The cinematic equivalent of a half case of Red Bull chased with donuts, Kick-Ass
is a giddy, violent experience--and not your average superhero movie. Based on the comic book by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr., it offers a set of heroes who are decidedly without superpowers: Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) decides he'll be just like a comic-book character, and puts on a ridiculous green suit to fight crime as the mysterious Kick-Ass. Luckily, somebody else had the same idea and comes along to rescue the incompetent crusader: Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) and his daughter Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz), who also happen to be running around town wearing masks and vanquishing evil. And here we have the movie's masterstroke: Hit Girl, a pint-sized preteen who slaughters bad guys and swears like a sailor on leave (and was the focus of a measure of controversy when the movie was released). The main target of our heroes is a gangster (Mark Strong, Sherlock Holmes
), whose neglected son (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, McLovin from Superbad
) figures he might just pull on a costume himself and become… Red Mist! (One of the many funny things about Kick-Ass
is that the superhero names are hopelessly lame.) Director Matthew Vaughn is operating at the same glib level as his Layer Cake
, with cutesy song cues galore and a freewheeling appetite for cartoon violence. This means the movie's high wears off quickly, but it does get high--a crazy, hilarious kick. All that, plus Nicolas Cage executes a deadly Adam West imitation when he pulls on his cape and cowl. That's entertainment. --Robert Horton
tells the story of average teenager Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), who decides to take his obsession with comic books as inspiration to become a real-life superhero. As any good superhero would, he chooses a new name -- Kick Ass -- assembles a suit and mask to wear, and gets to work fighting crime. There’s only one problem – Kick Ass has absolutely no superpowers. His life is forever changed as he inspires a sub-culture of copy cats, meets up with a pair of crazed vigilantes -- an eleven year old sword-wielding dynamo, Hit Girl (Chloë Moretz), and her father Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) -- and forges a friendship with another fledging superhero, Red Mist (Chris Mintz-Plasse). But thanks to the scheming of a local mob boss Frank D’Amico (Mark Strong), that new alliance will be put to the test.