Revolutionary Superhero film,
Kick-ass was and still is one of my favorite comic series, so revolutionary and amazing. Like many other nerds, to comic took me and placed me in the role of the main character, David Lizewski, a.k.a the titular character KICK-ASS.
So let's get started on this review of the movie: KICK-ASS
So the movie stars Aaron Johnson as Dave Lizewski, a high school loser and comic book nerd, who's only superpower is "being invisible to girls". Eventually, he puts together a costume bought online and becomes known as the "superhero" Kick-Ass. Though, he's not alone, and soon is put in a world with some real deal heroes known as Hit Girl and her father, Big Daddy, as well as Red Mist.
First off, this movie did alter several things in the comic, namely, the costumes. Though Red Mist's costume scheme was in place, and Kick-Ass's outfit was 98% from the comic, the biggest changes were from Hit Girl and Big Daddy. They were the most hollywoodized out of the cast, with Hit Girl looking like a rejected character from a kids show with guns, and Big Daddy looking like a Batman ripoff, it was actually interesting to watch them pull this off. Though, these aren't complaints of the movie, because overall, with its short budget, and indy style, it was still great.
Unfortunately, the visuals falter within the last few minutes of the movie, when they bring in the Jet Pack.
-Note: The Jet Pack was movie exclusive and did not happen in the comic-
The low budget of the film really showed in this one scene, where Kick-Ass and Hit Girl fly through the city on a jet pack.
For visuals, I give it a 4 out of 5.
For a cast made of mostly people who aren't American, safe for two or three people, they really get the feel of New York in their acting. The way they talk, the way they act, it feels like they were native born New Yorkers. Arron Johnson really catches the role of the typical modern day nerd, as well as the awkward, bad ass that is the character of Kick-Ass. It shows how good of an actor he really is.
Nicholas Cage plays the role of Big Daddy, Daemon Macready, a true bad ass hero, an ex-cop with a vengeance against the mob, and let's face it, Nicholas Cage hasn't had the greatest selection of movies in the past decade, so in saying that Nicholas Cage actually played his character very well, both mask on and off, is actually saying something, because who knows when he'll have a decent role again.
Chloe Grace Mortez plays Mindy Macready, A.K.A the show stealer, Hit Girl. Now I use the term show stealer as a term of endearment rather than an insult to the other actors. Sure, there is much controversy over the fact that an 11 year old girl using curses like "F*ck" and "C*nt", but the real fact is that is her character. Hit Girl is a curse slinging, gun and sword wielding, bad ass chick, she was like that in the comic, so it's only proper she was like that in the movie, and Chloe pulled that off perfectly. I couldn't imagine anyone else playing Hit Girl any better.
Mark Strong plays the movies central villain Frank D'Amico. A ruthless mobster who wants to kill off these new "superheroes" to prove a point. I've always loved Mark Strong, such a great and versatile actor, and this role is no exception. Though I will comment that the role is a generic Italian mob boss, and it doesn't take much to play, his presence was there, and something about him was alluring as a character.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse played the secondary villain, and Mark Strong's son, Chris D'Amico, A.K.A Red Mist, a fellow nerd like Dave, who's just "another *sshole in a costume". His character dresses up like Red Mist, to gain Kick-Ass' trust and lure out Big Daddy and Hit Girl for his father. But other than this villainous conniving role, Chris D'Amico is similar to Christopher's previous role as McLovin in Superbad, just with mob connections.
Overall acting gets a 5 out of 5.
The story for Kick-Ass is what roped me in from the start, even with the comic and the movie. The story of a typical comic nerd with no life, deciding to become a superhero and make a difference. It's every nerds fantasy! Though, the comic and the movie have the same central plot, the two are altered drastically through the film. For example:
In the comic, it's unknown that Chris D'Amico and Red Mist are one in the same, until the near end, where as it's early on that the audience knows.
In the comic, the origins of Big Daddy and Hit Girl are completely different. The origin in the movie was used as a ploy, a way for Big Daddy to brainwash his daughter into who she is, when in the comic, Daemon is just a big a nerd as Dave, where he makes his money by selling expensive comics, and kidnapped his daughter to make her into Hit Girl.
The death of Big Daddy is drastically changed as well, in the comic, he's shot in the head, brains splattering everywhere, in the movie, he's burned to the point of death and has a heart to heart moment with his daughter before dying.
The end result of Dave's love life is altered as well, in the comic, the girl rejects him and he's even more of a loser than before, in the movie, she reciprocates his love and the two are dating by the end.
And the final big change is that in the end, Kick-Ass uses a jet pack with Gatling guns to save the day, where in the comic there was no such thing.
But these may seem like a list of complaints, but far from it. I see it as, the changes made in Kick-Ass just made the movie all the more better. It was interesting to see the different changes made, where you'd expect one thing from reading the comic and you're surprised to see something unexpected to happen instead.
Kick-Ass's story gets a 5, out of 5.
And Finally we're at directing. Mathew Vaughn hadn't had much under his belt at the time, and since no studio would give him the money for Kick-Ass, afraid of it not being a hit like they would have wanted, he decided to make the movie independent. Matthew Vaughn put together a strange and unusual cast of people, Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Nicholas Cage and Mark Strong, and ended up fitting them into their roles perfectly. Even without the big budgets most superhero movies have, and without the support of any studio, Mathew Vaughn created a film with a fantastic story, amazing acting, and he had the vision for it. The way it was perfectly put together, the little changes made through the film from the comic. Mathew Vaughn is an idol to most future filmmakers, how he makes movies because he wants to, and wouldn't let a studio or any limits get to him.
Directing gets a 5 out of 5.
I can safely say that in my opinion, Kick-Ass was one of the greatest superhero movies I had ever seen. The visuals, how they captured the characters perfectly, the acting, and how well put together it all was, the fantastic story, which is rare to find in most movies today, and the directing of Mathew Vaughn which held it all together, all of it was fantastic. But with that said, I can also say as an Adaptation it was bad, where so much was changed from the comic, but as a stand alone film, the movie was fantastic. And luckily for the film, this is a movie review, not a comic adaptation review.
Kick-Ass overall, gets a 5 out of 5.