Monday, April 19, 2010

Kick Ass ROCKED!

I'm not a comic book guy.  I never have been.  While I would say a large percentage of my friends are or were comic book readers, with me it never took.  So I didn't know what to expect when I purchased my ticket to see Kick Ass at the theater.  What I got was a really fun ride.  A smart alternative to the classic reluctant super hero story that is perfectly calibrated for today's "modern teen slacker." It is a down-to-the-set    thumbing of the Spiderman movies, complete with row houses and some outright quotes as well.  And it works pretty darn well.

KICK ASS - The main character of Dave Lizewsky / Kick Ass is played by Aaron Johnson.  Dave is a normal guy with no particular aspirations  He's a comic book geek. His life is mundane, and, of course, he is misunderstood by most everyone but his friends who are equally mediocre. Of course there is a girl... Then he decides that he wants to be a super hero. The main plot is all Spiderman/Superman for today's kid next door.  It's where the plot turns that it gets interesting.

HIT GIRL KICKS ASS! (I had to say it somewhere.  At least not in the title!)  This diminutive tornado is played by 13 year-old Chloe Moretz of the cancelled TV show Dirty Sexy Money. The juxtaposition of the innocent and profane in this character is soooo wrong!  But it works soooooo well!  She is the runaway star of the show and...well, no spoilers, but she'll be banking on this character for years!

BIG DADDY - This can be read as the Redemption of Cage, as in Nicolas Cage who plays the super hero and father of Hit Girl.  He pulled it off perfectly...just enough spin on this character, giving him the edge and irony necessary to make the role dynamic. He redeems himself here for some past transgressions in the cinematic cesspool. And he was finally successful in landing that evasive super hero role. :-) Great job Nick! Now keep your nose clean!

RED MIST - Played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse of Superbad fame (McLovin).  He plays the wealthy son of a successful crime boss who wants to be accepted by his dad who thinks him a waste of potential. This was the weakest character in the cast.  I just think the execution was slightly off.  I think it was a combination of skewed expressions and poor execution of comic timing (even post edit) that left me felling a tad wishy-washy with the Red-Mist character.  Don't get me wrong.  It was still fun!  Just wasn't all it could have been.

FRANK D'AMICO - Aaaaaah yeah!  Mark Strong is THE BEST DAMNED VILLAIN out there these days.  If anyone caught him in the overall unfortunate, recent re-do of Sherlock Holmes, you'll know of whom I speak.  Strong does bad so well!  He seethes like no one else.  Although this is not his darkest showing, he is great as the big city crime lord with everyone in his pocket.

Be warned that there is some serious body count in this flick.  And not just body count, but bloody, exploding, "did you see that?" body count.  All of it is pulled off in a "" kind of way.  I know.  It is not Shakespeare.  Not high art here.  It won't win an Academy Award and further glamorizes slacker culture.  But if you don't think to yourself, or say out loud at least five times during this movie the following expression:
"Wow! That was pretty cool!"
Well, then you can go see the new Jennifer Aniston chick flick at the theater next door.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

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