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The International Writers Magazine: Movie Review

Kick Ass
Daniel Cann
This film takes a well-established genre and turns it completely on its head.


For the last twenty years or so ever since Tim Burton’s ‘Batman’ we have been inundated with films about super hero’s, but there have been none like this effort from writers Jane Goldman, Mark Millar and Matthew (‘Layer Cake’ ‘Stardust’) Vaughan who also directs.

Here the hopes and dreams of an ordinary and likeable teen Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) dreams of becoming a superhero. The geeky comic book loving youngster dons a green suit and becomes his alter ego ‘Kick Ass’ and begins to fight crime. The film cleverly keeps things firmly on the ground initially and poor Dave finds that things don’t go his own way, taking a few unpleasant beatings initially. In fact these early scenes show just how society has become, for example when dressed as the masked avenger he asks for a bystander to call the police and instead the bystander films the ensuing fight between Kick Ass and some muggers on his mobile.

This is the age of the Internet, Youtube and celebrity and the filmmakers manage to portray this with biting accuracy. It is not a polemic and does not try to be, but let’s get one thing clear: this is not a sugar coated ‘boy dons suit and saves the World’ story. This is a dark cynical, scary World where people bleed and get hurt. 

As the film moves on Dave encounters a real pair of vigilantes in crime fighting duo ‘Big Daddy’ (An on form Nicolas Cage) and his eleven-year-old daughter ‘Hit Girl’ (a jaw dropping performance from Chloe Moretz). Soon they are embroiled in a violent showdown with mob boss Frank D’Amico (played with calm menace by Vaughan regular Mark Strong). Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin in ‘Superbad’) also puts in a strong supporting performance as D’Amico’s son Chris aka ‘Red Mist.’ What follows is some of the most amazing action scenes in years. Reminiscent of ‘The Matrix’ and John Woo films we are treated to the incredible sight of an eleven-year-old girl literally kicking mobsters asses!

There are some very shady areas here and I never thought I would witness a little girl use a certain expletive, but I suppose taboos are there to be broken (nearly every other one has been broken by filmmakers by now). The violence is forceful and shocking at times but the overall result is a fantastic adrenalin rush of original entertainment. It is hugely enjoyable with comic moments as well as action and I was totally gripped for the films duration and you can’t ask for more than that. The sheer energy and enthusiasm, its ideas and protagonists ensure that for all its faults this is top-drawer entertainment. I promise you have never seen a film like this before!

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