Kick Ass

We have a new champion, folks! The Dark Knight has nothing on Kick-Ass and neither does Watchmen. Rarely do all the elements of a film come together as finely as they do here, particularly when it comes to a comic book adaptation and the inherent enormous suspension of disbelief that such a transition between mediums requires.

Kick-Ass director, Matthew Vaughn, also produced the upcoming Michael Cain starrer, Harry Brown, and Kick-Ass presents a similar social commentary, taking place in a world of spiraling social degradation and violent crime, partnered with an ever-increasing passive indifference from a public too scared to act against it. Into this world walks Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), an idealistic teenage comic geek who decides that enough is enough and dons a not-so-super suit only to come to the crushing realisation that there are already crime-fighting heroes in the game who are so much more accomplished than he is.

The performances are as deliciously ostentatious as the film’s lurid, colour saturated photography. Nicholas Cage and newcomer Chloë Grace Moretz are a fantastic scene-stealing double act as Big Daddy and Hit Girl respectively; their performances abetted by the affection that clearly exists between the two actors. After a multitude of recent misfires, it's great to see Cage's specific talents again exploited to the full. Aaron Johnson struggles to keep out of their shadow with his geeky portrayal of Dave Lizewski/Kick-Ass but since this is integral to his story arc, this is hardly a criticism.

The film is well deserving of its MA15+ rating. It's tough, blood thirsty and uncompromising. A bevy of bad guys being butchered by a foul-mouthed, super-violent, gun-totin' 11 year old girl all to the Banana Splits theme tune is stupendously and beautifully politically incorrect and, can I say, quietly awesome! But the film deftly runs the full gamut of emotions being also hilarious and tragically melancholic, as the moment requires. Full commendations must go to Universal Pictures for not neutering the film to achieve an unrestricted classification for the sake of bigger box office.

You'll laugh; you'll cry; you'll rush out afterwards to buy a wetsuit and desert boots. Kick-Ass is an instant classic.
Stuart Jamieson

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