It has been a long time since I have left a screening with endorphins pumping through my body and the strong urge to learn a martial art but Kick-Ass did exactly that; I felt like I could take on the world! An explosive ride that covers insane action sequences, intelligent superhero parodies and intense dramatic turns, Kick-Ass is a welcome addition to the realm of the comic-book movie.
I was initially sceptical about the prospect of watching another superhero spoof movie, most recent attempts at the genre have been abysmal, but Kick-Ass completely transcends its predecessors through the use of intelligent pastiche which drives the story forward as well as providing laughs. The brilliantly choreographed action scenes would not feel out of place in a Spiderman film, or even a Tarantino script, in fact it feels like Spiderman and Kill Bill were put into a blender and Kick-Ass was the end result.
The story focuses on Dave Lizewski, your average teenage nerd, whose obsession with comic books inspires him to create his very own superhero, Kick-Ass, despite his discernible lack of superpowers. Dave's attempts to become a vigilante crime fighter initially end in disaster but in the process of rescuing a cat his luck changes, propelling him into the public limelight and establishing him as a figure to be reckoned with.
It is not long before other vigilantes surface, some desperate for the fame and attention, others out for revenge, and when Kick-Ass becomes embroiled in a crime lords devious plans, we are treated to a number of intense melees that gradually escalate in size and repercussions for those involved. There has been some controversy over the graphic violence depicted in these scenes, especially as the trailer is intended to appeal to a fairly young audience, and that comes as no surprise when a pre-teen girl decapitates villains on screen and uses the c*** word. Controversy aside, I cannot deny that this was very entertaining.
Chloe Moretz easily steals the show as Hit Girl - the incredibly volatile young superhero with a penchant for explicit language, which will surely propel her into the realms of stardom. Nicolas Cage is surprisingly effective as her doting father, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse is ever watchable as Red Mist. However it is Aaron Johnson who shows the most promise as Kick-Ass, with his convincing turn from a bumbling student to a brave and reckless crime fighter marking him as a talent to watch out for.
An essential part of the film is its eclectic soundtrack, with choice tracks taken from excellent films such as 28 Days Later and For a few dollars more. Usually I would be concerned at such a prospect but the Kick-Ass soundtrack adapts the tracks brilliantly, making them feel like its own, alongside great songs from The Prodigy and Sparks to name a few. The choice of music fits perfectly with the high-octane action sequences and even adds emotional depth to key scenes - not bad for a superhero comedy movie!
Kick-Ass is that rarest of films, a successful hybrid of two genres that delivers an almost perfect cinematic experience. My only criticism would be that some sequences near the end were slightly far-fetched but in a film where suspension of belief is required, maybe I'm being a little harsh. This is an essential film for all cinema-goers, catch it on the big screen and I guarantee you will be completely immersed in the explosive yet entertaining world of Kick-Ass
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