film review: Kick-Ass (2010)

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Kick Ass poster Aaron Johnson Nicolas Cage McLovinI’d be extremely surprised if you haven’t heard of Kick-Ass at this stage. It seems to be everywhere I look, online and offline. Granted I hang around movies websites and cinemas a lot but I even saw the titular Kick-Ass peering at me from the window of a French Connection store this afternoon – what’s that about?

Early reviews have been extremely positive, actually it’s currently at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes… that kind of thing always worries me. I had the good fortune to see this film at a preview, courtesy of Simply Zesty and Universal Pictures about a week and a half ago so I hadn’t heard anything about whether it was actually good or not. That’s the way I like it, expectations as low as possible.

I have to say, I thought it was a great movie. I wouldn’t say it was an amazingly fantastic movie but it was great fun, a great laugh. I’d worry slightly that people are going to go into this thinking that this is some kind of landmark in superhero movies. It’s a solid, funny, action-packed yarn but that’s it really.

But I don’t want to put it down, I just want to keep people’s expectations in check. Particularly because I did think it started a little slowly, there’s not loads of ass-kicking all the time from the start. Which is good, because they’ve actually bothered having a story. It’s not just mindless action and wonder if that might put people off a bit. Be assured that you will see a whole load of ass-kicking but that’s not all you’ll see. So don’t expect that.

That said, I’ve started to realise that I have quite low standards… when it comes to films. I’ll let film makers away with dodgy stuff all the time. As far as I’m concerned I’ll let a bit of crappiness and stupidity or whatever go by, as long as there’s some really good scenes and a half decent plot and characters. In this case, I don’t expect action films to have much of a plot, if they have one at all. So, when one comes along with even a modicum of character building or thematic structure, I think it’s great…. and with Kick Ass I’m just a bit worried that I might have fooled myself into thinking it was great.

But I don’t think so. You’ll just have to go see it and decide for yourself.

There are two things I want to mention before I send you on your merry way though.

One. Kick Ass is rated 16 for a reason. Sure, it’s about superheroes, but it’s definitely not suitable for kids. Quite apart from the language, which isn’t something that bothers me at all, the violence is significant. I watch all sorts of films, plenty horror and slasher films and the like and I was still a bit shocked by some of the violence in this. It’s not worse than anything I’ve seen and I wouldn’t even call it that excessive, but it shocked me a bit because it was more realistic that I was expecting.

Two. I didn’t find Nicolas Cage as painful to watch in this as I usually do. It’s kind of strange because he is absolutely awful in parts of it but I’m pretty sure he’s doing it on purpose in those instances… at least that’s how I rationalised it. In any case, I know there are plenty of people out there who, like me, can’t stand Nicolas Cage and I just want to assure them it’s ok. He doesn’t ruin the movie.

So… that’s all I have to say really. As always, I’m intrigued to know what you think of it. Comment and let me know…

8/10

1 Comment

  1. comment-avatar
    phil's 5 words for filmsJuly 30, 2010 - 3:26 pm

    Great review, I totally agree. Just found your blog and it looks great, keep up the good work…Phil

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