Viewed – 31 March 2010 Cinema
To say I have been looking forward to this one would be an understatement. Ever since hype generated from the 2009 comic-con, the teaser trailer, and quite simply, the concept alone – I have been wanting to see this for a long time. Following the story of nerdy teenager Dave Lizewski who has always had an ambition to be a costumed superhero, one day he finally plucks up the courage to realise his dream and orders a suitably eye-catching costume over the internet. Of course as you can imagine, the idea of a real teenager becoming a superhero, with no particular powers, just cast-iron balls and a yearning to be noticed (he’s invisible to the opposite sex, it seems) is going to be met with guffaws by anyone who comes into contact with him, as is quickly shown when he tries to take on a couple of petty muggers and comes (very much) worse off. Yet he is not the only wannabe crime fighter at large, and after becoming an internet sensation he attracts the attention of two real costumed heroes, namely the pint-sized Hit Girl and her mentor Big Daddy, a seriously bad-ass Father and Daughter duo with a grudge against the local mob outfit.
Matthew Vaughan’s incredibly imaginative movie seems like one of those ideas you can’t believe nobody has done before. These heroes aren’t in an alternative world, where the villains are caricatures and every scrap ends with a comical one-liner and a cheer from the audience – this is the real world, with real dangers, and these guys are up against it with the possibility of getting themselves easily killed at any moment. It’s refreshing, and insanely cool, helped immeasurably by a stellar cast including seasoned bad guy Mark Strong and a brilliantly complex Nicholas Cage. But let’s be honest here, it’s the younger end of the cast that shine the most, with newcomer Aaron Johnson carrying the movie as the gutsy but naive Dave / Kick-Ass with some dead-pan narration along the way. Also on hand is nerdy favourite Christopher Mintz-Plasse as the mob boss’s under-appreciated son. Yet all these are completely overshadowed by the wonderful Chloe Moretz as the brilliant Hit-Girl / Mindy, a whirlwind of expletives and violence cooler than a truck load of Neo’s. She also has a knack of delivering lines that would shock you if you wasn’t laughing so hard.
In addition to the perfect casting, a script that sparkles with brilliant dialogue and some great moments including a superb (if over the top) finally, is a soundtrack of perfectly chosen tunes that enhance every action sequence, which in themselves are choreographed expertly showing that Matthew Vaughan & Co can deliver more than just soppy fantasies (Stardust) and luke-warm mob movies (Layer Cake) to hold their heads high amongst the best of ’em.
An incredibly fun movie and an easy contender for movie of the year.
Verdict: 5 /5