Kick-Ass Review

Published 5 years ago by
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Screen Rant's Kofi Outlaw reviews 'Kick-Ass'

Director Matthew Vaughn has demonstrated with his previous two films (Stardust and Layer Cake) that he enjoys both epic adventure and dark subject matter. It’s probably why he was attracted to a film like Kick-Ass – a demented re-imagining of the classic super hero origin story (think Spider-Man meets The Untouchables) based on the equally demented comic book series by Mark Millar (Wanted) and John Romita Jr.

In Kick-Ass, Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) is an average high school kid stranded somewhere in the invisible middle of the jock/geek hierarchy. There’s truly nothing remarkable about Dave except the scope of his young imagination, which he usually dedicates to his ‘self-satisfaction’ fantasies or the many comic books he reads.

There is one thing Dave has always wondered, though: Why don’t more people attempt to become real-life superheroes? Lord knows New York City could use more of them, if only to loosen the vice-like grip of crime bosses like the ruthless Frank D’Amico (Mark Strong), whose reign of terror makes even the most righteous citizen turn a blind eye to injustice. How can good prevail over evil when the average person is too scared to fight for what’s right?

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Well, after being mugged one too many times by the same two crooks who prowl the alley behind his local comic shop, Dave Lizewski decides he is going to do what others are unwilling to: Don an elaborate costume and fight crime under the moniker of (you guessed it) “Kick-Ass.” Dave’s first outing as his flamboyantly dressed alter-ego doesn’t go so well; real-life heroism, he learns,  is rarely a successful enterprise. But a few stitches later, Dave actually manages a small act of heroism (caught on cell phone video, of course) and Kick-Ass is suddenly catapulted to the status of Internet phenomenon.

Once he officially breaks into the super hero business, Dave thinks he has finally earned the respect he’s desired – although he would trade it all for a chance with his high school crush, Katie Deauxma (Lyndsy Fonseca). In order to impress the girl, “Kick-Ass” ventures into a seedy neighborhood to ‘thwart some villains’ who have been bothering Katie and there he meets two “real” vigilantes, Big Daddy (Nic Cage) and his deadly little sidekick, Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz). Daddy and Hit Girl have a personal vendetta against Frank D’Amico – one that can only be settled with lots blood and lots of dismembered bodies. But Frank D’Amico is not a guy who lays down easily – certainly not for some clowns in Halloween costumes.

Dave Lizewski quickly learns that real life is no comic book fantasy, and that he has stumbled into the middle of a war he is not prepared to fight.

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Kick-Ass is pretty much the holy grail of comic book movies for adults. If you’re not familiar with Mark Millar’s work on Kick-Ass and Wanted, it’s pretty obvious that he was one of those young comic book geeks who would always nudge his friends and ask, “Wouldn’t it be funny if…?Kick-Ass the comic book was filled with sick riffs on Spider-Man and Batman mythology, and director Matthew Vaughn – along with his Stardust co-writer Jane Goldman – certainly got the joke. 

What if nerdy Peter Parker had tried to make a difference without that radioactive spider bite? What if a borderline sociopath like Batman really did have a child sidekick? These are all fair questions to ask of comic book lore, and they’re questions that Kick-Ass attempts to answer – often to shockingly hilarious results.

Click to continue reading our Kick-Ass review

Our Rating:

4.5 out of 5

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  1. I absolutely loved this film, my favourite of the year and likely to stay that way for a while unless Iron Man 2 has something to say about it.


    My only small issue was with hit-girl. As much as I loved her character, her first attack on the drug dealers (Kick-Ass's introduction to her) to me, felt just a little too ruthless. I almost felt sorry for the bad guys and kind of felt sorry for hit-girl for being brought up by a psycho like Big Daddy and taught to think that what she was doing was right.

    That said, her was bought back during the scene where she tries to save Kick-Ass and Big Daddy (which at first, with the first person perspective and night vision, I thought was Red Mist, and that was another small issue, I thought he'd redeem himself by the end of the film, but the ending was still satisfying) and of course, the very end gun-kata scene. At those points, I didn't feel bad for the bad guys and wanted her to win.

  2. I'm way excited to see this!

  3. Fantastic review, Kofi. Sounds just like the books to me and I'm definitely checking it out as soon as I can!

  4. great film, but i couldnt help noticing delayed cuts, that and nic cage towards the end of his role where weird, especially when he started screaming.
    the music they played for hit girl was annoying to, really ruined the mood imo.

    did anyone notice the ending, how the guy in the orange is the guy from the beginning, who jumps of the building, because it does saw something like 6 months earlier.

    i'd give this a 4/5 only because of its little and most definitely avoidable flaws.

