Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.

‘Kick-Ass’ destined for cult classic status

“Kick-Ass” Staring: Aaron Johnson, Nicolas Cage, Christopher Mintz-Plasse Rating: R 4.5 out of 5 pitchforks

I walked into the superhero satire “Kick-Ass” fully intending to get a couple of good laughs. Never did I anticipate that I would fall madly in love with the picture.

This is one of those comedies with one great laugh after another — and when you’re not laughing, you have a constant smile stitched on your face.

In April of 2008, I said there wouldn’t be a funnier movie that entire year than “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” Now I’m going out on a limb once again and stating that there won’t be a funnier movie in 2010 than “Kick-Ass.”

While the film delivers numerous moments of pure hilarity, “Kick-Ass” is so much more than a laugh riot. In addition to being one of the most endearing comedies in quite some time, “Kick-Ass” also tells a real story about characters with motivations and inner demons.

This isn’t a mere lampoon like “Superhero Movie” or “Epic Movie” with one obvious, irrelevant joke after joke. It’s a complete and near perfect piece of pop entertainment that earns comparison to “The Incredibles.”

At some point in youth, we all dream of becoming a superhero. When high school student Dave Lizeski (played by Aaron Johnson) purchases a green wetsuit online, he does just that. Wielding a pair of nightsticks, Dave manages to save a man from three thugs outside a diner one night. A couple of kids tape the fight on their cell phones and soon the masked vigilante of Kick-Ass becomes the biggest hit on YouTube and MySpace.

Kick-Ass inspires a wave of other superheroes, such as a schoolgirl who packs heat named Hit-Girl (played by Chloe Moretz) and Big Daddy (played by Oscar-winner Nicolas Cage, of all people).

Cage has hit a couple of rough patches this past decade, not only with his personal financial problems but also with thankless roles in “The Wicker Man,” “Next” and “Bangkok Dangerous.” Here, as Damon Macready, a single father who kind of looks like Stanley Tucci’s rapist serial killer in “The Lovely Bones,” Cage gives one of his finest and most outlandish performances since “Adaptation.”

Moretz was positively wonderful as Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s younger sister in “500 Days of Summer.” As Damon’s daughter, Mindy (aka Hit-Girl) in “Kick-Ass,” she adds another scene-stealing credit to her resume.

The daddy-daughter duo team up to bring down a ruthless coke dealer named Frank D’Amico, convincingly played by Mark Strong. Frank manages to get his own superhero on the inside though — his nerdy son Chris, played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse of McLovin’ fame, who arises as Red Mist.

The reason that the performances work so well is because the actors never wink at the camera or appear aware that they’re in a comedy. They play the roles matter-of-factly and take their work every bit as seriously as an actor like Christian Bale would in a Batman film. Although the movie could never happen in real life, we still believe these people and that’s what makes them so funny and appealing.

Johnson is especially strong as Dave (a.k.a. “Kick-Ass”), who starts off enjoying his second life. He soon realizes, however, that he’s in way over his head and many sacrifices come with being a hero.

Like Peter Parker in the Spider-Man films, Dave eventually wants to go back to his normal life and settle down with his new girlfriend Katie, played by Lyndsy Fonseca who was recently seen in the also-enjoyable “Hot Tub Time Machine.” In many ways, “Kick-Ass” is a more insightful look into the dilemmas of superheroes than the “Fantastic Four” movies or “Ghost Rider.”

Matthew Vaughn, who made the criminally underappreciated “Stardust”, directed the film. Vaughn brings the same sense of whimsy, style and wit of that movie to “Kick-Ass.” And although Vaughn and co-screenwriter Jane Goldman pack the film with plenty of profanities and over-the-top violence, there’s a heart.

“Kick-Ass” is a surprisingly sincere comedy about people audiences will care about and remember long after the film’s screening.

The film is likely destined to develop a cult following. Come next October, you won’t be able to find one Halloween party without someone dressed as Kick-Ass, Red Mist, Big Daddy or Hit-Girl.

Maybe the film will even inspire some to create their own superheroes and start taking justice into their own hands. We can only hope so.

Reach the reporter at

Continue supporting student journalism and donate to The State Press today.

Subscribe to Pressing Matters



This website uses cookies to make your experience better and easier. By using this website you consent to our use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie Policy.