Following in the vein of such "super hero" movies like Sin City and The Watchmen, Kick-Ass offers the younger generation a chance to experience the angst and amorality of vigellantie justice.
Is it also a spectacularly fun time, packed with biting humor, jaw-dropping action scenes and all the trials that go along with growing up? You bet your ass.
Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) is just a regular, slightly nerdy high school kid who gets obsessed with the ridiculous notion that regular people can be super heroes too. Citing Bruce Wayne as his key piece of evidence (though Dave doesn't have Bruce Wayne's bankroll) he orders a wetsuit online, takes the moniker of Kick-Ass, and attempts to fight crime.
For Dave, it's more about trying to do something that he's only fantasized about, and maybe score some girls, while doing the right thing. For Damon (Nicholas Cage) and Mindy Macready (Chloe Moretz), otherwise known as Big Daddy and Hit Girl, it's about avenging an old frame-up, and a mother lost.
This would all come off pandering at best, patronizing at worst if it wasn't for the fact that the script is brimming over with super hero references, as well as name-checking classic films of the genre. It also doesn't hurt that when the action kicks in, it kicks in heavy.
Johnson is hilarious as Dave, a quasi-invisible high school student who pretends to be gay just to get close to a girl. Special praise also goes to Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin' from Superbad), playing Kick-Ass' nemesis, Red Mist.
The real winner is Moretz. Just like she did in (500) Days of Summer, she totally rocks every scene she's in, able to play pathos, or just run her extremely foul mouth with the best of them. She is definitely an actress to keep an eye on.
While certainly not for kids, Kick-Ass offers a window into what kids and teenagers go through as they come of age, and when that's mixed with the super hero genre, well, the title speaks for itself.
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