Monday, August 16, 2010

KICK-ASS (2010)

The Score: 8.5 out of 10

Kick-Ass does not establish its tone well in the first half of the film. Despite its aspirations, Kick-Ass was made on a relatively low budget compared to most superhero films and at times it shows. Some scenes and situations fail to unfold organically. But once Nicolas Cage and Chloe Moretz enter the picture as Big Daddy and Hit-Girl, the story begins to take shape and ends up as one of the most enjoyable films this year. By the time the end credits roll, the flaws from earlier will be forgotten.

Dave Lizewski (Kick-Ass), Hit-Girl, and Big Daddy
Kick-Ass taps into every adolescent boy's fantasy of becoming a Superhero, but does it so realistically that at times it will hurt to watch. People expecting a typical comic book movie might be disappointed. The satire, humor, and content is closer to Watchmen (2009) than Iron Man (2008). Kick-Ass begins with Dave Lizewski's dull high school existence. He is too nerdy to land the girl of his dreams and he is practically invisible to every other girl at school. Dave's family life is stable and he reads comic books with his friends. Dave Lizewski is an "everyman."
Pictured: You and Your Friends
And then something amazing happens. He is not bitten by a radioactive arachnid, nor hit by a mystical meteorite, nor does he inherit a magic ring, nor does he lose his loved ones. Dave is simply bored. Is this his life? Is his existence really the most he is capable of doing? One day he asks his friends a question, "How come nobody's ever tried to be a superhero?"
Kick-Ass (2010) Trailer
Surely the success of DC and Marvel franchises like Batman, Iron-ManSuperman, The Green Lantern, X-Men, The Avengers, and Watchmen have revealed an urge resting deep within our mutual social unconscious: we want to be heroes. We develop personal heroes and role models from a very early age and our appreciation for many of them is larger than life. Then one day we all ask ourselves a simple question, "Why can't I be a hero, too?"
Dave Becomes a Superhero
The way this question is answered by individuals will greatly influence the course of their lives. Most people conclude that being a hero would be too difficult on a consistent basis. Others might decide that heroism is a naive concept for people who have not yet dealt with the real world. Others see heroes as suckers, who are duped to give up their own interests for no reason. Kick-Ass shows all sides of this debate, actually showing victims that Dave saves later hurting him and leaving him for dead.
Why the Hell Not?
Dave Lizewski decides to be a hero. He uses comic books as his guide, often to comedic effect since comic books only tell half the story of heroism. He obtains a scuba suit, billy clubs, and makes a facebook page for his new costumed hero persona so that people can contact him for help. He then helps prevent someone's car from getting stolen and he is quickly beaten. Badly. I will not spoil how, but the scene is profoundly disturbing on many levels, especially because it feels true to life.
Batman's Sidekick Robin is Much Cooler as a Little Girl Proficient with Blades and Firearms
This is what sets apart Kick-Ass from nearly every other superhero film. Dave is not naturally a hero. Dave has no special powers or abilities. Dave does not experience anything severely traumatic to motivate him. Dave is not seeking vengeance. Dave is not forced into an adventure story by forces outside of his power. Dave is not friends with or related to other superheroes who need his help. Dave is simply a normal guy who decides he wants to do the right thing. He's bored and feels unfulfilled in his life and he decides to do something important. In simple terms, Dave wants to be a hero, and in the process he becomes one. And this makes Dave one of the more intriguing superheroes on film.
What Makes a Man a Hero? Claws.
Dave breaks every bone in his body his first day out. Most people would call it quits, give up these unrealistic, high-minded aspirations. But like a real hero, Dave gets back up and tries again and discovers he has gained the equivalent of a super-power: Doctors surgically inserted metal supports to reinforce his skeleton to aid his bones healing. As Dave mentions in the narration, these rods have the unintended effect of giving him exceptionally strong bones like Wolverine. Dave's wounds are so severe his nerves have become desensitized to pain, in the same vein as Darkman. In the process of trying to be a superhero, Dave succeeds in becoming one.
Dave's First Successful Night Protecting a Stranger from an Assault
Nicolas Cage and Chloe Moretz then enter the scene as father and daughter, whose origin story is even more interesting than Dave's. Cage's "Big Daddy" loses his wife to mob violence and he creates a series of comic books to explain to his young daughter the need for revenge against the mobsters responsible. Cage trains "Hit-Girl" in the art of combat and they practice with a wide range of knives and firearms until she is as proficient with them as he is. The father and daughter eventually come across YouTube videos of Dave Lizewski performing his acts of heroism and they enlist his help to take on organized crime.
Chloe Moretz as Hit-Girl
The remainder of the plot is unconventional, twisting and turning until the inevitable showdown between the heroes and the mobsters. Kick-Ass is not a typical movie-watching experience. Kick-Ass will not be the easiest film to watch at times, but its humor, its characters, and its underlying theme of heroism are strong enough to draw you in and even inspire you. If you watch Kick-Ass with a little patience and an open mind, then you will discover one of the best films of the year.
Big Daddy and Hit Girl Bullet Proof Vest Scene

Kick-Ass (2010) is available now in Blu-Ray and it strangely looks far superior in this format than it did in movie theaters. The somewhat cheaper aspects of production are practically unnoticeable now, making HD the official best way to watch this movie. Not your conventional superhero film, but it is moving and inspirational in all the ways that make the genre so much fun to watch. We highly recommend, particularly if you have a strong stomach for language and violence.
Beautiful Kick-Ass Music Montage

Previous Article

Next Article
SALT (2010)

Note: Any purchase made via our web store, or through the product links scattered throughout the article, will contribute a small portion to the running of this site and the payment of this article's author. Thank you for your support.

247086_TV episodes & movies instantly streaming from Netflix. Start your FREE trial!

No comments:

Post a Comment