x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Kick-Ass: a superhero adventure movie for the Facebook generation

A superhero adventure movie for the Facebook generation, Kick-Ass combines extreme Manga-style violence with the kind of geek-chic humour.

Aaron Johnson plays a high-school nerd who reinvents himself as a green-suited superhero.
Aaron Johnson plays a high-school nerd who reinvents himself as a green-suited superhero.

Kick-Ass Director: Matthew Vaughn Starring: Aaron Johnson, Nicolas Cage, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse A superhero adventure for the Facebook generation, Kick-Ass combines extreme Manga-style violence with the kind of geek-chic humour popularised by teen-loser comedies like Superbad. Simultaneously developed as a film and Marvel comic-book series, it has been a box office smash in Britain and America, despite arousing minor controversy for scenes featuring pre-teenaged characters enjoying bad language and bloodthirsty carnage. But nobody should take this flashy, self-aware, post-Tarantino thrill ride seriously. Fresh from playing John Lennon in Nowhere Boy, the young British actor Aaron Johnson adopts a passable New York accent to star as Dave Lizewski, a high school nerd who reinvents himself as the green-suited crimefighting hero Kick-Ass. Despite constant mockery and several beatings, he becomes an overnight folk hero via YouTube. Before long Lizewski's alter ego finds himself caught in the crossfire between Mark Strong's ruthless crime boss and two more DIY superheroes. Nicolas Cage's emotionally unbalanced ex-cop and his 11-year-old daughter, played by a scene-stealing Chloe Grace Moretz, are heavily armed vigilantes on a rampage of revenge. Working with a largely British cast, and shooting mostly in London and Toronto, the director Matthew Vaughn has made his best movie yet. Beginning as a satirical commentary on the absurd clichés of superhero stories, Kick-Ass ends up shamelessly wallowing in them. It may ultimately be an empty experience, but this is still an exciting, darkly funny action comedy.

Stephen Dalton