Kick-Ass, directed by Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class, Layer Cake), sees Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), a very average, slightly geeky, comic book loving teenager, become something he could only dream of; a super hero. What super power(s) does he have I hear you asking, well, I can tell you, it’s a slightly dulled sense of pain. This is not even due to a spider bite or a radioactive accident; it comes as a result of a good old fashioned running over. Now Dave, aka Kick-Ass, must team up with other self declared “superheroes” and enter into the fight of his life, but will the good intensions and solid enthusiasm be enough to defeat the enemies which stand before him?
As some of you may know, Kick-Ass is based on a comic book, which director Matthew Vaughn has stayed as true to as possible. Now I can’t vouch for the story being close to the books as I have never read them, but the way in which the film was directed definitely screams, comic! The technique used to link scenes together with an illustrated style caption in the corner e.g. “meanwhile across town” is just one example. I think credit has to be paid to the costume department as the superheroes’ outfits, hair and make-up were just fantastic.
Aaron Johnson who plays Kick-Ass, is a relatively unknown actor with only a few smaller roles in some average films. Kick-Ass was definitely Aaron’s time to shine and show us what he can really do. Granted around 50% of his parts were played with him masked as the costumed vigilante but I do not take this away from his performance which he did wonderfully. As you can tell from the first scene, Aaron’s character is not 100% geeky; he is definitely not scrawny and is rather tall so he is not your typical Michael Cera, Jesse Eisenberg geek. This is why Aaron was perfect for the part, a splendid mix between your average Joe and comic book geek.
A pleasant surprise for me was to see Nicolas Cage playing the part of Big Daddy, a batman style superhero with one difference, he kills every bad guy he encounters and kills them quite spectacularly. Nicolas was very good in the picture, no, it didn’t stretch him as an actor, but it isn’t that type of film and for the part, provided him, I think he performed brilliantly. Another highlight of this film was Chloe Moretz who played the vicious little superhero, Hit-Girl. Chloe is a hugely talented actress with some excellent films already under her belt such as The Amityville Horror and a personal favourite of mine, 500 Days of Summer. She is a young actress I suggest you keep your eye on; she is only going to improve, if that’s even possible.
So Kick-Ass, I can safely say, has made it onto my list of favourite films. It is funny, serious and packed full with colourfully costumed, wonderfully odd and altogether strangely inspiring action and adventure. This is definitely a film not to be missed, even if you watch it a year after it has been released, like myself. I have heard it been announced there will in fact be a Kick-Ass 2, and I, for one, will be at the cinema this time enjoying it how it was meant to be experienced, on the big screen.
Oliver Willis is from the UK and is currently studying Film Studies & Journalism at university. He hopes to become a film journalist that writes about both independent and mainstream films. Oliver writes for a few websites and he also has his own blog where he writes about/review/promote various independent films.
Written by Oliver Willis (Robbent.com Film Journalist)
Edited by Romane Orlando Robb (Executive Editor)