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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kick-Ass : Movie Review

Movie Review, Story Description and Exclusive Trailer of Kick-Ass 2010.

Kick-Ass : Movie ReviewDirection : Matthew Vaughan
Starring : Aaron Johnston, Nicolas Cage, Chloe Moritz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Mark Strong

Dave Lizewski wonders why, in the “real” world of his movie, no-one has donned a superhero mask to defend the innocent from Manhattan’s strangely brazen and abundant muggers, mafiosos, and other criminal types.

Of course, there’s that “Armenian guy with a history of mental health problems” whom we see plunge, masked and caped, to his doom from a rooftop in the first scene, but he doesn’t quite fit the bill.

So Dave sets out to fill the gap himself, inspired by his own fury at an indifferent witness who, when Dave is mugged in front of him, neglects to call the police even from the safety of his upstairs vantage point.

As titular everyday hero Kick-Ass, Dave dons a green scuba-diving suit accessorized with truncheons like police batons that he straps to his back, ninja-style. He even becomes an immediate YouTube sensation when he is video-taped defending a man from a group beating, earning instant infamy even as his high-school alter-ego tries to cope with a very different sort of super-power: “being invisible to girls.”

But Dave’s burgeoning heroics as Kick-Ass soon bring him into conflict with the sorts of organized criminals he is completely unprepared to take on (though his own quip of a motto, “with no power comes no responsibility,” makes you wonder why he would even make an attempt), particularly gang lord Frank D’Amico (Mark Strong).

However, D’Amico has his own enemies in the form of Big Daddy, a Batman-esque caped crusader played by Nicolas Cage (who steals every scene he’s in with an unsubtle Adam West impersonation), and his daughter Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz, best known as the precocious younger sister from 500 Days of Summer), an eleven-year-old with the close combat skills and weapons training of the entire Matrix cast.

Their vendetta against D’Amico quickly puts them in league with Kick-Ass, but as he observes, they are the “real deal,” perfectly at ease discussing high-calibre weaponry and then using it to deadly effect, while he is just a kid in a scuba suit.

But this issue of who is capable of what throws a wrench into Kick-Ass’s cinematic gears. We’ve already had “normal, real-world” superheroes in Mystery Men and then Watchmen. These days, even Batman is trying to couch its implausible heroics in New York City as much as Gotham.

So what does Kick-Ass bring to the table? An irreverent tone, often reminiscent of Spider-Man, and a singular paradox: how do you spoof serious superhero movies with what is essentially a serious superhero movie?

The answer is that you can’t have it both ways. Kick-Ass seems to want to investigate what would happen if a wealthy psychopath (as we would think of them in the real “real world”) such as Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark actually attempted to rear a child in his own violent image.

But in endowing Hit Girl with the ability to lay waste to roomfuls of armed thugs all by her onesies (and what of the men and woman she murders in cold blood when we first meet her, is that satire?), director Matthew Vaughn sidesteps this question entirely.

Kick-Ass loses its way between a sincere story about an unusually altruistic but otherwise ordinary high-school student becoming something of a man and getting the girl and a hyperbolic parody that deconstructs the genre by taking all of the requisite martial arts expertise and aerial stunts and having them enacted by a pint-sized tween.

The distinction was likewise lost in the advertising, which painted Kick-Ass as a fun-filled, post-modern action-adventure cartoon: Superbad for comic book geeks.

The reality is somewhat different – and rated a “hard R” – largely thanks to an aggregation of enthusiastically graphic violence (as brutal as anything in 300 but more realistic to look at) and a depressing amount of foul language that will leave you convinced Vaughn thinks there’s still novelty in assigning expletive-laced dialogue to youngsters.

Is it transgressive? Maybe if you’ve never heard of A Clockwork Orange. Is it incisive? Maybe if you haven’t read – okay, or seen – Watchmen. Is it funny? Here and there. Kick-Ass is undeniably slick and intermittently an awful lot of fun, but its pretension holds it back.

As a deconstruction, a parody, Kick-Ass is both aimless and listless, offering little in the way of commentary and overdoing it with some of the cutesy moments; but as a good old-fashioned superhero movie, rather ironically, it’s a definite success.

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i3lh4m on May 4, 2010 at 12:46 AM said...

Thanks for good review

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