“Kick Ass” a surprisingly fun romp

Despite its comic-book origins, a pretty smart movie

| Apr 21, 2010

A scene from Kick-Ass
Kick-Ass is a surprising little gem that will knock your socks off with entertaining enjoyment if you just allow it to.

It is based on a comic book, but in this case the comic book was being written at the same time the movie was in development, and so you can cut it some slack as far as source material goes.

hotshots-logoAlso, even though comic books are pretty much directed toward a young, unsophisticated audience of teenage geeks, nerds, and dweebs, and even though this movie looks as if it is directed toward that same audience, it is actually a very sophisticated tongue-in-cheek send-up of such superhero movies that are based on comic books, or even “graphic novels,” about superheroes, which, after all, are imaginary, remember?

When the movie begins, we meet young Dave Lizewski, a teenage boy who tells us that he was the last person to expect to be a superhero. He says that his only super power is that he is invisible to pretty girls, and we see an embarrassing example of that at his school locker.

Dave is just a regular guy, and he asks his two buddies, “How come nobody has ever tried to be a superhero?”

Dave is reminded that superheroes exist only in comic books, but that doesn’t stop him from achieving his dream, because he believes that just the perfect combination of optimism and naivete is all it takes to become a superhero.

Not to be daunted, Dave creates a secret identity of Kick-Ass, but his first two attempts at stopping crime end disastrously.

Meanwhile, we meet Damon Macready, played by Nicolas Cage in his best role and movie in years. Damon is an ex-cop who was unjustly sent to prison. He is out now, and he has revenge on his mind.

Damon has an 11-year-old daughter, Mindy, whom he is training in being an expert in martial arts and weaponry. Together they make up their own version of a dynamic duo of crime fighters with the secret identities of Big Daddy and Hit-Girl, and she’s a little sweetheart.

Yes, there is violence and strong language, but the violence comes with laughs and even brings tears to your eyes, sometimes with joy.

>Kick-Ass is a real kick in the — well, you know where — and I surprisingly and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”


“Hotshots” is a weekly movie review by Dan Culberson available on KGNU Community Radio (88.5 FM in Boulder and 1390 AM in Denver, on Filmchannel1, and on Boulder Reporter. Culberson has been reviewing films since 1972 for newspapers, magazines, radio and television.