I can't fly. But I can kick your ass.
Running Time: 117 minutes
US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15
Country: United Kingdom, United States
The movie world is saturated by forgettable comic book heroes and heroines and superhero epics that take themselves way too seriously. As one after another is released to one reviewer’s apathy, they are failing to make an impact on a world probably beginning to tire of the jeuvenile American obsession with the humble comic book. Kick Ass is a much-needed adreneline shot for this ailing genre, much like Shaun of the Dead was for the vampire scene.
Matthew Vaughn’s humourous take on superhero going-ons follows Dave (Johnson), a normal schoolkid who tires of watching the bad guys getting away with breaking the law and decides to step up and become a caped crusader himself. He dons a green and gold scuba costume, names himself Kick Ass and becomes an internet phenomenon when he is caught on camera defending a man from a gang a bit like Bambi trying to stand up for the first time. Things start to get a lot more serious when he crosses two more hardcore heroes – Big Daddy (Cage) and his young daughter Hit Girl (Moretz) – who are on a mission to take down a violent mob boss (Strong).
Kick Ass is a teen comedy, superhero satire and action flick in equal measure and it is sophisticated storytelling, genre-straddling humour and impressive characteristion that allows these three parts to fit so easily together. The voiceover is never obtrusive and consistently funny and it maintains an every-teen quality to the narrative. Even when it gets more serious as the climax is reached there is still enough punctuated humour to keep the tone light and the pilfered soundtrack (from the likes of The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, Sunshine and 28 Days Later…) is suitably rousing.
Compared to the usual comic book fare where the main superhero is surrounded by paper-thin goons, friends and relatives, Kick Ass boasts an abundance of memorable and likeable characters. It’s impossible to tire of Hit Girl, the potty mouthed pre-teen superhero, spouting an array of curses whilst showing off inventive killing techniques. Mark Strong is an enjoyably uncomprimising mob boss, goofy teen friends Marty (Duke) and Todd (Peters) are funny throughout and Nicolas Cage is in – you may want to sit down for a moment – a quality role, as Big Daddy, the Batman rip off.
Overall, Kick Ass is a thoroughly enjoyable, fresh and original movie that will hopefully revitalise a genre.
It's Got: Spot on humour, a kick ass (Had to use that at least once. Sorry.) soundtrack, more than enough memorable characters, original choreography.
It Needs: To shake things up.
A fresh and inventive superhero satire that provides spot on humour, involving characters and a rousing soundtrack to a world (okay, maybe just me) tiring of a saturated comic book genre.