The latest Marvel Comic to get the Hollywood treatment is surprisingly not out of the much hyped Marvel Movie Studios. Kick-Ass, the foul-mouthed, ultra-violent movie take on the comic of the same name debuted to a large amount of fan fare and an equal amount of bewilderment. The real question is, can a superhero movie not based on a well known and established character float on its own? I’m here to say, yes it can, but only if it Kicks Ass.
I know what you are thinking, why isn’t this produced by Marvel? Well, Kick-ass the comic is published under the Marvel Imprint Icon. Icon is a line of creator owned franchises. That’s right, Disney does not own Kick-ass and that’s probably a good thing. Otherwise, this movie would not have made it into theaters as is
Kick ass is a crime fighter persona created by a teenage boy that wonders why people haven’t ever tried being super heroes. He has no powers (unless you count being comedically naive) and is driven by one thing, the thrill of being a hero. A few carefully placed superhero actions gets Kick-ass a reputation and the story spirals into craziness from them.
I’m not going to give away spoilers, but I do want to talk about the qualities that helped the movie shine. First off, it gets an A+ for casting. Choosing a new face as Kick-ass kept the focus on the character and not the actor. Nick Cage is actually really good as Big Daddy. He plays the part well because its the kind of part Nick Cage was born to play…the supporting cast. Hit Girl has the look of an innocent girl scout but the mouth of a filthy Russian assassin. The rest of the cast fits nicely into place in the fiction without drawing too much attention away from the overall direction of the movie. Even Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin) does well fitting into his role.
Kick-ass, as a movie, flirts with deeper meaning in its portrayal of the everyman becoming a hero. It touches on hope and human betterment, but somehow balances that with alarmingly brutal vigilante justice. Its taken alot of flack for having murderous protagonists, but not everyone can be Batman or Spiderman. Some heroes kill and seeing it on the big screen in some form other than The Punisher is kind of relieving. If you could take equal parts American Pie, Watchmen, (insert mafia movie here) and a Kevin Smith flick you would have a good idea of what to expect from Kick-ass.
At times it is laugh out loud funny and at other times I found myself astonished at the level of polish on the action sequences, specifically the ones with Hit Girl. After reading a synopsis of the comic the movie sticks pretty close to the original story. A few creative liberties are taken, but they are small and help give the story a broader appeal. The biggest changes were made to the Big Daddy character, again, part of the secondary cast. The character of Kick-ass almost takes a fish out of water approach to crime fighting, which translates well into the comedic charm of the film. The whole experience is very tongue and cheek, with it being very obvious that the costumes are supposed to be cheesy.
I am highly recommending you go see Kick-ass. Just keep in mind that it has hard R rating. Many of the scenes are not grandmother friendly and some of the violence may be to outlandish for kids to handle or even understand. That’s probably the only problem with the movie. Not that its too violent, but that it’s target audience is so tiny. This movie will appeal to males from 13 though 35 with the majority of those skewing younger. Millions of kids that want to see this movie simply can’t get in to see it, and at the other end many potential fans think its a kids superhero movie.
For a comic book that has been around for literally 2 years, it produced a highly entertaining and socially relevant movie.
Verdict – That C-bomb can get nasty.