Movie Review: Kick-Ass – Starring Nicolas Cage & Chloe Grace Moretz

Movie: Kick-Ass (R)
Released: February 16th, 2010
Runtime: 1 hr. 57 min.
Ticket Price: $6.00 Early Matinee
Refreshments: None
Starring: Aaron Johnson, Nicolas Cage, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Lyndsy Fonseca, Clark Duke & Mark Strong
Director: Mathew Vaughn

Rating: Wait for the Rental, if Not Longer

Synopsis: A high school boy obsessed with comic books wonders why nobody has ever tried to be one in real life. He is pretty much invisible to everyone at his school, but is two friends. He gets tired of being a nobody and attempts to become a superhero, even though he has no special abilities, powers or training. He calls himself Kick-Ass. Meanwhile, a father and daughter team is out for revenge, as the masked duo of Big Daddy and Hit-Girl, on a drug selling crime boss. Their stories converge as Kick-Ass starts to become famous for his exploits and the crime boss’ profits begin to take a hit.

Review: Kick-Ass falls somewhere between cool and demented. Unfortunately, the more I think about it, the more it seems to lie closer to the latter than the former. I’m really torn on this one, as I kind of liked it, but also feel like I shouldn’t because of a couple of things. I try not to be too spoilery, but if you haven’t scene it yet and don’t want to be spoiled, read on at your own risk.

First, while Chloe Grace Moretz (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), as Mindy Macready/Hit-Girl, definitely steals the movie, it felt really weird watching a pre-teen girl running around swearing and killing dozens of people, even if they were the bad guys. This is something that is completely left out of the trailer and promos for the movie and took me completely off-guard. We also see some of her training with her father, played by Nicolas Cage (National Treasure), which is particularly disturbing.

Second, while I know Lyndsy Fonseca (TV’s Desperate Housewives) is actually 23-years-old, she is playing a high school teenager here. It just seems not right to play up the sex angle the way the movie does. Yes, teenagers have sex. And, yes, this is an R-rated movie. But, should we really be showing a teen girl practically naked on screen, let alone the sex scene that appears a little later. This is a bizarre dichotomy that has always bugged me in the movies and on TV. We take 20-something young women and play them as sexy teenagers for the enjoyment of a mostly adult audience.

On the positive side of things, many of the fight scenes were, well, kick ass. There is a lot of blood, but the scenes come off really well, except for the first problem I mentioned above.

Cage is good as Big Daddy. His speech pattern when in his Batman like costume is hilarious.

While on the topic of humor, Clark Duke (Hot Tub Time Machine, TV’s Greek) is always good as the funny sidekick. And, there is a scene where the movie turns into a first person shooter video game, which is really well done.

There are a lot of good story elements. They really have fun playing off the Spider-Man mythology. The beginning of Kick-Ass’ hero’s journey is essentially good. And, you can’t really go wrong when the geeky guy gets the hot girl.

Overall, I just couldn’t wrap my head around Kick-Ass and fully enjoy it. I know it’s fake. I know it’s based on a comic book. I know it’s supposed to be escapist fun. But, what does it say about us that this is what so many seem to find fun and enjoyable to watch.

I haven’t read any full reviews of Kick-Ass yet, other than seeing a few tweets from movie bloggers/critics that I (@NewMovieFriday) follow on Twitter, but it seems I fall outside the prevailing wisdom that this movie is great.

I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on Kick-Ass. What do you think?

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Jason of New Movie Friday
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