*** Official KICK-ASS Review Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Simon Massey, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. Simon Massey

    Simon Massey Cinematographer
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    This has come out in UK so surprised there arent too many reviews

    Great film and very funny too. Never read the comic but it takes the piss and pays homage to superheroes in comics.
    Finally a film I like Nicolas Cage in but Hit Girl was by far the best character in the film (not sure who the actress was but she was very good.

    4 out of 5
     
  2. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    With no power comes no responsibility. Kick-Ass is ridiculously entertaining. I was grinning like a fool and laughing like a hyena all the way through it.
     
  3. Mario Gauci

    Mario Gauci Cinematographer

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    04/10/10: KICK-ASS (Matthew Vaughn, 2010)

    If not for the high recommendation from a Maltese film-buff friend of mine a couple of days ago, I would probably have skipped an immediate viewing of this unheralded gem of a comic-strip spoof at the local cinema and waited for it to become available as a DVD rental; for the record, that same guy had loathed Zach Snyder's epic superhero movie WATCHMEN (2009) which I had really dug myself only recently...so, even if I decided to follow his advice, I had my reservations on just how right he could be!

    Needless to say, judging by my uncharacteristically high rating for a contemporary genre film, my final verdict on KICK-ASS was in complete agreement with the latter's – who, incidentally, had also opined that "Quentin Tarantino would turn green with envy when he watches this"! Again, his comments were absolutely spot-on because here we also have a movie that is at once informed by – as well as being an analysis of – pop culture: naturally, in this case, the superhero/comic-strip phenomenon. But while in Tarantino's movies such wordy diatribes come off as vain show-offs by its fanboy writer-director by having them incongruously uttered by professional hit men or attractive chicks, in KICK-ASS they sound perfectly natural because it is nerdy schoolboys who deliver this kind of dialogue! Another Tarantino-esquire trademark lifted wholesale (and utilized well) is the presence of an eclectic soundtrack, since throughout this movie we are treated to samples from Ennio Morricone's "For A Few Dollars More", "The Banana Splits" (one of my favorite TV shows from my long-gone childhood days!) and even the music playing over the opening credits of the "Masters Of Horror" TV-series.

    Anyway, the men behind this brilliantly disarming piece of entertainment were also fairly unknown to me: original source writer Mark Millar had already been the creator of WANTED (2008) and director Matthew Vaughn had made the British crime thriller LAYER CAKE (2004; starring a pre-James Bond Daniel Craig) and STARDUST (2007; with Robert De Niro, Peter O'Toole, etc.); for what it is worth, I intend to track them all down in the coming days. Equally unknown and impressive was the young cast: Aaron Johnson (a Keith Gordon lookalike) is Kick-ass, 12-year old Chloe Moretz (soon to be seen in Matt Reeves' Hollywood remake of 2008's Swedish horror revelation LET THE RIGHT ONE IN) practically steals the show as the foul-mouthed, ass-kicking "Hit-Girl"; Lyndsy Fonseca is the lovely object of desire quietly lusted after by Kick-ass' geeky everyday alter-ego (and whom he only manages to hook up with by falsely "coming out"!), Mark Strong (as the town's leading mobster Frank D'Amico) and Chistopher Mintz-Plasse (as his overprotected kid who ingeniously lures Kick-ass into a deadly trap by dressing up as rival superhero "Red Mist"). The film also manages to accomplish a near-superhuman feat all of its own when it made me like Nicolas Cage as "Big Daddy" – Moretz' father and the one bona-fide article in the superhero stakes; Cage, an avowed comic-strip fan in real-life, had already appeared in the ludicrous GHOST RIDER (2007) next to Eva Mendes…with whom he has just appeared again in Werner Herzog's 2009 remake of THE BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL – NEW ORLEANS which, it goes without saying, I want to check out despite its dubious intent!

    While the single biggest laugh-out-loud moment in KICK-ASS for me comes at the very start of the film (with the ill-fated flight of another false 'superhero') and the sequel-inviting ending seemed somewhat misjudged – I would much rather have had the kid commit hara-kiri when he found the samurai sword, leaving the film to be a veritable one-off oddity – it is the sheerly audacious political incorrectness (having the young Moretz spitting four-letter words and hack limbs left, right and centre, not to mention be punched in the face and thrown around rooms herself!) that arguably makes KICK-ASS the coolest and most enjoyable superhero movie ever made! Hell, if this attitude catches on, now might make it the right time for me (and my twin brother) to unleash our own decade-old 'objectionable' script onto a more open-minded world…
     
  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Kick-Ass". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

    If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an
    Official Discussion Thread.




