Directed by Matthew Vaughn
Starring Aaron Johnson, Nicholas Cage, and Chloe Grace Moretz

5 out of 5 Arnolds
Based off the comic of the same name, Kick-Ass tells the pathetic story of Dave Lizewski. Not a jock, a goth, or a mathlete, Dave and his friends endlessly debate about superhero continuity and botched sexual conquests. Being ignored and/or crapped upon seems to be Dave’s only defining trait which makes him wonder why people are so self-absorbed and not full of “power and responsibility” like the heroes in his favorite comics. Disappointed by the narcissism that surrounds him in the real world, Lizewski purchases a superhero costume off of E-bay and takes to the streets as
a non-caped crusader called “Kick-Ass.” His attempt to make people give a damn actually
ends up starting a movement, one that raises the ire of the mob. This ignites an underground war for the city of New York, earning the film its name and embracing (and, in some small ways, improving upon) the source material’s love/hate-relationship with super heroes.
Kick-Ass is played by actor Aaron Johnson (Savages) and his performance is a hilarious send
up of Tobey Maguire from the Spider-Man films. However, it’s Chloe Grace Moretz’s “Hit-
Girl” that comes off as the film’s breakout star. One-half of a dynamic duo, this foul-mouthed, butterfly knife-twirling 13-year-old serves as the sidekick to “Big Daddy” (Nicholas Cage, delivering a dead on Adam West impersonation). Moretz’s character might polarize some, but you can’t help but marvel out how capable she is in the role.
Action A Go Go or Action A No No? Action A Go Go!
Upon its initial release in 2010, the late Roger Ebert blasted Kick-Ass for its depictions of violence against children. While I do agree with Ebert that the film is acerbic, I also feel that director Matthew Vaughn and screenwriter Jane Goldman need to be applauded for that exact same reason. Hollywood’s “four quadrant” thinking has made too many films safe and boring, pushing more and more movies onto the assembly line for PG-13 neutering. When something like Kick-Ass walks onto the scene, it has the ability to divide those quadrants, subvert popular concepts, and help us reevaluate and appreciate exhausted genres. Kick-Ass will never win any Academy Awards but it’s worth seeing for the simple fact that it probably has the biggest balls of any superhero story ever committed to film.