Most little boys and some little girls dream of being a superhero. Fighting crime with special powers, doing good for humanity, and taking down the bad guys has a certain allure. It's part of the reason comic books are so popular. But every so often a regular person decides to take on the challenge, generally with disastrous results. Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson; Godzilla) is one of those guys. And ends up getting in way too deep.
Dave is your typical, kind of geeky, invisible high school student. He, along with his best friends Todd (Evan Peters; American Horror Story) and Marty (Clark Duke; Hot Tub Time Machine), spend their free time at the comic book store and talking about girls. However, when Dave decides to create his own superhero persona and roam the streets fighting crime, things don't work out as planned. He gets beat up and ends up in the hospital thus ending his newfound career. Interestingly, undeterred, he comes back again and is filmed helping fend off three would be attackers and earning himself the moniker "kick-ass".
Thinking he is now legit, he heads out into the city only to find himself in a sticky situation. Rescued by two other vigilantes – Big Daddy (Nicholas Cage; National Treasure) and Hit-girl (Chloe Grace Moretz; Hugo) – he feels less superhero-like around them. They are a father/daughter team out for revenge against drug kingpin Frank D'Amico (Mark Strong; Kingsman: The Secret Service) for framing Big Daddy back when he was a police officer. The next hour of the movie is Frank trying to find out who is ruining his business (spoiler: Big daddy and hit-girl) and exacting his own revenge. Meanwhile, Dave is just trying to be a typical teenage boy.
While Kick-Ass is a cute movie, there are a few problems with it. First, there are too many plots intersecting, making the film feel long. Second, I'm not sure if the film is a parody, a comedy, or typical, cheesy, teenage fare and there are times when it doesn't gel. It does seem to offer a little something for everyone though, from action and drama to teenage romance and mild comedy so at least it has that going for it.
It also has a very good cast from Taylor-Johnson to Moretz and Cage to Strong. Each performer brings something memorable to their part whether it's Cage mocking the Batman voice or Strong portraying the stereotypical Mob boss. Taylor-Johnson is pretty good as the geeky teenager who wants to be a superhero but the standout is Moretz. She plays this part with maturity beyond her years and reminded me of a young Natalie Portman (The Black Swan) in The Professional. Peters and Duke are also pretty good in their smaller roles as typical teenage boys.
The 4K Blu-ray is set in 2160p high definition video with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The colors of the superhero costumes pop nicely creating a contrast from the dark backgrounds of the scenes shot at night. The Dolby Atmos audio is strong and clear with the dialogue relegated to the center channels leaving some nice sound effects to the side and rear speakers. Occasionally, I lost a few pieces of dialogue as the audio mix seemed off.
The 2 disc set offers 6 extras plus a digital download. The extras include A New Kind of Superhero: the making of Kick-Ass, It's On! The Comic Book Origin of Kick-Ass, Audio Commentary by Director Matthew Vaughn, Marketing Archive, Ass-Kicking Bonusview Mode (Blu-ray only) and The Art of Kick-Ass Gallery (Blu-ray only). The first of the extras is almost 2 hours long, is broken into segments and has a great deal of information about the movie.
Kick-Ass is a mish-mosh of ideas that somehow comes together and almost completely works. It's got a good cast and some fun scenes which helps the viewer get immersed in the story. It's worth watching if for no other reason than simply to bring out the inner superhero in all of us.