Director: Matthew Vaughn
A nerdy high school student decides to become a superhero, even though he lacks any sort of powers or training…or even reason.
I was very excited to see this film, it had everything it needed to get me to the theater – good cast, great director, awesome looking action, and seemed to be pretty funny too. I am a huge fan of action movies, I don’t even need much of a plot, just some stylish and over-the-top action scenes will do (hence why I am a big fan of films like The Transporter trilogy or Hard Boiled). Though I did enjoy the film, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. The first half of the film is great, very smart and hilarious…it’s the film’s second half or so where it gets a little too serious and loses a bit of its pacing (apart from the exquisitely executed action scenes set to great music).
First of all, pretty much the entire cast did a great job, most notably Chloe Moretz, Nicolas Cage, and one of my favorites Mark Strong. Moretz plays the foul-mouthed and brutally dangerous Hit-Girl, who is 11 years-old. That being her age, it may disturb some people to watch her brutally murder a great deal of bad guys. You can take these scenes as just all out crazy satirical fun, or you can take them as offensive and disturbing. It really went both ways with me, but next to her father Big Daddy (Cage), she has the best action scenes in the film. Big Daddy’s scene I had recently posted on this site, is much better in the theater, especially when that music blares. Cage’s Big Daddy acts like Adam West did in the original live-action Batman series from the 60s, and it truly is a great homage to the camp that West soon became king of. Along with Moretz and Cage, Strong was a lot of fun to watch. Having already proven to be a great villain in the recent “Sherlock Holmes”, he gets to play “Goodfellas” here and even gets a fight scene or two (the man can deliver a mean roundhouse).
I am a big fan of director Matthew Vaughn, but when you start off your career with a film like “Layer Cake”, what may be the best gangster film since the aforementioned “Goodfellas”, you really have a lot of work ahead of you. While “Kick-Ass” is definitely not his debut’s equal, it certainly shows a step in the right direction. Vaughn gets to show off some amazing levels of visual style and comic timing, where the film is at its best.
The problems with the film lie in the editing room. Standing at just under two hours, there could have been at least 10 minutes or so cut from the second half of this film and it would have been more enjoyable and better paced. I recommend this film with caution as there is a great deal of bloody violence, as well as consistent language. It’s a very well done film with some great laughs and impressive action scenes.
Rating: R – strong brutal violence throughout, pervasive language, sexual content, nudity, and some drug use – some involving children
Runtime: 117 minutes