Staring: Aaron Johnson, Garrett M Brown, Nicolas Cage, Chloe Moretz, Chris D'Amico
Premise: David, a typical nerdy teenager, ponders why people don't actually try to be superheroes. Not able to see the downside, he decides to try to be one and his life is changed forever.
Review: ***WARNING*** This film is ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY NOT FOR CHILDREN!! *** The R rating is well deserved and though the commercials paint the premise as somewhat light hearted, the subject matter digs deep enough and the violence escalats enough you should see the movie yourself before deciding if it's okay for kids younger than 16 or so.
I'm of two minds about this movie. I've been trying to hash this out in my head for a good half hour plus and I keep vacillating. So let's give it a shot.
For a good, ton of violence, bad guy stomping, comic book quoting movie - it's great! Any male geek and non-geek out there will love it. It has a lot of great lines, there's homage all over the place to comic books and superheroes and villains everywhere.
They don't hold back any punches in things dealing with teenage boys and what they think about and do. And the angst of trying to find your niche in life. Some of the situations are even comedic. But beneath the comedy they also broach deeper subjects.
Yet it is here that I think they failed. Even as they bring out the reasons why we as people do what we do and aren't dressing up in costumes or even putting ourselves in harm's way, they ignored others that directly relate to their subject.
SPOILER ALERT! Big Daddy has his reasons for doing as he has. That he would not hesitate to kill tainted and yet non-threatening people (or have his daughter do the same) was understandable. Yet the fact he crossed a line, not only killing killers but those who just happened to be associated with them, which made them not heroes but murderers was never broached. Kick-ass, as the comic book lover that he is, would have known this. It should have been a point the character should have at least thought of or commented on to us in his dialogues. But it was ignored just so more death could be had.
I'm probably making more out of it than I should, but it soured things for me. If you're going to make a movie about people being costumed heroes, who read about superheroes, you can't ignore this. Even the superheroes who cross the line and kill usually have problems murdering bystanders, regardless of who they're associating with. It was a subtle thing that for my years of comic book loving, I could not believe got overlooked or glossed over like it was. Again, it might just be me and a high moral horse. No one else in the group of us that went even mentioned it. Yet it screamed at me from the screen.
For a film trying to deal with costumed heroes in a realistic setting, they also stretched things quite a bit. To most, however, it probably won't make any difference.
I will say that the performances were pretty good all around, and I especially enjoyed Garrett Brown's performance as the evil mobster. Nicolas Cage was also a hoot. There were also a lot of unexpected turns, which was nice. The action scenes were pretty good, and though some with Hit Girl were way out there, there were still others with her that were definitely believable and very nicely done.
And Hit Girl, sorry, but if you're going to show me grenades and put them on, you really should use them! Two pin down sections could have been easily resolved if she'd used what she had! lol.
With a little more effort, Kick-ass could have really and truly kicked ass. Oh well...
So my advice, don't look too deep beneath the surface and just enjoy the ride. Will make for a better viewing.