Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz, Nicolas Cage
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Running Time: 117 mins
Kick-Ass is an American film about a teenager who decides to become a home-made superhero, to help others, save lives and kick ass, even though he has no powers or training.
This film is brilliant. It’s not just a funny and entertaining superhero flick, but also an intensely violent and rapid-paced comic book adaptation, filled with energy and excitement at every moment. With excellent performances across the board, brilliant visuals, a fantastic soundtrack, and stupendous directing from Matthew Vaughn, Kick-Ass is one of those films that will hook you entirely for its entire duration.
The reason that I loved this movie so much isn’t entirely because it’s an enthralling and exhilarating action ride, but thanks to how well it adapts the comic book style to screen. In a similar vein to the likes of Sin City and Scott Pilgrim, Kick-Ass is based off its own series of comics, but it seems to me that no film converts the genre so well on the big screen like this does.
For one, the way Matthew Vaughn directs this movie is exceptional. Apart from feeling perfectly paced and strung together from start to finish, Vaughn’s use of comic book tropes in real action works brilliantly. For example, the hyper-violence may seem a little much at first, but as the film goes on (and you get a bit more desensitised to it), it becomes a very appropriate and effective way of summing up the whole film.
With highly saturated red blood flying all over the screen, the most bizarre comic book weapons and costumes, and intensely frantic cinematography (which works an absolute charm in the final act’s action sequences), Kick-Ass actually becomes a whole lot more about the comic book action and excitement as it is about the laughs early on.
In fact, as enjoyable as the film is in the first act, with its Superbad-esque teen humour, it’s the incredible escalation in violence, thrills, fantastic music and comic book parodies that make it so exhilarating and memorable, and it’s pretty clear that the main contributor of that was Matthew Vaughn.
Although, there are some other people who do play a big role in making this film as brilliant as it is. I’ve already mentioned the expert cinematography, writing and directing, but the actors are all great too. In what is still Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s best performance to date, he’s hugely likable in the lead role, managing more than an awkward Michael Cera teenager, which really helps us get into the story in its early stages.
Matthew Vaughn gets the best out of absolutely everybody here, from Mark Strong to Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and even Nicolas Cage. However, there is one legendary performance here that we can’t ignore: a 12 year old Chloë Grace Moretz. Swearing her head off like no tomorrow, and impressing hugely with her comedic timing in the latter stages, she’s an absolute riot to watch, and completely owns every scene she’s in. Playing one of the most memorable and unique superheroes of recent years, she’s yet another embodiment of what makes this film so great.
Overall, I absolutely loved Kick-Ass. It’s a hugely entertaining, rapid-fire, violent and insane comic book adaptation done with expert style and humour from start to finish. Enthralling, hilarious and hugely memorable, this is one of the best superhero/comedy/comic book/action movies in a long time, and that’s why I’m giving it an 8.6.