When this film came out at cinemas, a colleague of mine – having just seen it – made a declaration:
‘Kick-Ass is now one of my favourite films.”
Now had this comment been made by a bloke, it would have simply washed over me. Boys like action films with superheroes, and boys’ toys, and over-the-top comic book violence, and plenty of pointless profanities, and that’s what I’d heard that Kick-Ass was all about. It’s everything I hate in a movie.
However, the above comment was made by a girl – and someone with similar tastes in film to me. To say this about a film that seemed to represent everything I hate in a movie – it was baffling. How could my colleague rate it so highly? I felt like I’d just had my ass kicked. I was struck by shock and disbelief.
And when I finally forced myself to check it out (and believe me, I seriously had to drum up the motivation), I was struck by another kick up the ass, and even greater shock, because…
…I loved it.
And here’s why:
This tale of a dorky teenage boy who dreams of becoming a superhero does indeed contain everything I hate in a movie – violence, swearing, boys and their toys, extreme action – but it’s all wonderfully tongue in cheek. And it’s all delivered with wit, style and refreshing originality.
Wannabe superhero Dave (Aaron Johnson) becomes a media sensation after intercepting a crime dressed in his green catsuit. As his fame grows he puts himself in danger by arousing the attention of evil crime boss D’Amico. However, fortunately for him, he also captures the attention of skilled father-and-daughter duo vigilantes Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) and Hit Girl (Chlöe Moretz) who are busy trying to bring D’Amico down.
It’s hilarious how easily Dave manages to kid himself that he’s the invincible Kick-Ass just because he’s wearing his daft green suit. And it’s even more amusing to note the intensively trained crime-fighters Hit Girl and Big Daddy jumping in to the fray to save Dave’s geeky green ass.
What I love about this film is that Aaron Johnson’s Dave is just like all those thousands of youngsters here in the UK and across the pond who dream of becoming supermodels/supersingers/supercelebs/superstars without doing any form of preparation or training to be deserving of such a title. This movie brilliantly mocks, and also warns against, such impossible dreams.
There’s absolutely no doubt that this film is uber violent – but then so is Tom and Jerry. Kick-Ass is comic book stuff and even includes captions and an animated comic sequence to drive that point home.
But it’s the brilliant performances that bring this film and its memorable characters alive – and one performance is particularly outstanding. While Aaron Johnson is gloriously geeky as Dave, and Nicolas Cage nicely nutty as Big Daddy, it’s Chlöe Moretz who brings this film to a level beyond standard action fare. Her 11-year-old girl superhero is shockingly violent and jaw-droppingly foulmouthed, yet also totally adorable – amazing.
She is now my favourite superhero ever (which is pretty good going since I had no time for superheroes whatsoever before she came along).
To activate the sound in the trailer: hold your cursor over the screen to reveal the control panel and click on the volume control in the bottom right-hand corner.
Kick Ass is showing today – Saturday 19th March – on Sky Movies Premiere at 10.30am and 8pm, and at various times throughout the week.