Kick Ass is based on a comic book series by Mark Millar that revolves around a high school nerd who one day decides to become a superhero. He buys a costume off the internet and goes onto the streets as “Kick Ass”. After a heroic act, he makes a name for himself and inspires others to become costumed heroes as well. The above basically describes the main premise of the film, which is quite an intriguing concept. This film contains endless violence and heavy profanity, so it is not a movie to show your kids.
There is a scene where Kick Ass attempts to jump from the roof of one building to another, an obvious homage to Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man film. In fact, Kick Ass has lots of references to other comic book properties and comic books in general. There is a comedy bit regarding Kick Ass’s mom that pokes fun at the overdone superhero origin story, which I thought was the funniest gag in the entire film. There are even scenes that take place in a comic book store, a subtle and clever way to make comic book fans feel at home.
The villain here is a brutal crime lord played by Mark Strong. His son is a Kick Ass fan who eventually becomes a superhero called Red Mist. Red Mist has a car that parodies the Batmobile, but he smokes in the car most of the time so his character is actually quite unlikable. I am not sure if the audience is supposed to love or hate the villains here, but this evil father-and-son pair is not very interesting, perhaps even forgettable on the whole.
There is a secondary storyline going on that involves a father and daughter duo played by Nicolas Cage and Chloe Moretz. After finding out about what Kick Ass is doing, they too put on costumes and fight crime as Big Daddy and Hit-Girl. This duo is probably one of, if not the best hero-sidekick story ever. I like the Nicolas Cage character who has a painful back story presented in motion comic form. Chloe Moretz is only 13 years old, but her acting is very impressive. She cuts and shoots her enemies in the most violent and efficient ways possible, creating some of the most over-the-top action sequences ever to grace cinema.
So if you wish to see an extremely violent and vulgar version of Spider-Man and Batman, you will love Kick Ass. If not, you might not make it through the whole movie. I liked the off-beat tone here, but the film didn’t really work as a whole. My final consensus is split in the middle, but leans slightly towards the positive side because of the awesome Big Daddy and Hit-Girl. (There is a scene where Nicolas Cage does an Adam West impersonation. LOL.)