I’ve been thinking about what makes Kick-Ass the single best Western action film I’ve seen in maybe a decade and it all comes down to director Matthew Vaughn’s impeccable sense of pacing. Too many crazy action films these days run out of steam by about the halfway mark; you get the best stuff in the first two acts and then act three turns into a slog of tying up story ends and wrapping up character arcs that were stunted beforehand. Vaughn doesn’t just keep the pace up throughout the entire film, he keeps building the pace so that the final action scenes are the biggest, craziest and most fun…read more [CHUD]
Kick-Ass, though, is an evolutionary leap, and the work of a director ready to gatecrash the A-list. If there’s a more entertaining movie this year, then 2010 is going to be a belter.
Vaughn went outside the studio system to independently fund and make Kick-Ass; it was the best move he could have made. Without studio stormtroopers breathing down his neck, Vaughn found the freedom to make a thrilling, hugely violent, darkly funny comic-book flick that didn’t have to pander to toy manufacturers or fast food chains putting pressure on him to pull his punches. Little girl in a superhero costume? Cute. Shifts Happy Meals. Little girl in a superhero costume slicing people’s legs off and saying the C-word? Not so much…read more [EMPIRE]
Vaughn does the same thing for superhero films with KICK-ASS that he did with crime dramas for LAYER CAKE, and fantasy films for the criminally underrated STARDUST. This is a film that works on all levels. On the one hand, it’s a satire of superhero flicks like SPIDER-MAN, THE DARK KNIGHT and IRON-MAN, with the film taking the piss out of all the established clichés of the genre (complete with a hilariously botched first outing as a superhero, which ends with him naked and bleeding in the hospital, leading to rumors among his classmates that he’s gay- although this ironically lets him get close to the girl he likes). However, while KICK-ASS is essentially a comedy, it still works as a straight superhero flick, as the bad guys are real, and the violence hits hard…read more [Joblo]
The good thing about the above synopsis is also the film’s biggest shortcoming — namely, that this scarcely scratches at the surface of what takes place over the course of the film’s overlong two-hour running time. Indeed, for a film called Kick-Ass and supposedly about Kick-Ass, his story is basically told within the first 45 minutes to an hour, and the rest is devoted to the larger universe of “real-world” superheroes that his role-playing fantasy inspires. In that sense, the movie’s like a full-fledged trilogy of franchise developments condensed into a single entry, which would be fine and even interesting if there was an arc that sustained the title character through each of its installments, or here, acts…read more [Cinematical]
Balanced — often literally — on the knife edge of irony and pathos, Kick-Ass completely subverts the comic-book caper, while paying tribute to its roots. The film makes Fantastic Four, Spider-Man and even The Dark Knight feel stale, while Hit Girl makes the Terminator and John Wayne seem like slow-off-the-mark wussies. There is also a certain innocence and sweetness about Moretz’s performance. “She’s Rambo meets Polly Pocket,” deadpans Mark Millar, the creator of the original comic books…read more [TimesOnline]
Christopher Mintz-Plasse stars as Chris D’Amico / Red Mist and Mark Strong stars as Frank D’Amico in Kick-Ass
‘Kick Ass’ is packed with so many inventive, hugely visceral and cinematic flourishes that all the studios (and there were many) that turned Vaughn down must be kicking themselves.
However, their loss led to our gain as it forced Vaughn to fund the film, which is based on Mark Millar’s acclaimed comic book series, independently, away from the prying eyes of studio notes, committee meetings and fast food product placement deals. Hence the reason why we have an eleven year old girl slicing and dicing limbs in between her frequent use of the C and F word, and incredibly violent moments that are rarely seen in a superhero film…read more [YahooMovies]
Aaron Johnson stars as Dave Lizewski/Kick-Ass, Chloe Moretz as Mindy Macready / Hit-Girl and Nicolas Cage stars as Damon Macready in Kick-Ass
Despite an initially innocent, youthful appearance, her Hit-Girl is the movie’s genuine kick-ass character and when she’s let off the leash for the film’s latter stages she sets about the bad guys with relish.
And yet she also poses the film’s biggest moral issue… emerging as the youngest of the teenage assassins, posing in school-girls’ uniforms and regularly demonstrating the art of the butterfly knife to send mild-mannered parents and the easily offended into raptures of complaint.
Listen not, we tell you, and just go with it. Vaughn’s movie isn’t pretending to offer hard-hitting social commentary, just an edgy good time. So, if you go in with the right attitude, you’re sure to be rewarded…read more [IndieLondon]
The first problem with Kick Ass is the tone, of which there is none. I’ve never witnessed a movie so riddled with indecision over what it wants to be. At first the tone is a quirky real life teenage film and then suddenly a comedic superhero farce and then on a dime it becomes incredibly serious and violent. The inconsistency in tone means that with every shift I was completely taken out of the story.
If a film isn’t reality based like Scarface or The Godfather and there is still a significant amount of over the top violence the tone of the movie becomes incredibly important. For instance Sin City kept the tone very serious so the violence seemed like an awful part of these people’s lives. With Kick Ass the violence is so graphic and sadistic that when it jumps out of the superhero farce or quirky teen comedy it’s jolting and mean spirited…read more [CraveOnline]
Opens: Friday, April 16
Production companies: Marv Films, Plan B Entertainment
Cast: Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Mark Strong, Chloe Moretz, Nicolas Cage
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Screenwriters: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
Rated R, 117 minutes