By Sandra Kraisirideja
Kick-Ass, a regular guy-turned-superhero, is the latest comic book character to get his own movie. Both the comic book and the movie show what happens when an ordinary teenager decides to don a mask and costume to fight crime. Without superhuman powers and a bottomless bank account, however, Kick-Ass learns quickly that being a superhero is not easy or simple.
“Kick-Ass” stars Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloe Moretz and Nicholas Cage. The action-comedy was directed by Matthew Vaughn from a script he co-wrote with Jane Goldman. The duo previously paired up on “Stardust” and the partnership works. “Kick-Ass” is funny and chock full of action sequences that capitalize on the modern superhero style of fighting that is part martial arts and part gymnastics.
Even though he is the title character of the comic book by Mark Millar, in the movie version Kick-Ass is overshadowed by the supporting character, Hit Girl, played by 13-year-old Moretz. Hit Girl steals the show and is becoming the fan favorite. Not only does Hit Girl have cool gadgets and superior fighting moves, she’s also got a more interesting backstory. Kick-Ass is unhappy and lonely so he decides to take on an alter-ego as a way to make his life more interesting. In the movie he’s motivated by boredom and a need to feel popular. Hit Girl, on the other hand, has been trained her entire life by her father, played by Cage, to kill bad guys. Together as Big Daddy and Hit Girl they have been taking down the crime syndicate led by Frank D’Amico, played by a delightfully menacing Mark Strong.
Without Hit Girl and Big Daddy “Kick-Ass” would lose all of its entertainment value because Kick-Ass by himself is not as interesting. Thank goodness Vaughn and Goldman recognized that putting more emphasis on the Hit Girl/Big Daddy storyline would make the movie better and give Vaughn the chance to film some memorable action sequences.
“Kick-Ass” is a nice change from other comic books where the main characters tackle dark, personal demons and struggle with their roles as superheroes. There doesn’t seem to be any deep seeded angst or emotional issues in this comic book universe, just some cuts and bruises that will heal with time and be forgotten.
Photo: Kick-Ass (Aaron Johnson) and Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) in “Kick-Ass”. Credit: Dan Smith