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.

Kick-Ass Trailer

Kick-Ass, based on the guilt pleasure comic of the same name by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. debuts on cinemas on April 16. It stars Aaron Johnson, Nicolas Cage and Superbad’s McLovin and is directed by Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake, Stardust).It’s all about the titular teen who, inspired by his love of superheroes, decides to become one himself, making fans, enemies and lots of costly mistakes along the way. Black humour, blood and a high-five to fanboys everywhere. Trailer below, though it doesn’t really give the film justice and plays it generally safe.

Watch This Space

Millar/Romita JrThe footage from a certain Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. film from Marvel has been in the works for a while now. Infact more work has been done on the film than the comic that inspired it. Footage was shown at Comic-Con and has now been leaked on-line. It’s graphic, with profanity and blood aplenty. Go here to see a few clips plus the trailer. The sound and picture quality aren’t the best to be sure, but you’ll get the picture. This film was made without a distributor attached, but now they’re lining up for it after seeing the response at Comic-Con. It looks like it could be the next Sin City -a real in your face film that crosses over to non-fanboys. The costumes are slightly different, but the over the top violence and black humour is certainly the same, and the use of the excellent Superman: The Movie theme music is strangely fitting. And if you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned the film yet, well, it’s called Kick-A**. There I said it. Almost. The film opens sometime next year and is directed by Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake).

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