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. Thats cos the orange guy was happening in the presents, and Dave was narrating what happended six months ago – and then in the end it reverted back to present day when the orange guy was gonna go to do the jump off the building.

  2. One more thing, am I a huge nerd or did anyone else, when he made his Kick-ass myspace page, think “well surely someone's going to track his IP”.

    And then when they did, if you were really sad, you might have thought “I wonder if they made a GUI interface in Visual Basic to track his IP…” and silently chuckle to yourself as that last ounce of respect you had for yourself slowly died.

  3. guess we're both nerds :D

  4. i like that girls ars

  5. Dude, she's 11, give it 5 more years, okay?

  6. Lmao!!

  7. Kick ass was a great film and easily makes the top 5 comic films, certain things for me keep it from being truly amazing. One as mentioned in the above review pretty much all the Hitgirl action scenes are far and beyond over the top. Kick asses best friends are not all that fun to watch and I still can't bring my self to like his friend that is also in Hot Tub Time machine I just can't get in to the Jack Osborn look-alike. I agree that our lead does a good job however I will say in my opinion he does strugle alittle bit. The funny moments he pulls off with out a flaw, but he seems to struggle a bit on the more dramatic scenes with some of his facial expressions bordering on hilarity when trying to convey emotion. He is still young and new to acting and I think he has a bright future. As far as him being the new Spiderman I thought the same when sitting in the theater. I think doing a High School spidey franchise is terrible but if they have to do it he isn't a bad choice neither is Percy Jackson though. Kick Ass certainly has the Peter Parker nerd voice down though at some points he almost sounded like Toby though.

    The little girl was hilarious most of the time, but that was due to her dialogue. To be fair she is young, but if we were to compare her to the rest of the cast in ability regardless of age or experience in my opinion she comes up lacking majorly. I didn't buy her in the serious moments or the action and the only entertaining part of her was her dialogue and her father. Cage however, gives one of his best performances in the past 10 years. showing that maybe there is still a little leaving las Vegas still in there.

    I would give the film a 4 out of 5 stars though I can't really argue with the 4 1/2. On a 1-10 scale I'd give it an 8.5 maybe a 9 if only a few minor changes.

  8. I wanted to add in my opinion TDK, Unbreakable were better films it's right op there with X2, Iron Man and Sin City. That's my personal list. It's hard to place Kick Ass because it is such a different film, but if I had to it might look something like this:

    1. TDk
    2. Unbreakable
    3. Iron Man
    4. Sin City
    5. Kick Ass

    I'll have to see it a second time to be sure of that, but for now that's roughly where it lands for me.

    • dude….thats xactly the same rankings in my book

  9. Just saw it and was really impressed. Does live up to the hype (as long as you know what you're getting yourself into). A lot of things I liked, but two just seem to stand out. One's minor, but I was just impressed by Aaron Johnson's American accent. The guy has a knack there. I thought with him still being a new face in films that it'd waver some, but it was solid. Accent aside, I'm really looking forward to what work he does in the future because Johnson's been having an incredible year to introduce himself.

    And, for whatever reason, of all the action scenes I just liked Big Daddy's scene in the lumber mill. Maybe it was just the choice of having the song from 28 Days Later in the background as it happened, but that was just awesome to behold. Everything was just so incredibly fluid and grounded. Hit Girl's choreography was still impressive, but I always like it when something is pulled off that's somewhat plausible. Nicolas Cage is back.

  10. I like the ending to the comic a little better to be honest. Altho, I do love how they hold out on what HG and BD spend 300,000 on till the end. I'm trying to figure out if what they bought is a batman shout out or a wink and nod at something else.

    There should also be a seizure warning for this movie. HG whips out a gun mounted stobe light to debilitate Franks goons while she kills them, and to be honest, I kinda felt stunned by it too, like actually physically affected to the point of I had to look away. I had always scoffed when they showed these strobes on Future Weapons, but now I will have a healthy respect for them.

    oh one more thing, i just had to keep giggling at the arsenal of weapons HG and BD have. The collection of weapons they had was amazing. I hate to see what safe house A looks like haha.

