Sunday, August 8, 2010

"Kick-Ass" kicks some ass

Every young comic book reader has lost themselves within the colorful pages of the adventures of their favorite superhero. Personally, I don't typically read comic books, but I liken it to losing oneself in a good book, or putting oneself in the place of one's favorite action hero on the big screen. Who wouldn't like to be James Bond, or Superman? In this film, we see a different type of superhero. He may not possess the ability to stop a bullet, but, nonetheless, his "powers" are just as fantastic.

Aaron Johnson stars as Dave Lizewski, a geeky, comic book loving unnoticed high school student. He lives alone with his widowed father, and one day, becomes inspired to become a superhero, albeit one with no powers and no fathomable reason to do so. And so, his alter-ego, Kick-Ass, is born. In an attempt to end the high crime, and to end the bullying of him and his friends, Dave joins forces with three other people with superhero personas. Among them is a father and daughter team, Damon and Mindy Macready (A.K.A Big Daddy and Hit Girl), played by Nicholas Cage and Chloe Moretz, and the spoiled brat rich kid Chris D'Amico (A.K.A Red Mist) played by Chris Mintz-Plasse. The principal antagonist is, strangely enough, the father of one of the heros, Frank D'Amico, one of the largest drug kingpins in the city, played by Andy Garcia look-alike, Mark Strong. The younger D'Amico joins forces with Kick-Ass to impress his father in hopes to one day take over his empire. Along the journey of this rag tag group, Dave becomes anamored with a classmate Katie. They begin their relationship under the false pretense of him being gay. Eventually he comes clean to the woman he loves, and their relationship blossoms. In the end, his ultimate goal is to give up the superhero/vigilante life.

The bar has been set high for the comic book turned film in recent years. Most notably, we've had the Spiderman franchise, as well as the Batman films which culminated with the amazing performance by the late Heath Ledger as the caped crusader's diabolical nemesis, the Joker. This film is extremely well done, and brings together veteran actors, such as Cage, and newcomers, such as the young lady playing Cage's daughter. Moretz's performance as Hit Girl was one of the best parts of the film. The training that must have been involved with some of the stunts she performed was likely extensive. The visual affects are absolutely stunning as well. While his performance in this film was decent, I will forever see Christopher Mintz-Plasse as the nerdy loser "McLovin" in Superbad. As far as I'm concerned, no matter what role he plays, his early roles have typecast him.

This is a good, imaginative and visually stunning film. If you're looking for a family friendly film, this is NOT the one for you. Despite it's comic book persona, it's more like a graphic novel. Nonetheless, it's very entertaining, and highly recommended.

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