So what if some joe shmoe decides to dawn tights and stand for the little man against the big baddies of crime? What would happen? Well, that’s the premise of Kick Ass and from this simple premise comes a pretty good, if lacking in parts, movie. The movie is based on the comic book of the same name, and while many people have derided the movie of its portrayal of violence, specifically by a pint-sized can of awesome ass kicking, criminal killing girl power (more on her later). Having read the comics, the movie isn’t anywhere near as violent as the source material, so I can say the film makers actually held back compared to what they could’ve done.
Our hero of the movie is Dave Lizewski, a comic book geek who could easily parallel a Peter Parker or young Clark Kent. He doesn’t stand out, has few friends, and you guessed it, isn’t close to popular. There’s nothing special about him. In saying that I mean, there isn’t any trauma or any life changing event that sets him on his course to being a hero. It’s solely his love of comic books and wondering why no one had never done it before that drives him to be New York’s first real life costume crusader. And once he does dawn the tights to kick some ass, the very thing you would think would happen happens to good ol Dave, he gets his ass kicked…bad. Of course the irony of this butt whooping is that the injuries he incurs from his first stint fighting crime have now enabled him to take a beating without feeling it. So I guess he does have that as some kind of power. Basically our hero, Kick-Ass, spends some, well a majority…okay damn near the entire movie getting his ass kicked. As strange as it is the premise works. For once you have a hero who isn’t great, isn’t fierce (I could probably take this guy in a fight) ins’t strong and not the least bit scary. But throughout the course of the movie, Dave learns from others around him, what it takes to be a hero, and to fight for something real and that actually means something, instead of being a hero just to do it.
On the other side of the coin, you have Big Daddy and Hit-Girl. Think of these two as Batman and Robin but with guns and not caring about the whole no killing people rule. Big Daddy, played by Nick Cage, who is pretty good and understated considering, is reminiscent of a Mr. Rogers type character, if he were heavily into weapons. Despite how it may look considering what they do, he’s a caring father and, through an unfortunate set of circumstances, the only family his daughter, played wonderfully by Chloe Grace Moretz, has. She’s cute as a little girl her age should be, but has the mouth and weapons usage skills of someone far from a cute little girl.
Chloe flat out steals the whole movie as Hit-Girl. For all the times that Kick-Ass gets his handed to him, these two more than make up for it by steam rolling their way through the criminal underworld. They’re a father daughter crime fighting duo, the likes of which I’m sure no one’s seen on the big screen until now. While Big Daddy certainly is no one you want to run into in a dark alley, it’s Hit-Girl who gives the movie it’s shock and awe (and I mean that in a good way) moments.
Her exploits are the main cause of outcry and outrage among many critics of the movie because of the way she so casually disposes of the bad guys. Actually, it’s not even that, it’s the fact that you have an eleven year old girl literarily cutting through an entire room of baddies with the cutest smile you’ll ever see behind a mask and a purple wig, that’s getting people up in arms. I believe it’s the fact that some believe this movie is being marketed to kids, to which I have to say, if you do bring your kid to this movie and that kid is less than 14 or 13 at the least, then seriously, you need to upgrade your parenting skills. There have been many movies where kids have killed in cold blood and in much more grizzly and in a more realistic manner than in this movie. Hit-Girl isn’t the first kid assassin Hollywood has brandished and she won’t be the last.
The film overall is good, and stays relatively faithful to the comics from which it came, though I believe the comics did a better job with the character and story development, but fans of the books I think will like it as it did a solid job recapturing the strange and violent world that our hero, Kick-Ass inhabits. As for the violence that is present in the movie, it will surely upset a few people, make some squirm in their seat a little and probably even force a chuckle or two out of others since a lot of the violence within the movie is almost cartoonish in its style, but don’t let the cries of those easily offended dissuade you from seeing a movie that in my book…Kicks ass.