Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Aaron Johnson, Nicolas Cage, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Mark Strong, Michael Rispoli, Clark Duke, Evan Peters, Elizabeth McGovern, Jason Flemyng, Yancy Butler
Written by: Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman, based on a comic book by Mark Millar, John S. Romita Jr.
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
MPAA Rating: R for strong brutal violence throughout, pervasive language, sexual content, nudity and some drug use - some involving children
Running Time: 117
Date: 03/12/2010
IMDB

Kick Ass (2010)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Severe Heroes

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Comic book nut Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) wonders why a normal person simply can't put on a costume and be a superhero, and he gives it a try, becoming Kick-Ass. After a terrible beating, he gets his only superpower: a skeleton laced with metal braces and damaged nerve endings that lessen the sensation of pain. Not long after his debut, more heroes appear, including Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage), the 11 year-old Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz), and Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). A dangerous gangster (Mark Strong) decides to take out the heroes, who are starting to interfere with his drug operations. Everything comes down to an insanely bullet-ridden showdown.

Simply put, Kick-Ass is a lot of fun, but only for mature viewers and older teens. The skilled, confident Hit Girl is a disturbing character, both admirable and pathetic. She's strong but often cruel and ruthless, and the movie raises several questions about her age. Is she cool, and a great role model, or has she been cheated out of a normal childhood and forced to grow up too quickly?

Regardless, for older viewers the extreme violence, intense language, and overt sex actually help underline the kind of reckless, dangerous attitude of the movie. Director Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake, Stardust) balances several characters with brisk economy and punchy scenes, not unlike comic book frames. The movie only falters during its final third, when Vaughn lets the humor drop in order to wrap up the explosive story.

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