Seventeen-year old Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) narrates his story. “Like most people my age, I just exist,” he says. Still, he wants to help people in trouble. Dressing like a superhero strikes him as a good way to fight street crime. So Dave becomes “Kick Ass,” a superhero with no superpowers. In a tight spot with drug-dealer Frankie D’Amico’s (Mark Strong) thugs, a real superhero saves Dave. She’s 11-year old Mindy Macready, aka “Hit Girl” (Chloe Grace Moretz) who, with her father Damon, aka “Big Daddy” (Nicholas Cage), intends to bring down Frankie’s criminal empire.
Can the unlikely trio of crime-fighters destroy Frankie D’Amico? Will Frankie’s teenage son Chris (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), pretending to be superhero “Red Mist,” betray the good guys? Do you have stomach for non-stop brutal violence and language from an 11-year old girl?
Young actors Aaron Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse are superhero-wannabe Kick Ass, highly trained superhero Hit Girl, and pretend-superhero Red Mist. They speak gutter language, drive fast cars and brutally dispatch dozens of people with no apparent psychological or moral qualms. Nicholas Cage as Big Daddy — revenge seeking ex-cop — loves his daughter, but never has a heart-to-heart about killing people. On her birthday, she gets matching switchblades. Maybe this is cool satire. If so, I didn’t get it.
Others in the cast include Mark Strong as bad guy Frankie D’Amico, who treats his 17-year old as if he were 10. Lyndsy Fonseca is Katie, the girl Dave wants to know better. She thinks he’s gay. Clark Duke and Evan Peters are Marty and Todd, Dave’s best friends. They think he’s gay, too. Stu “Large” Riley plays “Huge Goon.” Other cast members play other goons.
“Kick Ass” is comic-book carnage and non-stop R-rated language, perpetrated mostly by kids. Its attitude is defiantly in your face. Young adults in my audience found it funny. I didn’t. Matthew Vaughn directs the mayhem. He and Jane Goldman wrote the revenge drama script from Mark Millar and John Romita’s comic book. They pay homage to Batman and Spiderman as they send up superhero plot devices. They reference spaghetti westerns, torture porn flicks and “Sunset Boulevard,” but not with the élan of Tarantino. Altogether, it’s a mostly nasty business, relieved only by an underdeveloped fatherhood theme. The film contrasts Dave, Chris and Mindy’s fathers. All of them flawed, I’d say.
R-rated for pervasive strong, brutal violence and language, sexuality, nudity and drugs. A movie about kids only adults who like this sort of thing will want to see. Cheap laughs if you think kids talking dirty are funny. I can’t recommend this one.
Gangsters versus cop,
“Kick Ass” language, gore
Is way over the top.