While the movie might not set the comic book action-comedy flick genre afire, Kick-Ass is an excellent entry that does comic book action-comedy flicks justice based on Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.‘s graphic novel. It’s a perfect blend of black comedy, social commentary and over-the-top violent action that makes this an entertaining jaunt well worth taking if you’re the type who lost hope in seeing a good comic book-themed movie.
The movie follows the exploits of Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), a High school student who is largely ignored by everyone except for his two fellow comic book loving friends. He’s about the only one who wonders why somebody doesn’t become too frustrated with doing nothing while good people are hurt by bad elements that they’re compelled to don a costume and fight crime. He’s also the only one who actually does something about it so he buys a cheap green costume online and decides to begin his life as a costumed crime fighter with bad results.
However, Dave’s life changes as a result of his failed attempt as he not only becomes close friends with the girl he likes (she thinks he’s something he’s not) and his next attempt gets him some attention from a large internet following after his battle with a group of thugs is recorded and posted on YouTube. Thus begins the career of Kick-Ass, the costumed hero.
Meanwhile, a father (Nicolas Cage) and his pre-teen daughter (Chloe Moretz), are fighting crime their own violent way as they target a crime boss Frank D’Amico (Mark Strong) as Big Daddy and Hit Girl. When he hears that a costumed vigilante is messing with his business, said crime boss assumes that it’s Kick-Ass and puts a hit on him. When that fails, the mobster’s son (played by Superbad’s Christopher Mintz-Plasse), assumes the role of a fellow crime fighter named Red Mist to win Kick-Ass’ confidence and thus set him up for a hit.
Befriending Big Daddy and Hit Girl, though, Kick-Ass discovers that he’s not alone as they go up against an entire crime family.
The best parts of the movie belong to Hit Girl who is not only a great character but also a small destructive force that is surprising. Kick-Ass’ alter ego is also a likeable kid who suddenly gains the confidence to tell the girl he likes his true feelings as well as reveals his secret identity. Even Red Mist’s alter ego is interesting as he tries to become a part of his father’s crime syndicate and yes his character leaves room for great sequel possibilities.
The Blu-ray release comes with the DVD version of the film as well as a digital copy that makes it easy to install on an iPod or other portable player. The extra features are worth a view, especially a comparison between the movie and the graphic novel. There’s an audio commentary track as well by director Matthew Vaughn and featurette about the filming of the movie. Sadly, there’s no digital copy of the graphic novel as it was rumored so we highly recommend you pick up the graphic novel either way.
Kick-Ass on Blu-ray is a worthy watch and a worth watch if you like a your superhero-themed movie with plenty of black humor as well as plenty of blood. It’s hard not to sound like a fan boy when talking about this movie but if you give it a chance and have fun with it, Kick-Ass will not fail to entertain.
OVERALL BLU-RAY GRADE: A-
Reviewer: Ian Mintz