movie review

September 27th, 2015 Movie – Kick-Ass

kick ass

Bleh. Another dreary day outside and a possible migraine coming inside. What a wonderful weekend this has turned out to be. Oh well, at least I can lay down on the couch and watch a movie. Today I get to watch a comic book movie, which is always fun to watch….well…maybe 90% of the time because there are some bad ones out there. This particular movie generated quite a bit of controversy due to the fact of the amount of violence and language displayed by one of the leads, which happened to be an 11 year old girl. However, That was actually one of the things that made me want to see Kick-Ass, not necessarily because it happened but because the director had the balls to actually film it and put it in the movie.

The plot: Dave Lizewski is just an ordinary teenager but he wonders why nobody ever decided to become a super hero. So he decides to buy a costume and become one himself. Meanwhile, Damon Macready is training his daughter Mindy on how to handle being shot in the chest while wearing body armor, while Mob boss Frank D’Amico is questioning one of his associates about some missing drugs and has him killed when the guy claims a man “dressed like Batman” stole them. One day, Dave comes across two men trying to steal a car and he attempts to stop them, but ends up being stabbed, then struck by a car. When the paramedics arrive, Dave begs them to not say anything about the costume before he passes out. At his penthouse, D’Amico is informed by his right hand man, Joe, that someone, pretending to be the man they killed, is selling their stolen drugs to the Russians so he has Joe question one of the Russians but they end up killing him. After 6 months of therapy, and having several metal plates and screws inserted into his body, Dave returns to school, but with two differences about him. The first is that due to some damaged nerve endings, he doesn’t feel pain. The second is that, due to the rumors that he was found naked at the crime scene, he is now believed to be gay, but this actually works in his favor as his the girl he has a crush on, Katie Deauxma begins talking to him. Deciding to continue his attempts at being a super hero, Dave dons his costume and goes out to help people, beginning with attempting to find a missing cat. As Dave tries to retrieve the cat from atop a sign, he ends up falling, and tripping a guy that was running from three thugs. When the thugs start beating up the man, Dave attempts to stop them while several people take video of what is going on. When Dave succeeds in chasing off the attackers, one of the onlookers asks who he is, to which he replies “Kick-Ass”, and he ends up becoming an internet sensation. When Katie tells Dave about some problems she has with a drug dealer name Rasul, Dave, as Kick-Ass, decides to deal with the problem. Kick-Ass confronts Rasul, and uses a taser on him, but Rasul’s men tackle him and Rasul is able to pull the barbs out. Rasul is about to kill Kick-Ass when he is suddenly stabbed by Mindy, who calls herself Hit Girl. Hit Girl takes out the rest of Rasul’s men but as she is talking to Kick-Ass, one of Rasul’s men attempts to sneak up on her but he is killed by Damon, who calls himself Big Daddy. Hit Girl proceeds to take the drug money and drugs then leaves, telling Kick-Ass to follow her but he is to scared to jump to the next building. Later that night, Big Daddy and Hit Girl show up at Dave’s house, and although Dave tells them he is thinking of quitting, Big Daddy tells him that if he needs them, to put a message on his Myspace page that he is on vacation. Meanwhile, Frank believes that Kick-Ass is the one that is stealing his drugs and so he has a hit put out on him. Frank’s old partner, Marcus, breaks into Damon’s safehouse, where he reads a comic Damon drew, depicting what happened to Damon and Mindy, and when Damon confronts him, Marcus informs Damon that D’Amico is after Kick-Ass. After D’Amico kills an entertainer dressed like Kick-Ass, his son Chris comes up with a plan to capture the vigilante. Donning a costume and calling himself Red Mist, Red Mist meets up with Kick-Ass, and drives him towards a trap but when they get there, they find the place in flames. Later, Chris plugs in a nanny cam that he had hidden in the lumber yard, which shows Big Daddy killing all of the men and torching the building. Dave decides to come clean to Katie about being Kick-Ass and not being gay, and she forgives him and decides to become his girlfriend. Dave receives a message from Red Mist and when he meets, Red Mists tells him that people are out to kill them, forcing Dave to contact Big Daddy. Big Daddy directs them to a safehouse but when Kick-Ass and Red Mist arrive, Red Mist shoots Hit Girl out a window, while D’Amico’s men capture Big Daddy and Kick-Ass. D’Amico has his men broadcast live the torture and unmasking of Big Daddy and Kick-Ass before they are killed, Hit Girl arrives to save them. During the battle, Big Daddy is set on fire but he continues to yell out instructions to Hit Girl as she kills the remaining men. Damon is able to say goodbye to Mindy before he dies, and though she initially blames Kick-Ass for her father’s death, she agrees to let him help her finish off the D’Amico family. Hit Girl infiltrates D’Amico’s apartment building and proceeds to take out his security. When she runs out of ammo, D’Amico’s head of security grabs a bazooka, which he stole from Big Daddy’s safehouse, but Kick-Ass arrives on a jet pack armed with gatling guns and kills the rest of the security, leaving just D’Amico and Red Mist. Kick-Ass battles Red Mist and the two teenagers end up knocking each other out. Meanwhile, Hit Girl takes on D’Amico, but due to his larger size, D’Amico is able to get the upper hand. Just before D’Amico kills Hit Girl, Kick-Ass recovers and uses the bazooka to blast D’Amico out of the building, where he explodes. Kick-Ass and Hit Girl leave the D’Amico’s penthouse, and after they land, introduce themselves as their real names. Mindy winds up being adopted by Marcus, who raised her while Damon was in jail, and enrolls her into the same school as Dave. Meanwhile, Chris D’Amico, quoting Jack Nicholson as he dons a new mask, says “wait till they get a load of me.”

Despite the controversy about the young age of Hit Girl, Kick-Ass was well received by the critics, earning a 76% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The consensus among the critics was that it was not for the faint of heart and took comic adaptation to new levels of visual style, bloody violence, and gleeful profanity. There was a lot of controversy surrounding the fact that Chloe Grace Moretz was only eleven when the movie was filmed but that seemed to make people interested in seeing it. The movie was a box office success, earning over $96 million off a $30 million budget.

I will never be able to listen to the Tra La La song the same way ever again. This was just all out, over the top action that was really entertaining. The acting was really good among the main characters. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Mark Strong were all good in there rolls of Kick-Ass, Hit Girl, and D’Amico respectively. I will be honest that it is hard to see Christopher Mintz-Plasse as anything other than McLovin but Nicholas Cage was actually good in this role. The story was definitely darker than most other comic adaptations which led to much of the controversy but it was well written. I liked all the various jokes/comments about Batman in the movie and even Nicholas Cage decided to pattern his character somewhat off of Adam West’s portrayal. The action was pretty fast paced, well choreographed, and definitely bloody. This is not your average comic book movie but it is still well worth watching.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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