Movie review: "Kick-Ass"

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

If you think the superhero genre could use a little kick in the ass, you'll probably think "Kick-Ass" kicks, well, you know.

Irreverent and over-the-top violent, it's got a DIY take on the sort of superhero angst explored in the Spider-Man films and "Watchmen."

Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) is an awkward teen whose only superpower is "being invisible to girls." Perhaps not coincidentally, he's a comic-book reader and wonders why no one has ever tried being a superhero in real life.

A mask and a scuba suit later, Dave is reinvented as Kick-Ass, a baton-wielding crime-fighter who gets an A for effort. He crosses paths with a more well-trained pair of citizen superheroes, the father-daughter duo Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) and Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz of "(500) Days of Summer").

Based on a comic, "Kick-Ass" might be a bit too twisted for mainstream audiences, as it does feature a pre-teen girl getting all "Kill Bill" on a bevy of bad guys. Yet it's smart and witty enough that it shouldn't be relegated to cult status.

Johnson is a likable everyman bound to get some painful recognition from much of the audience, but Moretz spewing profanities and Cage channeling Adam West are the scene-stealers.

Last year's "Zombieland" pulled off the laughs-gore-fun combo just a bit better, but if this stuff is down your alley, prepare to have a blast and hope for a sequel or two.

"Kick Ass"

Opens Friday

Grade: B+