  5. another thing i really liked was how the slowly go from reality to comic when telling the story about big daddy, the cell shaded animations where really good and the part where the teddy shows what happened prior to the place burning down, that action scene was intense and nicely choreographed.

  6. awesome Review 5/5 for Screenrant lol

  7. “What if a borderline sociopath like Batman really did have a child sidekick?”

    I don't understand this question. Dick Grayson???? Tim Drake????

  8. It displays a real life or “what if” Batman was a real person. Imagine a borderline sociopath dressed up like Batman and began to violently beat down criminals at night. he then takes on a young sidekick or in this case his daughter. What values and morals is he teaching her? How would she portray life and what kind of personality does she have? What you get in the end result is someone like Hit-girl which many wouldnt decree “Socially Acceptable.”

  9. As last dragon explained, it's a question of “If Batman were real, how would a child growing up in his care turn out?”

    Kick-Ass' answer: Just like Hit Girl.

  10. I've been looking forward to this movie ever since reading the comics last year, but your review makes me want to see it even more than before (if possible). I can't wait.

    Excellent review Kofi!

  11. Heh heh heh, Im sold. Good review, Kofi. I'll go see it this weekend.

  12. quick question(s): have you read the comics? if so, how much was changed..?

  13. The thing that sets me off to go see this is the fact that it plays off the comic book feel not to mention it just looks plain funny. Only bad thing is that Nicolas Cage is in it.

  14. Without Spoiling,

    The romantic angle is changed, costumes were changed, ending changed, but the overall tone and story arc are the same.

  15. Saw it. Loved it! My favorite so far this year as well. Hit Girl rocks!

  16. good enough. thanks ;·)

  17. I'm so pumped this movie made it to the big screen, and in control of the writers ! A small low budget flick that offer big time comedy Kick-Ass action ! LOL

  18. ah, give him a chance for this one. A low budget film may just be what he needs to find the soul of a character.. I did like him in the National Treasure movies.. as well as Face-Off.. just my own little take.. he's had a few good one's when he hits the character he needs to work…

  19. Hey, it's Hollywood! Even though the writers still brought it to screen on a small budget, some things like all comic adaptations, are changed to make things work. I hope it was just the small stuff.. !

  20. LOL

  21. LOL

  22. Four climaxes for 'Raavan'!
    When one has spent a fortune in the making of a movie, he would explore all available options to recover the money, if not more, from the B.O.
    One could not find fault with the filmmakers for canning multiple climaxes for a film.

  23. movie reviewsDeepika's risky stunt in ‘Lafange Parindey’
    Who said risky stunts are the domain of macho men? Stand aside, gentlemen, these new generation Bollywood hotties could very well do tough and dangerous stunts on their own.

  24. I agree, it was an incredible movie, I'm sure all the comic fans will be very happy with the adaptation.

    v SPOILERS v

    I think your point about hit-girl is fair, she did seem a bit brutal in her first fight scene, but I think that was the message they were aiming for, they wanted people to find this 11 year old girl, to be someone just as intimidating as a group of drug lords, and I thought that was really cool. I also thought Red Mist would redeem himself, but like you I found the ending satisfying, it leaves it open to a possible sequel, which we know has been talked about, but at the same time I can't see how Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl are going to return with the way it ended.

  25. I can see Hit Girl returning easily, she has the right mentality and knows how to handle herself… but Kick-Ass? Let's face it, the guy had almost nothing to offer as far as super-hero's go, all he did was get saved by Hit-girl a lot, the only way he saved the day at the end was with the aid of a jet pack with twin machine guns mounted on the shoulders, a chimp could have done the same and his fight with red mist… well it was red mist, they were evenly matched in lameness (as cool as that fight was).

    From what I can see, Kick-Ass served as a means to open the door to better, well trained superhero's to come along, but I see no reason for him to return as a superhero in the sequel.

    That said, maybe Millar and Vaughn can come up with a decent story to bring him back, but he'd pretty much said he'd quit by the end, and I see no reason why not, he had a pretty sweet life by that time.

  26. Remember dude – this film is a remake of a comic book.
    The second comic book is coming out in a few months – depending on how the writers revive Kick-Ass, that will be put into action of the sequel to the movie.
    So it depends all on the comic.