  11. Alright, Finally seen it!!! The movie does deliver and defintely lives up to its hype. The acting was great, the actions was smooth and intense and the story was superb. I definite must see.

  12. Entertaining. I enjoyed it.

  13. I totally agree with you Kofi. This movie was extremely fun to watch and I laughed my butt off. Vaughn will get his money back within 2 weeks I'll wager.

  14. Make that 3. :-)

  15. I surely hope you mean the love interest, and not Hit Girl…

  16. lol…amazing movie. I was so not let down by the trailers. Yeah hit girl was awesome…probably had the funniest lines in the movie. But her supporting cast really were A list material…I really dug kick ass (he was someone that so many would aspire to be like) and i love at the ending his final descision.

    Oh yeah i also thought them adding the “28 Days Later” music was also epic…too bad the rest of the score wasnt as dramatic.

  17. All I can say is this movie fricken rocked!

  18. The last part of the movie was off the chain awesomley insane. This movie is titled as it is. Kick Ass.

  19. Yo merc

    walking out of the theater I said that exact thing. Perfect name for the movie because it did kick ass!

  20. Funny how this movie is getting all this praise,yet it didn't do very good this weekend at the box office.I'm not saying that it's not a good movie,because I haven't seen it yet,just saying I wonder why something that's getting such high praise is going relatively unnoticed.

    Personally,there's just something about this movie that's keeping me from seeing it.I will definitely catch it on Bluray,but for some reason I'm just not interested in seeing it in the theater.

  21. Kick-Ass appeals to hardcore comic-book fanboys. General audiences apparantly won't go for a hard-R superhero movie featuring a murdering, foul-mouthed little girl (who just happened to be the best thing in the movie). The R-rating shuts out the prime audience for this due to its extreme violence and language.

  22. That song tied the entire scene together! My friend immediately said, “Yes! “28 Days Later!”” Also, the song played when Kick Ass makes his appearance at the end. I don't remember what it was, but they used a live version of the song so there was cheering at the end by the track audience. I remember thinking 'Thank you for using the live version,' because you want to cheer yourself but are in a movie theatre. Not quite the right atmosphere.

  23. I'm not a die-hard comic book fan. I don't read comics. I do see comic book inspired movies, although not always catching all the things that are conflicting between the film and the comic. I generally go to enjoy the fantasy element. That being said, I greatly enjoyed “Kick Ass.” It's probably the first super-hero movie that I could actually see happening in reality. Which is the point of the movie.

    You can't help but feel for Kick Ass. He's trying to help, not out of a place of vengence (as seen in regards to his mother – which was hysterical) but out of a place of compassion and fed-upness.

    I don't understand all the hate for Nicholas Cage. I thought he was perfectly campy in this movie. His Adam West impersonation was absolutely inspired! I mean when compared to the remake of “The Wicker Man” he should get an Oscar nomination for this role!

    Surprisingly, Hit Girl was not my favorite part of this movie. I enjoyed her character but I guess from all the hype surrounding her I expected her to be even more outrageous than she was. Don't get me wrong, Hit Girl is still very entertaining but I kept having “3 Ninja” flashbacks during her action scenes.

  24. Cage really is an excellent actor, he just needs to be in a good role. Think The Bad Lieutenant and Adaptation. More often than not though Cage goes back to his bread and butter, which are actoin-esque movies, usually of questionable caliber.

    Can't wait to see this movie though.

  25. This movie was great fun indeed! I saw it at a theater on Thursday night here at 10 pm. There wasn't a super large crowd at that time, but what people were there you could tell were having a good time with the movie. A lot of laughter and what not. Sure enough, Hit Girl was my favorite character lol.


    I thought Nicholas Cage's Batman voice was pretty funny too lol.

  26. There is always hate for Nic Cage but he was great in KickAss.

  27. This movie was AWESOME!!! I already watched it twice!! :D!

  28. What a KICK-ASS movie! 100 thumbs up!!!

  29. This film really surprised me. From the trailer, it really didn't look like a film that I'd enjoy. Though, I went to see this on a whim in my quest for a film outing. I'm glad it did, it really rocked! I think Hit Girl really did it for me, when she came on the screen – I was hooked and drawn into the movie!


p.s. My review on “Kick-Ass,” thanks!