Kick-Ass is a movie I have been looking forward to for some time. From the moment I first saw that trailer with the guy with the red wings strapped to his back who plummets to his death amidst a round of applause I knew I had to see it. I have not read any of the comics so I really did not know quite what to expect. I figured there would be plenty of cursing and plenty of violence. I knew there would be comedy and blood. What I did not know was the amount of depth, or lack thereof, the movie would have.
The movie is an interesting mash of amoral violent vigilantism and deconstruction of the superhero genre. This mash-up allows for a couple of different ways to enjoy the movie, each valid, and each worth exploring. I am not sure which one I prefer. I do know that the different takes will make for interesting multiple viewings. Each time you watch you can change your experience!
The one bad thing I can say is that the movie did not blow me away like I wanted it to. I accept this as my fault for going in with certain expectations. I generally try to keep them in check, but I am not a machine, I am a movie fan and it is difficult to keep that analytical mind sharp and focused. Of course, I would not have it any other way, I am nothing if not a mass of experiences, expectations, and biases. Now, this is all not to say the movie is bad by any stretch. Kick-Ass is a blast of adrenaline and a lot of fun. This movie makes dangerous activity entertaining. It feels good and makes me glad no one has really tried it in real life (although I suspect it would not last long before authorities stepped in; This move exists in a fantasy world after all).
Kick-Ass is comprised of two stories that weave together part-way through. We begin with Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), a bland, nearly anonymous high school student. He is a comic book fan and wonders why nobody has tried to be a superhero, not even a regular hero. It is a valid point, with all of the people who love comic books and love superheroes: why don't we read about people trying to do it for real? There has to be at least one person unbalanced enough to try.
Dave decides to give it a shot. He buys a makeshift costume and heads out onto the streets. It does not go too well, but Dave keeps trying and ends up an internet sensation, calling himself "Kick-Ass." Dave's attempts to be a superhero comprise the first part of our story. The second part involves the father/daughter duo of Damon (Nicolas Cage) and Mindy Macready (Chloe Grace Moretz), also known as Big Daddy and Hit Girl.