More Like Ass-Kick!
Yo, this be Reuben. I’ve always liked the good ol’ superhero film, and some action and comedy are always very welcome. Kick-Ass has action, comedy, and superheroes (sort of), in abundance. I’ll give you a li’l review of it now, as you may have guessed — and no, I haven’t read the graphic novel, so I won’t be comparing it to that – Milo already reviewed it.
Kick-Ass follows the story of your average teenage boy in the later years of high school, as he somehow manages to become an internet hit as the real-life superhero, Kick-Ass, who is somewhat lame. But that’s the whole point, because Kick-Ass is real lame, with his kinda crappy costume, and Dave, the kid behind the mask, is just some geeky dingus. Dave’s vacant and stereotypically teenage mannerisms are perfect for driving the stupid and slightly careless film along, as he embodies the ridiculous script on show. If there’s one thing that’s true about Kick-Ass other than the fact it’s oh so American, it’s in-your-face. Not crappy in-your-face either, because there is a clever comic screenplay at the heart of it, as outlandish jokes and ridiculous happenings make the film super-duper enjoyable – especially for a fifteen-year-old like yours truly. It’s all given to our watering eyes in some of the most solid cinematography I’ve seen in a while, to boot.
Kick-Ass’ hilarity is helped by the ludicrous action, which provides a brilliantly bloody and blain-splatty stream of goofy entertainment. Although the comedy and action are definitely the film’s high points, it also has some great acting performances and some great use of timing and drama — the mixing of comedy, action and drama making it seem just like a comic book, along with comic side-notes like “Meanwhile…” floating in the corner of the screen as it sends you threw the motions. Moreover, there is, for the most part, a very solid cast on show in Kick-Ass. Dave and his two mates is a particularly good example of the acting on display, as they seem exactly like the three comic nerds you could see, as Aaron-Taylor Johnson showcases what is by far his best performance — certainly better than that boring crap in Godzilla, at least. Mark Strong puts on the perfect British villain with Frank D’Amico, too, with his character and gang providing a brilliant load of suspense, gang villainy and drama – along with some great Italian-American goons who are stupid, but not too stupid. Finally, the teenage bond between Katie and Dave is fine, because along with being something you’d expect from a superhero film, it’s also well acted, because there is a clear bond between them as characters.
But even so, this does make for some slightly cringe moments and average high school movie traits taking some of the screentime. Although Kick-Ass is great fun, it’s not exactly perfect. With Aaron-Taylor Johnson’s narration it makes it feel that much more like Spider-Man 3, and the aforementioned high school moments aren’t always hilarious, per say. And though there is a great mix of drama, action, comedy and the such, it gives the film slightly mixed messages tonally. Also, do we really want Nic Cage? I mean, he’s good in the action scenes, but everywhere else he’s a bit monotone, which is not what you want in a crazy film like this. Also, the aforementioned bond between Dave and Katie is much, much stronger than the one between Big Daddy (ol’ Nic) and Hit-Girl. Although Hit-Girl isn’t the most endearing kid in the world, she provides some of the most fun action in the movie. Aaand one last li’l point, it’s a shame that the movie slows down a around the hour mark. I would have loved full-throttle action comedy, but that just isn’t quite what happened.
Kick-Ass, with its immensely fun and in-your-face fisticuffs, comic script and selection of great performances, all topped off with very solid camerawork is a great superhero flick. However, it is held back a little by a few average scenes and a mixed tone, in particular, which remind you that it isn’t quite perfect. But man it’s great fun.
If you like any of the Spider-Mans, or Scott Pilgrim, you should definitely watch Kick-Ass, because it’s like a mix of the two — but to the extreme!
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