Friday, April 23, 2010

Movie Review: "Kick-Ass"

By Skip Tucker

At some point, every boy (and most girls) have dreamed of being a superhero (“Superman” was my role model as a little one, and my mother STILL has fairly incriminating photos of me as a little fat kid in a Superman outfit. I’m relatively certain she intends to use them some day).

Based on the comic book from Mark Millar, “Kick-Ass” tells the story of Dave Lizewski (played brilliantly by Aaron Johnson, most memorable as the young Charlie Chaplin in "Shanghai Knights"), a geeky, gawky teenager who gets fed up with the injustices he sees occurring all around him, and decides to do something about it. That something is ordering a hooded wetsuit online and transforming himself into vigilante “Kick-Ass.” Unfortunately, the only ass that get kicked (initially) is his – with almost fatal results. He persists, and almost gets killed again, but this time said ass is saved by REAL superheroes, Big Daddy (Nicholas Cage) and daughter Hit Girl (Chloë Moretz).

Cage is spot-on perfect as the Batman-style caped crusader, complete with the requisite But it’s Moretz who absolutely steals this movie as the 13-year old (actually 11 when this was filmed) sidekick. With all the violence and gore, however, the real controversy from this film was her vociferous use of profanity (including the C-word). The typical dialogue goes something like this:

Damon Macready: So... Have you thought a little more about what you might want for your birthday?
Mindy Macready: Can I get a puppy?
Damon Macready: You wanna get a dog?
Mindy Macready: Yeah, a cuddly fluffy one. And a Bratz movie-star make over Sasha!
Mindy Macready: I'm just f**king with you Daddy... I'd love a bench made model 42 butterfly knife!
Damon Macready: [relieved] Oh, child... You always knock me for a loop!

Also noteworthy is Mark Strong (previously the bad guy in last year's "Sherlock Holmes" and next in the upcoming "Robin Hood") in the role of über-bad guy Frank D'Amico, a heartless, vicious, mob boss karate expert. He’s so bad that his ultimate defeat will have everyone from bubblegummers to ballistics experts cheering. And the ever-popular Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin from “Superbad”) is brilliant as D’Amico’s son Chris, who transforms himself into “Red Mist” for his (and bad daddy’s) nefarious purposes.

Directed by Matthew Vaughn (who also directed “Stardust”), “Kick-Ass” is most definitely NOT a movie for the younger set, nor the easily offended. But if this is your sort of film, swoop on into the nearest Cineplex and strap in. It’s a ride you’ll remember for a long time to come!

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