Matthew Vaughn directs Kick Ass, a gritty depiction of urban vigilantism based on the comic book series of the same name, insecure high schooler Dave Lizewski decides to become a superhero and invents a persona for himself in order to fight for justice without any powers or actual training. The film stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Nicholas Cage, Lyndsy Fonseca, Evan Peters, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Mark Strong.
There is a surprisingly large amount to dissect from Kick Ass but first of all, it’s a faithful adaptation of the source material and Matthew Vaugn really nails the comic book style with a hyper realistic feeling to the film which works with a gritty, realistic depiction of city life and crime. Kick Ass is a superhero movie with no super powers and right off the bat it makes for an interesting premise, what if people in the real world simply dressed, made their own personas and went out crime fighting?
Well a lot would happen and things would probably go wrong, Aaron Taylor-Johnson is really we cast and fantastic as Dave/Kick Ass, a character who really does feel very different at the end of the film to himself at the start, character development is an important part of the story and you do see it in a few different characters, as well in Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) who’s awesome as the foul mouthed, lethal fighter and another vigilante. Even Nicholas Cage is great in the film as Big Daddy, a sort of parody and homage to Batman with his own spin on things, while Mark Strong cuts a believably menacing crime boss as Frank D’Amico bringing a pretty spirited performance.
Tonally, the film is a bit up and down, a clearly comedic film in large parts, it’s also unrepentantly violent and graphic, due to its gritty style which makes for a quite unique viewing, the scenes you watch are brutal but coupled with the music and the way they’re shot they’re actually fun to watch in a sort of sadistic way. And I feel like Vaughn definitely had fun in directing the film like that, Kick Ass has surprising depth to it and is far from a mindless action flick in which the hero has powers and is completely morally good. Here Hit Girl kills people and Kick Ass often has poor judgement and is reckless, though ultimately a good person trying to beat overwhelming odds, two clear social misfits taking on crime and doing the ‘right’ thing but having to face the consequences of doing that in a real world with no super powers.
And speaking of the action in the film, it’s frenetic and quite well done, Vaughn knows how to portray a comic book feeling on screen with dismemberment and chaotic fight scenes but even if you don’t like the film for the action, you still have the drama there which is a strong central core to the story. The more emotional moment work with some strong performances from Mortez and Johnson which highlight the insanity and reality of the lives they live. Kick Ass is a bit of a strange film, gritty and quite dark but also very comedic, it probably shouldn’t work but it does with some great direction, good action and a fun plot.
. Has some great performances
. Well done action scenes with weight to them
. Might be a bit too up and down (tonally) for some