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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Kick-Ass

Superheroes are generally a special breed; they’re physical or genetic mutants seeking revenge or protecting the world (often both). What if, however, a superhero was just the guy who has a locker a few doors down from yours, the kind of teenage dude who obsesses over internet porn and caped crusaders, the kind who doesn’t […]
By Kate Jinx
April 05, 2010
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By Kate Jinx
April 05, 2010
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Superheroes are generally a special breed; they're physical or genetic mutants seeking revenge or protecting the world (often both). What if, however, a superhero was just the guy who has a locker a few doors down from yours, the kind of teenage dude who obsesses over internet porn and caped crusaders, the kind who doesn't have any powers per se. So opens the new film based on the comic book series by Mark Millar. Reading of the derring-do of superheroes while being beaten up by local thugs, seventeen year old Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson, last seen portraying John Lennon in Nowhere Boy) orders a wetsuit, sets up a few online accounts and hits the streets looking for action. He gets stabbed.

Of course, a near-fatal stabbing doesn't keep a good superhero down, and he returns to civilisation to locate a little, lost kitten and get a dude to lay off the girl he likes. Chaos, much blood and a pint-sized female wonder named Hit-Girl (Chloe Moretz) ensue. As does her superhero father Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage), a few laugh-it-up-fuzzball friends, a fauxmo/romantic subplot and a surplus of weaponry. The film crosses genres knowingly, with winks scattered throughout aimed at pop history, but has far too many nods to contemporary culture that will feel dated by the time you run out of popcorn.

Kick-Ass is bloody, violent and bloody violent, as all good superhero comics are. It never quite translates to screen, however, and what feels immersive in an inked panel eventually grows tiring in the cinema. It's mostly fun, occasionally charming and sporadically funny (Johnson's scenes with Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Red Mist are particularly good). When everything is working, the film is a total thrill but this doesn't happen nearly enough; if there's a sequel it'd better be called 'Hit-Girl' because this film is already hers.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=jE7y-OuYqs4

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