Saturday, April 17, 2010

KICK-ASS - Assinine Story, Cool Moves,

KICK-ASS (fantasy-comedy)
Cast: Aaron Johnson (pic), Nicolas Cage, Chloe Moretz, Mark Strong, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Lyndsy Fonseca and Evan Peters
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Screenplay: Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman, based on the comic book series by Mark Millar
Time: 115 mins
Rating: * * * (out of 4)

PREAMBLE: 'Kick-Ass' is both a name of a superhero-wannabe and the attitude of this movie. This is apt, given that it is adapted from a comic book series and filmed in the convention that is part comedy and part parody - and all-round kick-ass attitude. Youngsters who are comic book fans would certainly lap this one up.

Adults, however, may be a little concerned about its subplot about an under-aged girl messing about with guns and knives.

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? "How come nobody's ever tried to be a superhero?" wonders Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) who decides to suit up and fight crime as a costumed vigilante named Kick-Ass. After knocking about with some hoods and becoming an Internet phenomenon, Dave runs foul of a ruthless mobster (Mark Strong) who swears to kill him.

However, two local superheroes, Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) and his daughter, Hit-Girl (Chloe Moretz, left), are deep in the crime-fighting game, kicking ass and looking like Dave's salvation. To complicate matters, Kick-Ass has to contend with a new costumed hero named Red Mist (played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse).

HITS & MISSES: The intro sequences to Dave's Kick Ass character are bland. It is when 11-year-old Mindy, aka Hit-Girl, and her Dad show up that the comedy and parody get into top gear. After that, Moretz continues to dominate the movie - with Moretz going way over the top as the cute and efficient crime-fighter. Man, does she rock.

Cage supports admirably as the Batman-styled Big Daddy, eliciting both sympathy and disdain for training his young daughter all those commando and ninja-styled tricks. But wait, there is also the element of budding romance - between Dave and his school mate Katie (Lyndsy Fonseca) who is led to think he is gay.

Still, the main plot is formulaic and predictable but it is the irreverent twists and weird turns that make the movie fun to watch, especially for youngsters. The trailer may give the impression that Kick-Ass is a family film. It is not as it is rated R by the MPAA.

THE LOWDOWN: Cool awesome stuff, dudes!


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