These are some of the descriptors that I would attach to the movie Kick-Ass.
But, the reason I’m taking the time to review (not just to warn you) is because there are two more descriptors that just might sneak in before we’re through—perhaps, even, through no fault of the movie’s creators: “insightful” and “inspiring”.
At first blush (or, rather, first blood) you would guess that Kick-Ass was a story that either lampooned or capitalized off of the popularity of comicbook super heroes. Even though I was quite the conosur as a teen, those years are long gone and I had to research to find out that art was imitating life imitating art. You guessed it, Kick-Ass was a comicbook first. 1
The basic plot is a NYC kid “Dave Lizewski” (Aaron Johnson), inspired by comicbooks, decides that he’s going to pull himself out of the depths of high school unanimity by creating a super hero alter ego with an online-ordered wetsuit even though he has no special abilities whatsoever. This causes him some trouble because it gets him intertwined in a fight between a framed vigilante cop, “Damon Macready” (Nicolas Cage), and a mob kingpin, “Frank D’Amico” (Mark Strong).
Not very complex, I know.
And the shock value hits you right in the groin right away as we spend almost a full five minutes telling the story of this nobody teen getting into the graphic details of how much he plays with himself each day. Taking too much time to “flesh out” these unnecessary and perverse details had me melting the minutes away on Fast Forward.
And our first introduction to former officer Macready is a very plainly-dressed and somewhat sickly-looking Nicolas Cage (who probably looks that way for real now) and then watching him shoot his 11 year old daughter square in the chest with a Beretta 9mm. Don’t ya just love Hollywood?!
Turns out that officer Macready is simply “toughening up” his daughter to withstand the impact of a bullet to the protective vest she is wearing.
Great film-making…and completely devoid of reality, of course. Should anyone try even REMOTELY to do such a thing, the risks are immeasurable. Have you ever shot a handgun? Did you have pinpoint accuracy even at a short distance? What are the chances of striking a child-sized object outside of a torso protected by a vest? eh. Call it “willing suspension of disbelief…and shock”.
So, fresh from a day of getting himself aroused over his unreachable lust interest at school, our hero finally dawns his just-arrived “costume” with added billy clubs for good effect.
And, feeling that he just needed to “seize the moment” he re-encounters a white and black pair of street thugs who had previously mugged him of his cell phone.
Intent on making a difference this time as they try to steal a car, he ducks into an alley, undresses to expose his crimefighting apparel, throws his mask on and superhero “Kick-Ass” promptly gets knifed in the stomach by the white hoodlum. He then stumbles into the street where he gets struck by a car driven by a well-to-do white man who just as quickly takes off.
Getting knifed while trying to stop a white hoodlum was a nice public service message but the hit-and-run right afterwards was just unimaginative. If you want to really accent how frail our superhero is, put some more thought into it.
Poor Dave then has to ask the paramedic to ditch his costume and keep mum about it which then makes his father visiting him in the hospital question if he was sexually molested which then gives Dave the reputation of being “gay” which allows him to get much closer to his teen lust interest because now he’s “safe” which then allows the filmmakers to show half-naked Dave giving a “chemical tan” to his teen lust interest who only keeps you guessing on what her breasts look like under her fingers. The rest, from skimpy panties up is there for your perusal.
Back to officer Macready who asks his daughter what she wants for her birthday. She tells him she wants a puppy and he acts shocked by that. She then giggles and says, “Aw daddy, I was just f__king with ya. How about a Balisong butterfly knife?” To which he responds, “For you, sweetie, two Balisong butterfly knives!” Even though I was mildly impressed with some accurate repartees between the two about the origin of the “AR 15”, the disgust didn’t wane.
What we later learn is that daddy Cage is, indeed, a framed police officer who wouldn’t go on the take to facilitate the crimes of kingpin “Frank D’Amico” who is also living with an alter ego; “Big Daddy”. But “Big Daddy” (who’s alter ego looks very much like “Batman”) has a diminutive sidekick named “Hit Girl”. And the two of them are just a little more potent than poor Kick-Ass. In fact, they can take down a warehouse full of vicious thugs. Officer Macready has lost his wife and spent 5 years in jail while his partner watched after his daughter. When he got out, he was a changed man and he was determined to change his daughter, too.
Lucky for Dave Lizewski, he succeeds!
You see, poor Kick-Ass just can’t give up on the hope that his unrequited lust would someday be returned to him. He ends up stopping a gangland beating which makes him famous and, although knowing that he is at great risk, needs to strike out on one last mission: taking down the drug pushers his beloved “Katie Deauxma” (Lyndsy Fonseca) is mistakenly involved with due to the homeless shelter work she does *vomit*. So wholesome…for a nymphomaniac.
