Kick-Ass (2012): ***
Directed by Matthew Vaughn
Kick-Ass is a movie about horrifying things: a deranged
man teaching his pre-pubescent daughter to be a murderer; a teenager
getting stabbed, hit by a car, having multiple surgeries and going
through painstaking physical therapy; a cruel gangster using his
son as bait to lure his deadly enemies; a girl watching her father
be burned to death. And it's all presented as a rollicking, wacky,
almost feel-good comedy. And somehow it works.
I thoroughly enjoyed Kick-Ass. I thought it was a great
fun little flick. Not Earth-shakingly good, but certainly not bad.
So how does it manage to deal with its horrifying subject matter
(especially the idea of Big Daddy & Hit Girl)? Easy. It doesn't
deal with it at all. Director Vaughn completely ignores even the
possibility that anything going on in the movie could be at all
disturbing and plunges fearlessly forward into comedy. And it's
astonishing. I'm watching a little girl murder a half dozen people
in completely brutal ways while the theme song to The Banana
Splits blasts on the soundtrack, and somehow Vaughn gets me
to laugh and actually root for her to succeed.
It didn't work on everybody, I know. A lot of reviewers (especially
Ebert) were completely mortified at what was happening on the screen.
But it worked for me!
Particularly funny is Nicolas Cage's extremely quirky and bizarre
half-Adam-West performance as the completely loving and batshit-crazy
Big Daddy. Chloe Moretz plays Hit-Girl as someone who has simply
grown up in this situation and so sees nothing weird or wrong about
it; in fact she thoroughly enjoys her life and her relationship
with her father.
So, yeah. It's a fun little flick. Nothing terribly extraordinary,
and I'm probably not gonna bother to get it on DVD, but very enjoyable.