Kick-Ass Review

I won’t necessarily say that I can’t see what all the fuss is about, because I can understand how seeing a pre-pubescent girl wielding a samurai sword, and a variety of guns while swearing can be jarring. However, I’ve read all the issues of the comic and it’s a lot more in your face on the page. What is sorely lacking from the transition to celluloid is the dark humour, and the likeable aspects of protagonist and titular vigilante Dave Lizewski.

It’s certainly a fanboy film, and comic creators Mark Millar and John Romita Jr, and film director Matthew Vaughan (Layer Cake) know their target audience well. From the Superman-like intro credits to the many scenes set in Atomic Comics, it is an experience for comic readers who can embrace the silly aspects of the superhero, with Nic Cage doing his best Adam West Batman impression, and Kick Ass hitting the streets in a green wetsuit. What is missing is the sense of fun, which does arrive too late at the film’s emotional and satisfying climax. Aaron Johnson is a fine actor, but he’s overshadowed in his own film, by baddie Mark Strong, Chloe Moretz as Hit Girl and Christopher Mintz-Plasse as the fumbling Red Mist. It’s not long into the film that Kick Ass deviates from the source material (particualarly in who dies and who lives) but with only 8 issues released in 2 years, the film makers had a lot of room to move.

It is an enjoyable film, but not as ‘out there’ as I expected. There’s no nudity or excessive swearing or intestine spilling. And that’s certainly a good thing. Any Tarantino film pushes the envelope more than this in respect to blood letting. Raising issues of family, friendship and standing up for your fellow man may get lost in all the gaudy costumes and gunplay, but don’t dismiss this film straight away. It’s not another great cross-over film with daring and artistic mass appeal like say, Sin City was, but at the same time, it does stand out more as a parody amongst the horde of comics films that have landed on cinema screens in the last few years and proves that even sequential art can be self referential rather than self reverential.

Batman: Under the Red Hood Trailer and Pics

They keep cranking them out, but they keep getting better. Thanks DC! Details below about July’s animated film based on the resurrection of Jason Todd, the second Robin.

GOTHAM CITY MEETS A NEW VIGILANTE WITH A MYSTERIOUS, VIOLENT TWIST IN

BATMAN: UNDER THE RED HOOD STELLAR VOICE CAST FEATURES BRUCE GREENWOOD, JENSEN ACKLES & NEIL PATRICK HARRIS IN

ALL-NEW DC UNIVERSE ANIMATED ORIGINAL MOVIE FROM WARNER HOME VIDEO ON JULY 27, 2010

SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY AND 2-DISC SPECIAL EDITION DVD INCLUDE DC SHOWCASE SHORT, JONAH HEX

Batman confronts new enemies, old foes and painful memories when a powerful vigilante with a penchant for violence comes to Gotham City in the intense graphic-novel-come-to-life Batman: Under the Red Hood, the next entry in the popular ongoing series of DC UNIVERSE Animated Original PG-13 Movies coming July 27, 2010 from Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation. The full-length film will be distributed by Warner Home Video as a Special Edition version on Blu-Ray™ and 2 disc DVD for $29.99 (SRP) and $24.98 (SRP), respectively, as well as single disc DVD for $19.98 (SRP). The film will also be available On Demand and for Download.

The stellar voice cast has Bruce Greenwood (Captain Pike in the 2009 blockbuster Star Trek) donning the famed cowl as the voice of BatmanSupernatural star Jensen Ackles is Red Hood, and Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) voices Nightwing. John DiMaggio (Futurama) and Jason Issacs (the Harry Potterfilms) round out the main cast as The Joker and Ra’s Al Ghul, respectively.

Batman: Under the Red Hood is scripted by award-winning comics writer Judd Winick and based on his popular 2005 comics storyline and subsequent comics graphic novel of the same name. Animation guru Bruce Timm returns as executive producer, as he has for all eight DC Universe animated original movies. Director is Brandon Vietti, who served as co-director of Superman Doomsday and was responsible for the first one-third of that film, including the fatal battle between the two title characters.

In Batman: Under the Red Hood, Batman faces his ultimate challenge as the mysterious Red Hood takes Gotham City by firestorm. One part vigilante, one part criminal kingpin, Red Hood begins cleaning up Gotham with the efficiency of Batman, but without following the same ethical code. Killing is an option. And when The Joker falls in the balance between the two, hard truths are revealed and old wounds are reopened.

Fans will be treated to an incredible package of DC Universe storytelling as the Special Edition Blu-Ray and 2-Disc Special Edition DVD include the second animated short in the all-new DC Showcase series – which features the popular DC Comics character, Jonah Hex. The short is scripted by renowned author Joe Lansdale and stars the voices of Thomas Jane (Hung), Linda Hamilton (The Terminator), Michelle Trachtenberg (Mercy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Michael Rooker (Days of Thunder).

Batman: Under the Red Hood – 2 Disc Special Edition DVD will have more than two hours of fascinating bonus features, including:

  • Featurette – Robin’s Story – It was decided it was time to add a fresh face into the story mix, which turned out to be Dick Grayson, aka Robin. This is the story of Dick Grayson and how he transformed into Robin, with Batman as his father-figure role model.
  • Extended Sneak Peek at the next DC UNIVERSE Animated Original PG-13 Movie.
  • Widescreen (1.78:1)
  • Two title-themed episodes from of Warner Bros. Animation’s 20-year history of Batman television series, hand-picked by animation legend Bruce Timm.

Batman: Under the Red Hood Special Edition Blu-Ray will have more than three hours of bonus materials, including all the great extras from the 2-disc Special Edition DVD as well as:

  • Featurette: Death in the House of Batman – The story of how DC Comics heard the fans’ cry that the new Robin was not going to fit the cape, and how the Boy Wonder was scheduled to die.
  • Two additional bonus Batman-themed episodes personally selected by Bruce Timm
  • Digital copy

Batman: Under the Red Hood is another terrific entry in the groundbreaking series of DC Universe animated movies, a shining representation of the adult storytelling that comics-turned-to-film has to offer, and further evidence of the combined creative power within the collaboration of DC Entertainment, Warner Premiere, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Home Video,” said Matt Bierman, Senior Vice President Production, Warner Premiere.

“Judd Winick’s and Doug Mahnke’s story of a Robin gone wrong introduced Batman’s most personal enemy to date.  It’s unbelievably cool to see it brought to life like this,” said Geoff Johns, Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment.

“With each exciting new chapter of the DC UNIVERSE films, fans have come to expect more – and Batman: Under the Red Hood delivers with an action-packed tale of mystery and emotional struggle brought to animated life by an outstanding filmmaking crew and voiced by the all-star talents of Bruce Greenwood, Jensen Ackles, Neil Patrick Harris and John Dimaggio,” said Amit Desai, WHV Vice President of Family, Animation & Partner Brand Marketing.

“In his feature length solo directorial debut, Brandon Vietti has brought this dark, psychological thriller to the screen with all the action and emotion of a great Batman story,” said Sam Register, Executive Vice President, Warner Bros. Animation.”