Project 101

Dan attempts to watch 101 movies in 12 months

Archive for April 26th, 2010

39 – Kick Ass

Posted by Dan on April 26, 2010

Okay, so normally the movies I’ve been writing about have been ones that are a little bit old, but I figure it’s time to do¬† a review on a new release. Don’t worry though, I’ll try and keep this one as spoiler-free as possible. Besides, I think I’m the only person amongst my friends who hadn’t seen it, so I figured I needed to get out and see it. And therein I think was my first mistake – listening to my friends.

Kick-Ass is the story of Dave, a teenager, who went one further than the rest of us who have every wondered why people haven’t really tried to do the whole ‘superhero’ thing, and actually did it. His first exploits are filmed and put up on YouTube and he becomes an overnight online sensation. He then quickly finds out that there really are some proper superheroes (a father and daughter duo known as Hit Girl and Big Daddy) in the city and that he’s quickly getting in over his head.

The movie is directed by Matthew Vaughn, who was the producer on Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, and Snatch, as well as directing Layer Cake, and a lot of that mood and tone comes out in Kick-Ass, as well as a few recurring actors. The action scenes are very fast-paced, bordering on being occasionally too brief, and the one-liners are just as rapid-fire, with some of the best ones coming from Hit-Girls, played near-perfectly by Cloe Moretz. The movie’s been copping a bit of flack regarding the violence and swearing that comes from Hit-Girl’s mouth, but the actor clearly shows a maturity far beyond her years. She’s already got a fairly long resume at the moment, but she’s definitely a girl we’re going to see more of in the next few years. Her father, Big Daddy, is played by Nic Cage, who delivers a fairly average performance, but it’s probably good for Nic’s career to be attached to a title like this.

The rest of the cast seems to be somewhat of a low-rent Apatow ensemble cast, but for the majority of the movies, it actually works that we’re watching a screen full of, generally speaking, no-names. Throughout the whole movie, it’s hard to work out where abouts in the ‘comic-book adaptation’ it tries to be. It was originally a comic-book, but it’s constant comic-book style is a constant joy to watch, and even at it’s most bleak, it’s a movie that never takes it self that seriously. It’s full of comic-book cliches that would normally have you up out of your seat to leave the cinema, Kick-Ass’s constant tongue-in-cheek seems to give it a free pass to exploit every cliche in the book.

The end of the movie, there’s always the big twist ending, that seems to hint at a sequel. In a world that’s full of movie franchises though, I’m hoping that this movie remains just a one-off. From reports that I’ve read, they’re not currently planning a sequel, and the comic book of the same name (which, interestingly enough, had a film-deal signed before the first issue was released), seems to follow the same storyline, so who knows.

I’m still fairly undecided on whether or not I really liked this flick though, despite all it’s good points. I think, as I mentioned earlier, my big mistake was listening to friends – everyone I know seems to be talking about this movie like it’s the second coming of Christ. I can hardly blame many of them though – this is the sort of movie that is just built for the hype machine – there’s something in it for nearly everyone (except maybe your nan), so while it is a comic-book movie, it’s one that even those of us that aren’t massive geeks can thoroughly enjoy. It ticks every single comic-book adaption plot device in the book, and does so with a big evil grin on it’s face.

I’d say go and see this, but maybe wait until it comes out on DVD. It’s a good big-screen movie, but I don’t think that the big-screen is necessarily a must. There’s enough of the other stuff that goes on to carry this well on any screen. I’m going to give Kick Ass 3 out of 5 hidden identities.

Hit-Girl: okay, you cunts, let’s see what you can do now!

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