Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
Written by: Jane Goldman, John Romita Jr., Mark Millar, Matthew Vaughn
Starring: Aaron Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz, Jason Flemyng, Mark String, Nicolas Cage
The belly laugh is one of those wonders of the world. An uncontrollable and sometimes frightening phenomenon, I have seen better men than myself cry (real tears), fart, cough up beverages from the nose and in one unfortunate case, piss themselves laughing. There have been two incidents where my dad laughed so hard during a movie that he had to leave the room with the fear that he might have a ‘scanners’ experience. One featured in the Blues Brothers had Dan Akroyd’s Elwood do a hand break backward somersault in the Blues Mobile while the pursuing Nazi car speeds off the impossibly high break in the bridge and one had Woody Allen’s android butler fight of a monstrous serving of instant whip pudding in The Sleeper. Fortunately for me, Kick-Ass has one such scene in it. So as not to waste it for you all, it mocks the big budget, CGI ‘payoff shot’. An example of which would be the ludicrous CGI punch up between Tom Cruise and Jon Voight at the end of Mission Impossible. Kick-Ass sticks two fingers up at CGI effects and you will find very little evidence of it during the many exciting, sometimes exhilarating and original (see the pitch black scrap) action set-pieces.
You can relax folks as this is the real deal. This is visually slick enough to stand with the countless mega budget blockbusters that will follow yet, inside, it is strongly independent with its abrupt shifts in tone (light to serious), humour (impeccably black to slapstick and back again) and emotions (you will root for these characters and care for whether the live or die).
A story is only as good the characters. Aaron Johnson, as Kickass, is full of innocent energy and goofy charm. Christopher Mintz-Plasse does incredibly well with the awkward character of Red Mist. Big Daddy (Nicholas Cage) and Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz – a revelation) naturally steal the show. By using them sparingly, when they do appear they take the movie to new levels of brilliance. If Bill Murray had the greatest cameo of 2009, then Cage undoubtedly has the gong for 2010. He is right on the money with his unhinged performance as Big Daddy.
I misjudged where this movie was going after 20 minutes and it proved to be much more. The final quarter is tension filled and ultra violent. I have rarely enjoyed myself at the cinema this much in a long time. The experience is made all the better by the fantastic soundtrack. Yet what takes this a notch above its superhero competitors is the range of emotions that you will feel including excitement, sadness, laughter and much more. It can disorientate the viewer but pull it off when it really shouldn’t. DJ said the preview audience at his cinema left with smiles on their faces and I did too. It is the first flick of 2010 that I can say with confidence that no one on this thread should miss. Go see it now, it really does (sorry) kick ass!! This is the bar that the rest of 2010 will have to better -bring it on!!!