from BLAIRSVILLE, GA
Reviewed on 10/11/2011...
If only more super-hero movies were like this! Kick-Ass is the tale of a normal young comic book fan who wonders why no one has ever REALLY tried to be a superhero. So, he sets out to be the first...and ends up horribly mangled in his first outing. The beating leaves him without some feeling in his body, which allows him more tolerance for pain. Thus, he becomes Kick-Ass, the world's first superhero. This gives inspiration to an ex-cop, played by Nicholas Cage, who dons his own identity of Big Daddy. With his sidekick daughter, Hit Girl, they start an all-out assault on the mob that ruined their life. Thinking they are affiliated with Kick-Ass, the mob decides to rub them all out! A great action story with adventure, romance, and betrayal, Kick-Ass actually accomplishes what the boring crop of superhero movies that came out this summer failed to do...entertain!!!
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
(Turfseer) from NEW YORK, NY
Reviewed on 9/14/2010...
Director Vaughn exploits children in modern-day 'Don Quixote' tale
*** This review contains spoilers ***
Kick-ass is the story of one Dave Lizewski, an 'ordinary', semi-nerdy high school student who can't understand why anyone in his age group never attempted to become a superhero in real life. You would think that such a premise has real comic possibilities but humorless director Matthew Vaughn decides to take things in a different direction. Right off the bat, Vaughn sets a nasty tone by serving up a mentally unbalanced young man, committing suicide by jumping off a building dressed in a superhero costume. The bad vibes are compounded when Lizewski's Mom drops dead of a aneurysm at the breakfast table. Fun stuff!!!
The Act I set-up is full of the clichés and stereotypes typical of many 'youth' movies of today. For example, there's the obligatory scene where a couple of thugs steal a cellphone and comic books belonging to the good guy high school students. Then there's the stereotypical antagonist, Frank D'Amico, a vulgar comic-book Mafioso whose goons kill two hapless drug dealers in two repetitious scenes that occur within about ten minutes of one another (in one scene, the goons chop off the guy's finger and then shoot him and in a more repulsive scene, a man bursts like a balloon after all the air is sucked out of him inside a vacuum-sealed chamber where he's imprisoned).
Vaughn attempts to conjure up a modern-day 'Don Quixote' figure with his geeky Lizewski. The nerd courts his 'Dulcinea', the attractive but morally bankrupt Katie who's been dating a drug dealer. His first quest to prove himself to Katie fails miserably after he takes on the two thugs who had robbed him earlier and ends up getting stabbed in the stomach, then hit by a car and almost dies. Fortunately when found, he convinces the paramedics not to let anyone know he was wearing his Kick-ass costume; but the rumor gets out anyway that he was found naked and is now presumed to be gay by most students at the school (including Katie who befriends but also patronizes him as she also assumes he's gay).
Kick-ass could have gone in a more clever direction by having Lizewski train hard in martial arts and actually become a truly competent 'superhero' in the vein of Bruce Wayne (aka Batman). But instead it's pure luck that he survives the gang fight which he attempts to break up on the streets and in so doing becomes an internet sensation on Youtube. Lizewski continues with his 'Man of La Mancha' act by paying Katie's boyfriend a visit and again naively attempts to intervene on her behalf. As it turns out, 'Big Daddy' and 'Hit-Girl' save the passive Kick-ass's ass!
Now I have no problem with Damon Macready's story arc which involves the former cop attempting to take revenge on bad guy D'Amico after being framed. But what kind of message is being sent when he involves his ten year old daughter in his thirst for revenge? It's wholly inappropriate to depict a ten year old girl being trained by her father to become a professional assassin. Equally inappropriate is when teenager Chris D'Amico aka Red Mist shoots Hit-Girl—what completely makes no sense at all is that Red Mist is upset when his father's thugs carry off his buddy Kick-ass but he has no guilt whatsoever in shooting a ten year old girl? One other thing: when Frank is dispatched Chris shows no emotions at all which is not in keeping with the character's earlier scenes where he displayed affection for his father.
The stupidity of Vaughn's comic book world is further on display when Frank D'Amico mistakenly shoots the wrong Kick-ass in broad daylight. You would think that the head of an organized crime family would be smart enough to realize that there are plenty of people walking around the city in the Kick-ass costume after the character goes viral over the internet. As for Lizewski's revelation to Katie that he's actually Kick-ass—suddenly bad girl Katie is transformed into a saint and falls for him hook, line and sinker. But Lizewski gets rewarded for finally realizing that he was a dumb ass all along! Some hero!
The Kick-ass finale is perhaps the most repulsive aspect of the film. Big Daddy and Kick-ass are tortured on live television and then when the networks refuse to show the gory feed, all the voyeurs run to their computers to watch the sorry spectacle online. Finally, Vaughn resurrects his sadistic ten year old after she's shot, who then proceeds to dispatch one Mafia goon after another, in one unspeakably violent way after another.
Somehow after seeing a film like this, I kind of feel that something should be done about our current child labor laws. Rather than having accolades heaped upon Director Vaughn, perhaps the best place for him would be a secure lock-up--criminal or psychiatric, take your pick.
4 of 9 member(s) found this review helpful.
from CHARLOTTE, NC
Reviewed on 8/22/2010...
This movie is part comedy and part action, and surprisingly it does both really well. Think of this movie as mystery men transformed into a coming of age story with big weapons, insane fight sequences, a drier sense of humor, and younger stars. If you've always wanted to see a little girl stab drug dealers, Nicholas Cage talk like Christian Bale in Batman, and McLovin in a cape then this will be the best movie you've seen in a long time
5 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.