Screen Gems Movie Reviews
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Kick-Ass April 16, 2010
Kick-Ass
Studio: Lionsgate
Rating: R for strong brutal violence throughout, pervasive language, sexual content, nudity and some drug use - some involving children.

What would the world be like if superheroes were real?

That's the very simple premise of the film, "Kick-Ass."

Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) is a pleasant and likeable enough guy. But the teenager has some issues. Girls ignore him, the guys he hangs out with are socially challenged and his love for comic books brand him as a geek.

Following some unhappy brushes with the criminal element, Dave starts to wonder why someone doesn't put on a mask and fight for justice.

His friends say he's crazy, but Dave doesn't give up on his idea. After buying a mail-order wetsuit he begins stalking the streets.

Things don't get started with a bang, though. On his first adventure Dave is nearly killed. He eventually recovers and starts living his dream again.

With steel-reinforced bones and a damaged nerve system that dulls his reaction to pain, Dave has better results the second time around.

Saving a stranger from a gang-related beating, Kick-Ass is born!

Dave soon finds he isn't alone. A father and daughter named Big Daddy (Nicholas Cage) and Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz) are waging their own war on crime. And unlike traditional heroes, they are a lethal dynamic duo.

Their target is Frank D'Amico (Mark Strong), a drug kingpin who has a history with their family.

His son Chris (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) is also a superhero wanna-be...and desires to follow in his dad's footsteps and take up the family business. However, Frank isn't sure he has the stomach for it.

Director Matthew Vaughn has created a unique comic book movie, but it is not one for kids. "Kick-Ass" is over-the-top violent...with Hit Girl serving as a no-holds barred, foul-mouthed 11-year old assassin.

Johnson does a nice job as the lead, Strong is appropriately ruthless and Mintz-Plasse continues to shake his "McLovin" persona with an interesting performance.

But make no mistake. This movie belongs to Moretz.

She and Cage revel in their roles and steal the show as unhinged heroes willing to do anything to take out the bad guys. They're unrestrained by the quaint notion that crooks should actually go to jail.

Instead, they mete out their own brand of killer justice.

"Kick-Ass" is not for everyone...with Hit Girl causing the most concern.

If seeing an kid casually mowing down dozens of thugs before getting into a brutal fistfight where she takes some serious punishment isn't your cup of tea, then yeah...you should stay away.

But if you're open to a radical new look at superheroes and superhero movies, you will be rewarded with an enjoyable experience.

This is a very different look at a very familiar genre. It has great writing and action, a solid cast that makes you root for the good guys and a breakout performance by a young actress who looks like she's having a blast.

On my rating scale, "Kick-Ass" earns a HOME RUN.

Screen Gems Score






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