I haven’t enjoyed a comedy/action film recently as much as I enjoyed Kick-Ass. Rated at 75% on the Rotten Tomatoes tomatometer, it definitely lived up to expectations. And as much as I love random, no-thinking-required comedies, this one actually had a few good messages, and when you add in a Sin-City-ish ton of blood and a badass eleven-year-old, you’ve got a little something something.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s probably going to rub you the wrong way from the start. I mean it’s totally warped. You’ve got a father shooting his kid in the chest so that she can get used to the feeling of being shot (although later on we learn that he used “low-velocity” bullets…awww). Said kid swears like a sailor and kills bad-guys like a tiny ninja without blinking an eye. She reminded me of the school girl in Kill Bill. So it’s probably going to scrape against what’s been ingrained into you as socially acceptable because it really isn’t on many levels – little girls shouldn’t be foul-mouthed killing machines for one. That aside, it was a pretty good flick, but you have to put yourself in the mindset of Kill Bill. It’s going to be gory and off-putting but it’s going to be cool in its own sick twisted way.
So what’s Kick-Ass about? Dave is an ordinary high-school boy, more of a nerd than anything, and he asks the question of why don’t more people try to help others. Why aren’t there more real-life superheroes? After being mugged and bullied, he buys a costume online and tries to defend people, calling himself Kick-Ass. The first time he gets completely creamed (and stabbed) ending up in the hospital with all kinds of metal in his body and messed-up nerve endings. The second time he gets You-Tubed sticking up for a guy being beaten up by thugs, and suddenly Kick-Ass is an online superstar.
In his adventures, he meets two other “superheroes,” Big Daddy and Hit Girl who have their own agenda – to take down the big-boss kingpin drug dealer who framed Big Daddy and killed his wife. Hit Girl is eleven and is Big Daddy’s own mini-me killing machine (she asks for switch blades on her birthday…awesome!) Meanwhile the drug boss thinks that Kick-Ass is responsible for killing his men even though it’s really Big Daddy, so the drug boss’ son decides to dress up as a superhero (Red Mist) to lure in Kick-Ass and the other two. In the end Big Daddy and Kick-Ass are captured but are rescued by Hit Girl. Big Daddy dies a fiery death. Together, Hit Girl and Kick-Ass finish what Big Daddy started, taking down the drug boss in an adrenaline-filled, bullet-blasting, bloody extravaganza.
The messages I got from Kick-Ass are as follows:-
1) Don’t turn a blind eye to bullies
2) Stick up for people
3) Buy a wetsuit and some nunchucks
4) Learn kung-fu and keep your lunch money
5) Don’t let your kids watch this movie or get switch blades for their birthday
I would rate Kick-Ass three and half stars out of five. In Tarantino-esque fashion, it’s ingenious, irreverent, violent and vulgar, but like me, you’ll watch it and probably enjoy it.