Kick-Ass (15)

The ViewBristol Review

Review byMatthew Turner01/04/2010

Five out of Five stars
Running time: 112 mins

Brilliantly written and superbly directed, this is terrific fun from start to finish, thanks to colourful, inventive production design, fabulous fight scenes and pitch-perfect performances from Aaron Johnson and Chloe Grace Moretz.

What's it all about?
Directed by Matthew Vaughn, Kick-Ass is based on the comic by Mark Millar and stars Aaron Johnson as nerdy New York teenager Dave Lizewski, who decides to make himself a superhero suit and fight crime under the secret alter-ego Kick-Ass, despite not having any powers. Naturally, Dave immediately gets beaten to a pulp but thanks to YouTube he quickly catches the attention of both the city and local gangster Frank D'Amico (Mark Strong), who thinks Kick-Ass is responsible for killing several of his henchmen.

However, Frank's nemesis is actually ex-cop Damon Macready (Nicolas Cage), who fights crime as Batman-alike Big Daddy and has turned his 12-year-old daughter Mindy (Chloe Grace Moretz) into a pint-sized, purple-wigged killing machine known as Hit Girl. Meanwhile Frank's son Chris (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) creates rival hero Red Mist and hatches a plan to unmask Kick-Ass in order to impress his father.

The Good
Despite dodgy performances elsewhere, Aaron Johnson proves remarkably adept at playing an American teenager, nailing the accent and delivering a likeable, sympathetic performance as Dave. Mark Strong is excellent as always and there's also strong comic support from Clark Duke and Evan Peters as Dave's best friends, while Nicolas Cage is perfectly cast as Big Daddy, managing to channel both Adam West (his Big Daddy voice is hilarious) and William Shatner and layering in a hint of unhinged nerdiness that works well.

However, the film is completely stolen by Chloe Grace Moretz, who's simultaneously adorable, foul-mouthed, hilarious and unspeakably violent; her fight scenes are thrillingly shot and genuinely exciting to watch.

The Great
The excellent script (co-written by Jane Goldman) is packed with quotable lines and laugh-out-loud moments and even manages to work in a subtle message about helping those in need. In addition, the film has a terrific soundtrack and the colourful production design is extremely impressive, while the direction is consistently inventive, particularly during the fight scenes.

Worth seeing?
Kick-Ass is a hugely enjoyable, brilliantly directed comic book flick that's both genuinely thrilling and laugh-out-loud funny. In short, Kick-Ass kicks ass. Unmissable entertainment.

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Kick-Ass (15)
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