Top 365 Films – #246 – Kick-Ass (2010)


Top 365 Films - Kick-AssDIRECTED BY: Matthew Vaughn

STARRING: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz, Nicolas Cage, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Lyndsy Fonseca, Clark Duke, Evan Peters, Michael Rispoli, Garrett M. Brown, Stu ‘Large’ Riley, Yancy Butler, Omari Hardwick and Mark Strong

BUDGET: $30m

EARNED (Worldwide): $96.2m

AWARDS: None

 

SYNOPSIS

Dave Lizewski is an unnoticed high school student and comic book fan who one day decides to become a super-hero, even though he has no powers, training or meaningful reason to do so.

 

Kick-Ass takes us to New York where we follow Dave Lizewski. Dave is just your stereotypical average high-school kid, who spends most of his time hanging out with his friends at the comic book store and go unnoticed by his crush until one day he decides to take it upon himself to become a masked superhero named Kick-Ass. Pretty soon, on his second attempt of fighting crime, he becomes an overnight sensation and this puts him not only on the radar of a father and daughter crime-fighting duo and crime boss Frank D’Amico.

 

Kick-Ass I found to be really entertaining a film in the way that Vaughn directed and paced the film as a whole, making you get the characters motives as well as keep the story flowing, which some comic book to adaptations normally stall during the middle or fall at the final hurdle. It also ends up being the first of a trilogy of comic book to film adaptations that Vaughn directs (X-Men: First Class and Kingsman: The Secret Service) and happens to be the film that put Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloë Grace Moretz on the public radar, particularly the later for the controversial character she plays Hit Girl. It’s a very hyperactive style film when it comes to the action sequences involving Big Daddy and Hit Girl, who steal the show, but it’s the scenes involving Kick-Ass from his first few attempts to stop crime or save a citizen and my favourite scene (which you can read below) that bring a sense of reality to proceedings while the rest have the video game style vibe of blood, bullet hits and sometimes body parts action scenes make you feel numb or accustomed to it. Moretz is great in the role of Hit Girl, probably the most memorable young actress performance since Natalie Portman in Leon (off the top of my head, most likely incorrect) and Nicolas Cage has an absolute ball as Big Daddy and their strangely fucked-up father/daughter relationship, which is dark yet humorous, is actually the heart of the film. However though this film does center around the journey of Dave becoming Kick-Ass and Aaron Taylor-Johnson does a great job in the role transforming from bubbling, unconfident ordinary student to brave and reckless (most definitely reckless) crime fighter with more heart than sense and making it seem believable.

 

FAVOURITE SCENE: Big Daddy and Kick-Ass are getting battered by D’Amico’s goons whilst streaming it online for everyone to see. When they get set to set them on fire however, the lights go out and Hit Girl arrives on the scene. The way this scene is shot (especially from the Hit Girl POV), lit and the score from John Murphy (‘Strobe’ tweaking his original score ‘Adiago in D Minor’ from Sunshine), until recently for a certain scene at a church in Kingsman: The Secret Service, I thought this was the best scene put together in a Matthew Vaughn film. ‘Now switch to Kryptonite!’

FAVOURITE QUOTE: ‘Okay you cunts… Let’s see what you can do now!’ – Hit Girl

DID YOU KNOW?: After being rejected by every studio they approached, Matthew Vaughn raised the budget at a dinner party and made the movie independently. Vaughn ultimately sold the movie to Universal for more than he had originally asked them for.

 

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