Sunday, August 8, 2010

Kick-Ass (2010)

Without being a masterpiece, Kick-Ass should please to anyone who is tired after a day at work. In fact, the film is rather effective at providing us with load of laughs and spectacular action scenes.

Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) is an ordinary high school student, likes comic books and has a crush on Katie Deauxma (Lyndsy Fonseca). One day, Dave decides to be a superhero even though he has no power, training or reason to do so. Even though he got his ass kicked on his first try, Dave still believes that without great powers still comes responsibility. As he tries to fight crooks, Dave comes across Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage), a former cop, Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz), a thirteen-year-old girl who was highly trained by Big Daddy to kill. In fact, both Hit Girl and Big Daddy are hell-bent on having Frank d'Amico (Mark Strong), a crime boss, go down. Besides, as he join Big Daddy and Hit Girl, Kick-Ass will discover that Big Daddy has something personal with d'Amico.

Although the film is not a masterpiece, Kick-Ass is inhabited by rather interesting characters. Through them, the film's story offers a much needed exploration of the American society's fascination for the art of being a vigilante. At the same time, the film knows when not to take itself seriously when it offers us the opportunity to laugh at the characters' flaws. For instsance, Dave realizes that what he lacks in strength, he can make up for it with his courage. There's also this disturbing tolerance of violence by the characters played by Nicolas Cage and Chloe Moretz. Moreover, the film doesn't hesitate to recycle this old idea about the leading character - who is a geek - getting the school's hot girl.

However, although Moretz's character, a thirteen-year-old girl, makes the film take a turn towards a rather violent and dark film, her performance helps it. In fact, while she manages to display a genuine killer instinct, there definitely is something in her performance that smartly makes her character look like the caricature of a kid who has always been brainwashed by a father in need of violence. After all, if it wasn't for her performance, the film would have looked like a blockbuster that goes at the bottom of the barrel in its way of dealing with violence.

Finally, Kick-Ass could have certainly been better. However, if you leave aside the often disturbing violence of the film, Kick-Ass is a fairly nice attempt to explore this paradox from our society. While our society doesn't allow people to do the job of law enforcement workers, it has, deep inside itself, a certain tolerance of violence when it comes to dealing with criminality. As a result of that, Kick-Ass has two faces. On the first one, we might see in Kick-Ass a bold film because of its originality. At the same time, Kick-Ass takes the risk of playing it safe with old ideas that were seen in previous films about superheroes.

Rating: 3/5

Origin:USA (2010)
Genre:Action comedy
Screenplay:Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn
Director:Matthew Vaughn
Starring:Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse

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