ACTION COMEDY; 1hr 57min
STARRING: Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Mark Strong, Chloë Grace Moretz, Nicolas Cage
Crime busters: Johnson and Moretz
Frankly, I didn’t hold out much hope for a movie with a title like Kick-Ass. So I was happy-slash-relieved to see that it delivers a way-out payoff with all systems set on outrageous. Filmed concurrently with the release of eight comic books by Mark Millar and John S. Romita Jr, its rocking plot follows high schooler Dave Lizewski (Nowhere Boy ’s Johnson) who becomes a self-appointed superhero with no extraordinary powers. After buying a rubber suit on the Net and calling himself Kick-Ass, Dave starts getting into scrapes, which snowball when he crosses paths with a New York crime boss (Strong, heroically keeping a straight face).
The scene really goes ballistic when the superhero count rises, with Cage unleashing his inner Adam (Batman) West as Big Daddy, Moretz a pint-sized missile as his daughter, Hit Girl, and Mintz-Plasse a kick as Red Mist (although he’ll always be McLovin’ to me). Director Matthew Vaughn cut his teeth on violence with 2004’s Layer Cake. Layer that with the graphic madness of comics, toss in a touch of the Tarantinos and the upshot is as smart and self-aware as the most quick-witted of supes.