Posted by: Dr P | March 28, 2010

Kick Ass

If ever there was a movie that lived up to its name, this is the one. Kick Ass truly Kicks Ass, in spectacular style. A homage to superhero and geek movies in equal measure, this sensationally entertaining romp has already attracted huge amounts of media coverage, partly for its cartoony OTT violence, but mainly for the foul language which spews from the mouth of 11 year old “Hit Girl”, one of the films stars. It’s also attracted a lot of incredibly positive reviews. And you can add another one to that here.

Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) is your typical geeky teenager, who forms part of a small clique of high school nerds who worship comic books and girls in equal measure – of course girls don’t spare them a second look, and most excitement in life generally passes them by. They’re regularly picked on by the local bullies and their lives are heading nowhere.

Lizewski decides he’s had enough of this treatment, and despite having no powers, training or abilities of any sort, he buys a superhero costume off the Internet and becomes “Kick Ass”. 10 minutes into his first assignment to stop a robbery he gets beaten up and then hit by a car – not the most auspicious of starts. Having had metal inserted into half his body and many of his nerve endings removed, he develops one property which will help his quest – he becomes almost impervious to pain.

Dave’s second outing sees him fighting off 3 muggers, and due to his new ability to soak up punishment, he somehow repels the three – all of this while being filmed on numnerous cellphones. The videos get posted on YouTube and all of a sudden, Kick Ass is the new phenomenon in town.

Not only is Lizewski’s secret identity beginning to become famous, he also finally attracts the attention of one of the school’s hottest girls, Katie (the gorgeous Lyndsy Fonseca). Only one minor problem … she thinks he’s gay (after all, what gay guy doesn’t attract the hottest females?). Of course Dave takes full advantage, after all there are only so many times you can say no to giving your “gal pal” a naked tan aren’t there?

Katie confides in Dave that she is being pestered by an ex, a drug dealer, and – as Kick Ass – her friend goes to give him a warning. Things are not turning out well, and indeed his life is in danger until a genuine ass-kicking heroine, the astonishingly tiny Hit Girl shows up. She dispenses choice language and colourful death in equal measure, and cleans up the baddies. All this under the watchful gaze of her father, the Batman costumed “Big Daddy” (Nicolas Cage).

Having apparently offed a number of his henchmen, local mafioso type Frank D’Amico (a very sinister Mark Strong, last seen dispensing mayhem in Sherlock Holmes) decides he needs to have Kick Ass killed – several attempts fail until D’Amico’s son, the reclusive and nerdy Chris (Christopher Mintz-Plasse aka McLovin!!!) comes up with a plan to lure Kick Ass into the open by becoming the superhero “Red Mist”.

The movie is relentless magic and mayhem from start to finish and its clear the screenwriter Jane Goldman (Mrs Jonathan Ross) had an absolute blast penning this – she was also the screenwriter of the magical Stardust, but that pales beside this work of genius.

I’ve not attended a movie at which the audience clapped, cheered, howled, tittered, groaned and covered their eyes in equal measure for quite some time. It’s a completely feelgood film which will genuinely have you laughing out loud and punching the air at times. The actors carry off their roles with some aplomb, but for me the big star is Chloe Moretz, who brings zest, life and an astonishing ability to shock to the role of Hit Girl (real name Mindy). She’s a pocket dynamo.

Johnson is very good in the lead role, he really is the typical nerd who tries to save the day and get the girl (will he, won’t he? Watch and see). Cage is also excellent, while Mark Strong seems to truly excel at the menacing bad guy role.

A total joy from minute 1, this is the most enjoyable 2 hours of cinema you can imagine. Forget the utter nonsense about a young girl swearing (it’s brilliantly funny and not overdone, and you hear far worse from almost every teenager) – and revel in the homage to every superhero movie you’ve ever seen. Utter, utter genius.

I recently said that Crazy Heart was my first 5 star movie of 2010. Now there are two.

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