Thirteen-year-old Chloe Moretz is the true star of this movie as the feisty fille-fatale Hit-Girl. Moretz provides an Oscar-worthy tour de force, shocking and side-splitting audiences and co-stars alike. Emma Watson eat your Burberry heart out.
Kick Ass grabs the superhero genre by its balls, taking ‘action-packed’ to towering heights. A surprisingly hard-hitting film, and superbly put together, moments of comic genius punctuate this real rollercoaster of a movie that soldiers on and on to do what it says on the tin and more.
Gorgeous big screen newcomer Aaron Johnson safely establishes himself as a Hollywood heartthrob in the lead role, whilst Christopher “McLovin” Mintz-Plasse delivers a fine performance as his arch-enemy to-be, restrained in the first half but suddenly intensely flavoursome as his character’s alter ego Red Mist evolves. Chris' take on a millionaire's bored son came across splendidly as a gentle parody of the contemporary British public school boy. Even Nicholas Cage isn’t as lame as usual, although sadly no performance can ever save his reputation after the Wicker Man remake/massacre.
The super hero combat in Kick Ass is brutal and cutting with all the relentless moral bankruptcy of a 1980s James Bond torture scene. Director Matthew Vaughn truly brings Mark Millar’s comic book series alive, creating vivid and seriously empowering fight scenes. In adopting a backdrop of realism this brutality is all the more effective and moving, leaving behind the whimsical romance of Gotham City and simply blowing the audience away with some hardcore fisticuffs.
Kick Ass achieves a cinematic civil partnership between macho and camp which is worthy of admiration, as cute teen star Aaron Johnson experiences a dual awakening of severely executed masculinity and sartorial splendour. When his character pretends to be gay in order to buy himself proximity to his crush, a good message certainly goes out to teen America, whilst his tight green catsuit is bound to have some viewers playing with their pause buttons when the DVD comes out.
Saving the best ‘til last however, it’s thirteen-year-old Chloe Moretz who is the true star of this movie as the feisty fille-fatale Hit-Girl. Moretz provides an Oscar-worthy tour de force, shocking and side-splitting audiences and co-stars alike. Emma Watson eat your Burberry heart out.
The movie also makes a respectable effort to embrace internet culture and online communities, with MySpace, YouTube and live-streaming all playing an important part in the plot development. Social networking and online research is so commonplace to all of us and yet few films have learnt how to embrace this way of living, still giving their characters A-Z maps instead of iPhones, so thumbs up for that.
It was cool how the baddie’s apartment was stuffed with notable artworks from the Saatchi collection too - Damien Hirst obviously, but more symbolically Andy Warhol’s revolver prints and a replica of Marc Quinn’s Bloodhead.
Kick Ass is both mainstream and arthouse, which is thoroughly enjoyable and provides a both thrilling and refreshing cinema experience. It has the luxurious production of a blockbuster and yet all the risqué joy of a festival movie.
Score: 8/10 – Go see it!
Read Peter Bradshaw's Guardian film review here