the violence cartoonish, and the story just another empty-headed good versus evil plot, the filmmakers took a risk and went over the top with some oddly disturbing violence. All of this effectively works to make moments just enough uncomfortable to watch. The viewer realizes what the main character is realizing: being a superhero is not a game, and while it seems exciting, violence is, unfortunately, very real, and almost impossible to defeat. This story could have been difficult to tell, and every actor does a marvelous job. Johnson is perfect as the idealistic loser and Moretz steals every scene she is in as the tiny assassin who never flinches while she mows down grown men. That a comedy-action flick could achieve all of this is really quite amazing, and the film is well worth watching. But be forewarned: it is not for the squeamish. Violence that is normally seen in movies is made doubly disturbing because it is being inflicted by—and to—an eleven-year-old girl. If blood makes you uncomfortable, don’t see this movie, because there is a never-ending supply of it. However, it is definitely worth watching as a funny and exciting action-comedy with a little bit of deeper reality to it.