    Crawdaddy
     
  5. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    My 2 word review: Fairly Mediocre.

    The character of Kick-Ass ends up being Dave, a teenager with a hyper-sense of heroism (due to reading lots and lots of comic books) and over-active imagination that fuels a need to right wrongs he sees in real life. His unintentionally thoughtless heroics are captured on a camera-phone, and the footage spurs interest and confusion over who is responsible for disrupting the drug operations of Frank. The confusion is justified as the other vigilantes, Big Daddy and Hit Girl, are the ones really doing a number on Frank's operations and provokes Frank into hunting down Kick-Ass. Frank's son, Chris, gets into the fray when he offers up a play to draw out Kick-Ass. Eventually BD and HG's roles in disrupting Frank's operations comes to light.

    I can't count how many times I thought to myself that movie was pretty terrible in execution, in script, in concept during its running time. It's just such a flatline of a film, though it tries to jump-start many scenes with various musical score and cues or over-the-top violence, or even lame dialogue and lamer use of profanity (simply pointless and dumb), but it was simply ineffective because the direction is lazy and boring, and the story sputters and never really finds its footing.

    With an overlong and inept first 2/3 of the film, even the final 1/3 of the film with some sequences featuring Hit Girl and Kick-Ass doesn't quite salvage this film for me, as I found it virtually impossible to suspend my disbelief over what was happening on the screen. Others may enjoy it, but ultimately, I remained unimpressed. Tonally, the film was bit on the schizo side, not quite knowing whether to play it for real, or for surreal or even fantastical, even though it tried desperately to "keep it real" in terms of abilities and skills, in the end, it succumbs to even lazier plot cliches to keep the "heroes" from assuming room temperature prematurely.

    I give it 2 stars, or a grade of C.
     
  6. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I had a most enjoyable film experience this afternoon and thought the film was very funny with it's grotesque violence and profanity. A homage to previously filmed vigilante/comic book hero-type films that never took it self as seriously as some of those other films.






    Crawdaddy
     
  7. Cory S.

    Cory S. Supporting Actor

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    I have no qualms in saying that, no matter how great Iron Man 2 will be(it should be), it won't be the best comic book film of the year. Kick-Ass, just after one viewing, is bordering on classic status. I'm that sure about it. It'll rest in my top five of the year when it's said and done.

    Four and a half, out of five stars.
     
  8. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    Already briefly covered in the Discussion thread.

    This was an interesting film to watch. It had a huge amount of hype (in the geek circles). It is based on (another) recent and "ultraviolent" comic. And it was another film from Matthew Vaughn. I was REALLY impressed with Layer Cake (from 2004) and finally got around to Stardust (another comic adaptation) last year. I also remember he had been tapped for X3, but wisely bailed when he saw the writing on the wall. The guy can direct a movie.

    Mark Millar doesn't work for me. He has great ideas, but his execution of them tends to be flawed, often fatally. This story rides the same sort of vulgar wish-fulfillment as Wanted did (another story of his that managed to get a visionary director). I am hardly what you would call a mature 35 year old, but this type of storytelling just seems juvenile. Alan Moore really did what you could do with this, and it feels like Millar's stuff is circling the drain of that ouevre.

    I had three main thoughts and several ancillary ones during the film. I enjoyed the beginning, got really bored in the middle, loved the end of the 2nd Act and beginning of the 3rd (more on that in a minute), and then just waited for the inevitable end.

    I'll save the discussion point for that thread, and try and focus on the two that are review-centric.

    1) Matthew Vaughn is tremendously gifted. He can go high energy and slow burn with ease, and his films are well edited. These action scenes are spectacular...some of the best in a while (and I love a good action scene). The middle two (Warehouse Big Daddy and Rescue Hit Girl) are easily the highlights. I'll discuss these elsewhere (spoilers), but when I loved the film, it was three scenes I loved, two of them these action scenes.

