Kick Ass. Also known as the movie that almost broke the hype machine. I heard small snippets of information about it late last year, but didn’t expect it to be as loved as it seems to be. Even the trailer doesn’t do much for it; the first released one raised a smile (y’know.. where that guy is on top of a building with wings) but there was no way of predicting the following it has gathered. I’m gonna be hated for this but… it’s not that good.
Dave Lizewski is the definition of a high school nerd; unnoticed by the popular girls, loves comic books and gets ‘set off’ easily. But one day, whilst sitting in the local diner/comic book store with his equally nerdy friends, Dave wonders “Why hasn’t anyone tried to be a superhero?” To which his friend replies “Because you’d be dead in, like, a day.” Not deterred by this, he pursues a ‘career’ as a costumed vigilante, named Kick Ass. After gaining national fame, more and more people are taking justice into their own hands, and this spells trouble for a drugs lord who keeps getting his stash stolen. He sets out to rid the country of the imitations, as well as the original Kick Ass.
Not a bad synopsis for a movie I saw over a week ago; and I didn’t use the internet for help. Honest. Judging from the opening scenes (the very first being the trailer with the winged guy) Kick Ass is hilarious. Aaron Johnson who plays Lizewksi is perfect; he’s so uncool that it makes him the opposite. There are moments of sheer comedy genius, and I thought to myself “maybe it is worthy of the ‘OMG ITS BETTER THAN THE GODFATHER!’ praise it’s been getting.” But once the dust had settled, and the characters had been introduced, the humour flat lined. And the narrative became predictable, run of the mill stuff.
But credit where it’s due, the scene stealer (and probably the real star of the film) is Chloe Moretz, better known as Hit Girl. Her incredible accuracy and ability with a gun is second to none. What’s more surprising is that she was only 12 when filming began; and without a doubt puts on the best performance of the film. In a close second though is Nicholas Cage with a return to form role as Big Daddy. He is the father of Hit Girl, and taught her everything she knows about weapons. The pairing of these two is the best I’ve seen for a long time, and their chemistry is as close to a real father/daughter as you can get. A stock character such as the one that Big Daddy is, Cage makes it his own with a unique laugh and style of speech delivery that had me laughing every time he spoke.
Another key ‘hero’ is Red Mist, played easily by Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who’s so used to portraying a child/teenager, he may actually never get a serious part. He’s 21 years old now, and yet he plays a 16 year old here. Role Models and Superbad can be forgiven, but there are only so many times you can be the same character. Apparently, no one told Michael Cera this, as his next role is, surprisingly, a loser teen. But at the same time, I cannot picture any one else playing the role any better than Plasse does; it’s the same for the rest of the cast. Everyone suits the character, and the film is better for it.
Back to the humour, as I said before it starts of so strongly and fades from about 40 minutes in. There, it becomes story driven and takes itself a little too seriously. Which I wouldn’t have particularly minded about, if the posters hadn’t hyped it up to be the comedy of the century. I assume that you’ve seen at least some advertising campaigns for this; 5 star ratings plastered all over it and “the funniest movie you’ll ever seen in your life” says the Daily Star. Yeah right, until the next American Pie spin off instalment is released. Seriously, when did the Daily Star get movie reviewing credibility?
To finish, Kick Ass was, in my opinion, hyped more than it could possibly live up to. I know this isn’t everyone’s opinion but I personally saw nothing about the humour that made it stand out from any other comedy released this year. But the characters, actors and well choreographed action scenes were exceptional, giving an all round enjoyable night out. It just wasn’t the side splitting spectacular that the posters had promised.