Once again, reality threatens to come crashing down on Kick-Ass, almost certainly to his death this time, when 11 year old Hit Girl comes to his rescue. While you are treated to a Grunge version of the old kids TV show theme song “The Banana Splits”, Hit Girl proceeds to mutilate and dispatch an entire room full of thugs. Great fun! Lucky for Kick-Ass that she and Big Daddy had caught wind of the “viral YouTube” cell phone video of Kick-Ass’s previous heroics and were out looking to bring him into the fold.
But he’s not quite ready yet. He’s not sure this is the way to go, even though he’s told he shows “promise”. Could he reach them if he needs to? “Yes,” Hit Girl tells him. He can go to the mayor’s office where he’ll be taken to the roof. They will turn on a big spotlight and it will shine a beacon into the sky in the shape of a “giant cock”.
Kids just grow up too quick these days, don’t they…?
With the curiosity of watching a car wreck, I refused to turn the movie off.
Good thing I didn’t! Because now Frank D’Amico is losing money and drugs to some kind of superhero wanna be. He doesn’t know who it is but he can sure make a good guess—that blankety-blank “Kick-Ass”!
Now Kick-Ass is in real trouble. But no one can find him! Lucky for Frank D’Amico, he has a dorky teenage son who claims he can find out. A couple thou here, a couple thou there and, *WHAM*. Another masked mystery man—The Red Mist!
The fat cheeks and the punk hair…I get the satire. If you don’t chuckle you might want to do something else.
At last Red Mist connects with Kick-Ass but only to find out, he’s not their man. Big Daddy is. So Red Mist sets up Big Daddy through Kick-Ass. Soon enough, his lair is broken into, Hit Girl is shot and Big Daddy and Kick-Ass fall victim to Frank D’Amico who now wishes to send the message that “Nobody messes with…Frank D’Amico”.
You’re going to have to suspend some more disbelief but Frank D’Amico has the resources to cut in and broadcast his “message” of torturing to death our two pseudo-heroes. Everyone is riveted to their televisions as the two are beat up and doused with kerosene.
Now, I don’t know if it was frustration with this movie, but I was ripe for something at this point. If there’s anyone who’s had a belly-full of the incessant ridiculous stupidity from Hollywood of female sex objects who can kick my ass, it’s me.
But I was actually very ready, now, for the obvious—the prepubescent Hit Girl to come in and slaughter everyone.
As she makes her entrance under cover of killed lights, I am at last hit with my first positive profundity. She begins to methodically take out some really annoying thugs but she’s unable to stop Big Daddy from being ignited. As he screams instructions to her on the various tactics she can use for success, I was struck by a sort of iconoclastic paternal revenge. The mob torturers thought they had this washed-up cop but he has taken the most unlikely possession he had—his tiny daughter—and turned her into the instrument of their destruction.
If you don’t get that then this movie will probably have absolutely no redeeming value for you!
Because, beyond that you’ll be treated to lust rewarded when Dave reveals himself to his Katie and she “f__ks his brains out” (Katie’s admonition to her friends in front of Dave and his friends on what she’d do if she knew who Kick-Ass was). Certainly, teens aren’t hyper-sexed enough.
But now I was actually being a little inspired by this perverted movie and cheering on this psychotic little girl (because she was channeling my inner-psychotic).
So much so, that when Kick-Ass tries to make up for being the weak link that got officer Macready killed and teams up with Hit Girl to take down Frank D’Amico, I’m more than just a little annoyed that my “willing suspension of disbelief” got kicked off the planet with a final obviously drug-induced twist; he’s flying a gatling-gun equipped rocket pack that Big Daddy and Hit Girl have bought with confiscated drug money.
Previous to this, I was still suspending that disbelief in order to find a way to enjoy the movie. And now that I had overcome my nausea and disgust and had found a way to do it, I got blown up with stupidity. There was another missed opportunity at something inspirational just before this tomfoolery. After Hit Girl and Kick-Ass retire to Big Daddy’s lair minus poor Big Daddy, there is a moment where a bloodied Dave Lizewski looks himself in the mirror. It could’ve been very deep. The foolish teen is now a bloodied man. But the dumbasses didn’t go anywhere with it.
Still, life is filled with filth, lust and endlessly unpunished evil. And, in a way that brought my own personal issues out of me in a satisfying manner, I enjoyed an 11 year old…
Unless you are hopelessly depraved or a God-fearing adult with a minimum of 15 years of mature, disciplined living under your belt, no need to see this movie.
But if you are the latter and you can handle what I’ve warned you about…you might feel it’s worth a rental.