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Kick-Ass’ Kicks Ass

Ankur Chawla | Monday, April 19, 2010

“Kick-Ass” is without a doubt the best superhero movie since “Spider-Man 2” (nothing can top a dude with eight arms). With awesome action sequences and a strong comedic nature, this movie beautifully treads the line of thriller and comedy while also incorporating social commentary on apathy and corruption. This is a must see for anyone who is a fan of superhero movies or appreciates “R-rated” humor and an overly violent preteen girl.
The adventure begins with young Dave (Aaron Johnson) going through the motions of his monotonous life, as an average high school kid with dreams of hooking up with the prettiest girl in his class, his English teacher, as well as a moderately attractive student his own age, Katie. After being mugged and seeing someone witness the crime without taking action, Dave begins to question his faith in humanity and ask, “Why has no one ever tried to be a superhero before?”
Dressed up in a wetsuit with a few sticks strapped to his back, Kick-Ass is born. Punching the air in alleys and running around on a rooftop, Dave trains to one day face the muggers who robbed him. In the first public appearance of Kick-Ass, he gets severely beaten up by the muggers, stabbed, stripped and taken to the hospital. With damaged nerve endings that dulls his sense of feeling and metal plates lining his bones, Dave becomes a slightly more durable hero
Strutting around town in his suit, Kick-Ass begins his revitalized career looking for a lost cat. When he encounters three thugs taking on one guy, he steps in only to take a beating. Because of his medical improvements though, he is able to continue fighting and save the man’s life. When Kick-Ass yells at a bystander to call for help, the individual instead videotapes the fight and makes Kick-Ass an Internet sensation.
After a few more trials and failures, our hero meets up with the father daughter crime-fighting duo of Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) and Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz). Hit Girl makes this movie great; the young girl dual-wielding handguns and taking out mobsters was more entertaining than a magician pulling a cantaloupe out of a top hat. At the same time, Big Daddy is a great character, training his daughter in a hilarious manner and raising her in a house filled with machine guns.
Local mob boss Frank D’Amico (Mark Strong) is established as the villain, trying to hunt down the superheroes because they are killing all of his men. Frank’s son Chris (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), in an attempt to bring Kick-Ass to his father, poses as Red Mist, another superhero, and seeks to become Kick-Ass’s sidekick. With their limited training, they are quite the crime stopping team.
The casting in Kick-Ass is impeccable, and no part was better played than Hit Girl. Moretz, 13, brought her character to life and she certainly has a bright acting future. Frank, Red Mist and even every mobster is played very well and all have their comedic moments. One of the best scenes involves Frank’s large guard saying “Everything’s under control” while grabbing a bazooka from his desk. On the other hand, Kick-Ass could have been portrayed a little better, with the actor being very bland. An Andy Samberg (“SNL”) or a Jonah Hill (“Superbad”) may have been a better choice.
Nicholas Cage provided a surprisingly good performance. Finding success in a role that does not involve stealing the Declaration of Independence coupled with the fact that he’s in enough financial trouble to take on the upcoming film “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” seemed very unlikely.  However, his acting was impressive as he played the role of Big Daddy better than Adam Sandler.
This movie is the perfect movie for the college aged demographic. Still, some may find the use of a young actress in a very “R-rated” role controversial, and the 3-shamrock review reflects that. While at times “Kick-Ass” seemed unnecessarily violent, that does not detract from the overall entertainment value of this film.
“Kick-Ass” delivers laughs along with strong character development. This was one of the best superhero movies in a while and may even inspire you to put on a cape and try to catch the offenders NDSP emails sketches of to the student body.