Kick Ass – The sequel to The Professional that Luc Besson didn’t have the cacahuates… eh… “les noix” …to make

The glory of seeing a movie that you know nothing about! Somehow I managed to show up at the cineplex on April 16, untainted by trailers, reviews, or the knowledge that Nicolas Cage was in the film (hell, being more than a bit off the grid these past months, I kinda thought I was going to see a Woody Harrelson flick… which I’d still like to see). Verdict? It fucking kicked ass!

An extremely well crafted homage to Tarantino and his precursors, the film is like a mash-up of Karate Kid, The Professional, and Kill Bill Vol. 1.  And while Matt Vaughn repeatedly tips his hat to the smorgasbord of films and pop culture phenomena that made Kick Ass possible, the movie maintains a coherent and compelling story line that is brought to fruition by impeccable acting and an intoxicating aesthetic that walks a careful albeit playful line between the credible and the fantastic.

We could discuss how british actor Aaron Cera-Eisenberg distinguished himself from the nouveau-Brat Pack of jewfros that have dominated the teen flick genre of late, but Aaron Johnson’s true talent (aside from impregnating women twice his age… dude makes Ashton Kutcher look like an impotent cradle robber) is in his ability to let Chloe Moretz and a surprisingly authentic Nicolas Cage dominate the film. Chloe is pure genius and Cage shows us what we could have seen so much more of these last 15 years if he hadn’t gotten those nasty hair plugs and started doing shit brick films like Face/Off and National Treasure. If nothing else, you gotta give credit to Vaughn for diving deep beneath those plugs and eliciting the Cage of old. It’s comforting to know that somewhere out there, underneath a pile of misguided cosmetic hair restoration and cinematic turds, the Nicolas Cage from Raising Arizona and Wild at Heart still exists.

If there’s any disappointment in the film, I’d point to Christopher Mintz Plasse. He doesn’t suck, but Red Mist is little more than a caricature of his previous roles in Superbad and Role Models. He’s a talented kid but you get the feeling that he’s starting to run up against the limitations of his acting chops. Although, in his defense, it seemed a bit like Vaughn and his team might have run out of steam when it came time to explain how and why CMP’s character shifts back and forth from semi-sympathetic rich kid to semi-likeable d-bag/nemesis. They knew they wanted some McLovin in the film but didn’t really have the patience or the space to tease out his transformation during some of the movie’s darker moments.

But whatever. That was the most fun I’ve had at a movie in a long time.

El Pollo Rico gives Kick Ass: Dos pulgares para… ARRIBA!

Aviso: While EPR loved this film, the violence is pretty brutal and gratuitous. Not for everybody. Por ejemplo, le dije a mi mamá que no le gustaría … y ella está de acuerdo.

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~ by El Pollo Rico on April 25, 2010.

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