Due to my insistent clinging to Oglethorpe activities, I was given the opportunity to see a special showing of Kick Ass this past Wednesday. I had little to no expectations going in. Lots of no names with sprinkles of known talent supporting the main characters and previews that seemed to reveal most the substance of the film were very reminiscent of most comic book movies and led me to wonder if this movie could live up to it’s concept or if it would flop like so many comic movies before it. A movie named Kick Ass bears a tremendous amount of expectations and I can say the movie aptly delivers.
The premise of the film is simple. What if normal people became their own super heroes? We are thrust into a typical teenage life, not an uncommon scenario where the lead is the unrivaled loser of the school with a love interest way out of his league. Tired of the everyday injustices in the world, he seeks to solve this problem his own way, a costume and batons.
Along the way we are introduced to two characters which end up overshadowing Kick Ass by the end of the film, called Big Daddy and Hit Girl. Hit Girl is a perfect embodiment of a child void of humanity and detached from the real world much like the general public views video game addicts. Red Mist, played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse, eventually joins in the crime fighting, though his performance felt a little weak.
From start to finish the movie was hysterical. Each character, from bodyguards to our protagonist’s friends, were given an opportunity and a plethora of one-liners that kept the audience in roar. Though there were some questionable decisions in the cinematography, the action sequences were given their due justice and were choreographed to give real power to the impacts. Even the brief sequences with Nicolas Cage as Big Daddy felt empowering and calculated.
Everything about this movie felt right. It captured the essence of a comic movie better than even the better ones like The Dark Knight. The mortality of our characters are constantly addressed as well as the motivations. Sure, there was an obligatory relationship bit but it definitely played second fiddle to the rest of the film. Little nuances like Nic Cage changing the way he spoke in costume or his transition from enthused expressive father to deadpan super hero or even something as small as a line comparing super heroes to serial killers gave this film a down-to-earth appeal that you wouldn’t expect from this genre.
Little about the film bothered me. There are plot holes and it seems to rush towards the conclusion, but this kept the pace flowing and doesn’t allow you to get distracted during the final moments. Christopher Mintz-Plasse felt a little phoned in and certain action sequences left me wondering whether it was good time to pee or not, but none of these things were enough to take away from the overall quality of the film. Even the soundtrack, which spanned from UK pop sensation Mika to the trailer’s ultra-violent theme by The Dickies all seemed to fit perfectly with the events unfolding on screen.
All in all I give this movie an 8.5 out of 11. It’s not a perfect film but it does exactly what it set out to do. It created a super hero film that ran the gamut of personas we see in every comic. The over-the-top two dimensional slaughterhouse, the calculating rogue with a mission of vengeance, the crutch that does more harm than good, and the hero who gets in over his head, and it brings them to life. Catch this with a group of friends for maximum entertainment.