    The rest of film had some laughs, but it just didn't gel for me. I thought the acting was good, especially with the tricky balancing act between tones. I thought the flashback scenes were great (JR Jr art, which was nice to see, considering he drew the comic). And honestly, a nice use of Nic Cage. This was a good role for him, and he completely delivered. In every scene he had to.

    But it Kick-Ass' film. I just didn't care too much about that story. When he said his big line during the early fight scene (the youtube one), it really worked for me. But that was it. He stagnated the next hour or so, before doing a little bit at the end. And it wasn't action I wanted from him, but perspective. Oh well.

    Mark Strong was great, but he was playing a heavy. Old hat for him. I'm sure I was supposed to be unsettled by the violence and language, but I've seen much worse. Or the little kid cursing, but again, that is 30 years old if you want to shock (DKR and Miracleman did it a LONG time ago). The storyline that I enjoyed (obviously) was BD and HG. Cage imbued some pathos into the story, and Chloe Moretz paid it off handsomely. A tighter connection to Kick-Ass (at some level, might have helped).

    2) And here is the secret MVP of the film for me: John Murphy. They re-used his "In a House - In a Heartbeat" piece (from 28 Days Later) for the BD warehouse scene, and then re-used his "Adagio from Sunshine" for the HG rescue. You could cut a 2-4 minute scene of me dropping a deuce to either of those cuts, and it would be epic. That is how great those scores are. And they worked fantastically in the film.

    But overall, I was hoping for more. It solidified my opinion of Vaughn, and it will sell me a Blu-Ray for the two scenes alone. But I doubt I'll watch much of the rest of it. It's not bad. It's actually good. It's just uninteresting for stretches of time. My worthless rating reflects how much I loved those two sequences though. And the score for them.

    8/10,
    Chuck
     
  9. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    Enjoyable enough film. The one thing I did find ironic was that despite the attempt at being "realistic", in the end it's movie make-believe. I very much enjoyed the music choices, including that banana split song that keeps running in my head, and the "for a few dollars more" theme.

    Did anyone else think that Chloe Moretz is very reminiscent of the young Jodie Foster? If course, Foster never did this kind of action picture. It'll be interesting to see if Moretz can make the transition to adult actress.

    By the way, there's a lot of attention paid to:

    her saying "cunt" and "cock", but I think my favorite line is when she says "show's over, motherfuckers".
     
  10. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    I just finished watching this, twice. Such and excellent film, well done on all accounts.
     
  11. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    I finally watched this today and I must say I found it ridiculously repulsive, reprehensible and putrid...yes, I'm one of those.


    I couldn't find the words to fully describe my disdain for this garbage that many are falling for as the end all be all of comic book films even though it hasn't a brain in it's socially-destructive head so I scoured Rotten Tomatoes and found a guy who best captured my thoughts on it...


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/reviews/article-1262948/Kick-Ass-Dont-fooled-hype--This-crime-cinema-twisted-cynical-revels-abuse-childhood.html


    What a horrible, and scary, testimony to what people will eat up now and throw tons of money at, a sad statement that we now officially live in a society so desensitized by violence and the most amoral behavior that we can no longer recognize it when it's staring us in the face and begins to invade our films as it has here.


    I don't know which is worse, the idea that we can no longer see it or we do see it and choose to throw up our hands and accept/ignore it and make a film that displays it so disgustingly as this one does a box office success. The ad campaign for this film was maliciously deceptive, making it appear like light fair that you could take the family to but instead is a wolf in sheep's clothing waiting to ensnare unsuspecting parents who have fallen for it's sugary trailers.


    My hope is they caught on quick and left the theater with their kids before they were subjected to this Hit Girl monstrosity.


    Nah, keep your Hit Girl, I like my heroes to be, ya know, heroic, not 11 year-old psychotic, foul-mouthed serial killers, yes I know it was satire but it doesn't even work on that level as it couldn't make up it's mind what it wanted to do, at first embracing the trappings of comics and then turning on them and attacking them.


    I read some reviews that even eluded that it's somehow superior to The Dark Knight and Iron Man, calling those films "traditional" as if we're somehow now getting tired of good quality comic book films...not in a million years can this mess touch either of those fine films.


    EDIT: On second thought, I guess I did a pretty good job of finding the words lol.
     

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