I Can't Read Your Mind. But I Can Kick Your Ass.
"A ridiculously entertaining, perfectly paced, ultra-violent cinematic rush that kicks the places other movies struggle to reach. Chris Hewitt, Empire
|"How come nobody's ever tried to be a superhero?" When Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) -- ordinary New York teenager and rabid comic-book geek -- dons a green-and-yellow Internet-bought wetsuit to become the no-nonsense vigilante Kick-Ass, he soon finds an answer to his own question: because it hurts. But, over coming all the odds, the eager yet inexperienced Dave quickly becomes a phenomenon, capturing the imagination of the public. However, he's not the only superhero out there -- the fearless and highly trained father-daughter crime-fighting duo, Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) and Hit-Girl (Chloe Moretz), have been slowly but surely taking down the criminal empire of local mafioso Frank D'Amico (Mark Strong). And, as Kick-Ass gets drawn into their no-holds-barred world of bullets and bloodletting with Frank's son Chris (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), now reborn as Kick-Ass's arch-nemesis Red Mist, the stage is set for a final showdown between the forces of good and evil, in which the DIY hero will have to live up to his name. Or die trying...|
"Kick-Ass moves with such bloody assurance that you'd be forgiven for not seeing how smart it is. But smart it is. Smart, important and deadly. Richard Corliss, Time Magazine
Adapted from Mark Millar's hyper-violent comic book of the same name, director Matthew Vaughn's (LAYER CAKE) vigilante superhero film tells the tale of an average New York teenager who decides to don a costume and fight crime. Comic book geek Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) may not have good coordination or special powers, but that doesn't mean he isn't a fully capable crime fighter. After purchasing a flashy wet suit on the Internet, Dave starts busting up baddies with nothing but brute force. He calls himself Kick-Ass, and he can take a beating as good as he can dish one out. Before long, Kick-Ass has become a local sensation, and others are following his lead. Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) and Hit-Girl (Chloe Moretz) are a father-daughter crime-fighting duo who have set their sights on local mob heavy Frank D'Amico (Mark Strong). They're doing a decent job of dismantling Frank's sizable underworld empire when Kick-Ass gets drawn into the fray. But Frank's men play rough, and his son, Chris (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), is about to become Kick-Ass' very first arch nemesis. When Chris assumes the persona of Red Mist, the stage is set for a superhero showdown that could spell the end of Kick-Ass once and for all.
Cast & Crew
4 stars out of 5 -- "[An] action-filled and very funny flick....Vaughn delivers one rollicking and raucous set piece after another but never loses sight of the fun."
5 stars out of 5 -- "A ridiculously entertaining, perfectly paced, ultra-violent cinematic rush that kicks the places other movies struggle to reach."
4 stars out of 5 -- "The choreography is gloriously intense....The use of music is inspired throughout..."
"[A]n enjoyably supercharged and ultraviolent teen-rebel comic-book fantasy..." -- Grade: B
3 stars out of 4 -- "[T]he mocking tone and off-kilter vibe set this film apart. It even has a hearty dose of charm, thanks mostly to the most outrageous performance by a child in recent memory."
New York Times
"Ms. Moretz is by far the best thing about the film: she holds the screen as gracefully as she executes a running back flip."
Wall Street Journal
"The film, based on the comic by Mark Millar and John S. Romita Jr., is grungily stylish and often funny..."
Los Angeles Times
"This shrewd mixture of slick comic-book mayhem, unmistakable sweetness and ear-splitting profanity is poised to be a popular culture phenomenon....
"Directed by Matthew Vaughn with verve and a crisp, color-saturated visual sense, KICK-ASS should delight fans of the original comics and garden-variety action junkies as well."
3 stars out of 4 -- "KICK-ASS might be the most fun two hours you'll spend in a movie theater. It delivers the darkly comic laughs as well as the jaw-dropping action..."
3 stars out of 4 -- "[A] mosh pit of a comic-book movie that dares you to dive into its anarchy."
Sight and Sound
"KICK-ASS is an intelligent meta-comic that deploys familiar superheroic tropes and archetypes to explore all that is fractured and flawed in our decidedly non-super humanity."
4 stars out of 5 -- "All good, teen-savvy, pertinent stuff, spiked with laughs....Cage is a deadpan delight..."
ReelViews 9 of 10
We have entered the world of post-modern superheroes, where the concept of someone with special powers doing battle against the forces of evil seems quaint, almost boring. Batman is The Dark Knight. Superman is on hiatus because the most interesting thing about him is the John Williams theme. And Spider-Man is in the process of being rebooted because no one could figure out where to take the character. Yet, despite the trials and tribulations of some of the best-known comic book heroes, the genre is insanely popular, and that popularity gives rise to projects like Kick-Ass, which mock and embrace the conventions with equal zeal. Kick-Ass is part hard-core action flick, part parody, and part comedy. Done poorly, this sort of thing can be painful. Done well, as is the case here, it's a blast. It offers a "have your cake and eat it, too" experience - you can enjoy the exploits of a superhero while at the same time showing your hipness by laughing at some of the sillier clich?s. There are so many self-referential layers in this material that it's almost dizzying to contemplate them all...The intelligence and irreverence of Kick-Ass recalls similar qualities in director Matthew Vaughn's debut, Layer Cake. And, although this movie is not wall-to-wall jokes, nearly every instance of humor works, which is a rarity even for the most adeptly crafted comedies. More importantly, care is taken by the writers (Vaughn and Jane Goldman, adapting from Mark Millar's comic book series) and actors to flesh out the characters into the kind of living, breathing human beings viewers care about and root for. The underdog factor is in play - we get behind Kick-Ass because he's standing in for us. The best superhero movie since The Dark Knight (and far less serious in tone or approach), Kick-Ass earns its name in every way.
- James Berardinelli