Friday, April 16, 2010

Kick-Ass kinda kicks ass

There's a lot to love about Kick-Ass, the latest in a long list of comic book adaptions, which opens in theatres tonight. At the basis is the sweet nerdy kid in high school story, which melds nicely with the colourful hyper-violence of the comic book genre, and which is all swept along on a wave of Kill Bill-esque female revenge tale.

Aaron Johnson plays Dave Lizewski, an entirely average high school comic book nerd, whose only power is the ability to be invisible to girls. He and his friends lurk in the background of the teen dramas that are played out daily in school and on the streets, but eventually, tired of being victimized and witnessing others being victimized by thugs, Dave feels the need to assert his sense of morality. So he orders a scuba suit on-line and begins his transformation into the super hero, Kick-Ass.

After being seriously injured in a knife fight, he becomes a mascot of sorts for the family super-hero duo of Big Daddy (played with delicious bat-shit craziness by Nicholas Cage) and Hit Girl (a tiny but incredibly foul-mouthed assassin portrayed by the intensely watchable Chloe Moretz). By day, Big Daddy is a tortured comic book artist, and Hit Girl his far too worldly daughter. They live in a secluded world of weaponry and planning, preparing to exact vengeance with a glee that is at once disturbing and, well, gleeful.

I particularly liked the social realism of Kick-Ass' rise to fame via the internet, starting when his defence of a lone man against a gang of thugs is captured on dozens of cell phones, a moment which quickly goes viral. And like everybody, Kick-Ass spends far too much time tending his website.

I enjoyed Kick-Ass quite a lot. Not as much as the guy who laughed boisterously at scenes that only caused me to smile or snicker, but quite a lot. Kick-Ass strikes a nice balance between morality tale and revenge story, with a humour that is at times sweet and at times brutal. But even though Chloe Moretz steals the film, Nicholas Cage's cheesy mustache should get top billing.
Of course, Friday's aren't only for movie premiers; they are also for Random Playlists. Here's mine:

The Shoot First, Dance Later Friday Random Ten:

1. I don't have time to stand here with you fighting about the size of my dick | Ballboy
2. Folkloric feel | Apostle of Hustle
3. Why don't you find out for yourself | Morrissey
4. In the modern world | Jesse Malin
5. Nighttime anytime it's alright | the Constantines
6. Only love you for your car | Immaculate Machine
7. Skyway bridge | Melissa McClelland
8. To Pluto's moon | My Brightest Diamond
9. Sister lost soul | Alejandro Escovedo
10. Dance. dance. dance. | Lykke Li

Have a brilliant weekend, everyone. Leave the knives and guns at home.


Beth said...

I've been interested in seeing "Kick-ass." Now that it has the Zombie seal of approval, I simply MUST see it.

bloody awful poetry said...

I need to see this, if only for the sake of my geek boyfriend, Christopher Mintz-Plasse. What a wonderfully absurd name =D

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'm pretty sure you'll get a kick out of it, Beth. It's a rollicking good time.

His character is deliciously nasty, wimpy, and spoiled, BAP. You'll love him.

John Mutford said...

I suspect KickAss will suffer from finding the right audience. Maybe cult status?

Love Ballboy song titles.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I actually think it's going to be quite widely received, John. Maybe not Iron Man status, but pretty mainstream.

Charlie said...

You may be ageing somewhat on the outside, but you're still a kid inside where it counts. And that's a very good thing.

Song title #1 is, uh, rather different. I suspect that Dick Clark would not have played it on American Bandstand. (Or Canadian Banstand either.)

Allison said...

I am really looking forward to seeing this as well. I've heard nothing but good reviews, I hope it does well in the theatres.

I've fallen behind on my Friday Random Tens I need to post myself reminders!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

hahaha you said Dick, Charlie! I have to find the video of that song for you. I suspect you will enjoy it.

It's a fun film, Al, and nicely subversive.
Yes, you will have to set your alarm to FRT time.

Charlie said...

RICHARD Clark, I meant Richard.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Mr Clarke, to you, Charlie.