Viewed – 25 August 2011 Blu-ray
I knew this wouldn’t take long. The blue-print set in stone by Kick-Ass now spawns a copy-cat movie with an ordinary guy trying to be a super hero. Yet this movie seems more set in the real world than even that brilliantly realised movie. Frank (Rainne Wilson) has lost his recovering-drug-addict wife (Liv Tyler) to a local scum-bag gangster (Kevin Bacon), and following a vision, he turns himself into masked vigilante The Crimson Bolt, and sets about fighting crime. At first he gets his ass kicked, but soon he’s weilding a wrench and splitting heads (literally), eventually making the local news. This attracts the attention of comic-book store employee Libby (Ellen Page) who turns to Frank to become his side kick … Bolty.
Director James Gunn’s movie is full of personality, even if I found the oddball lead character hard to sympathise with and overall a bit of an idiot. This doesn’t change as he risks his life and violently assaults criminals, coming off more as a nut job than a fully fledged hero. Thankfully when Ellen Page arrives, the movie is cranked up considerably by her sheer gusto and mad-cap boarding-on-psycho personality, perhaps exactly what Frank doesn’t need if he’s ever to see sense and drop the super-hero act. Kevin Bacon, one of the best villianous actors around camps it up ludicrously throughout and isn’t the least bit intimidating, which surprised me. Yet the movie as a whole is often very funny and surprisingly violent, with some moments really knocking me back in my seat.
It can’t hold a candle to Kick-Ass despite what the cover advertising will have you believe, as that movie just came together so well, where here things don’t really gel until the second half, and that’s mostly down to Page. Gunn certainly has no end of ideas going on though, some of which work very well, whilst others fall flat (what is Liv Tyler doing here?) … meaning that overall this is worth a look … just don’t expect a cult classic.
Verdict: 3 /5