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Badass Kick-Ass the funniest movie of the year
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Badass Kick-Ass the funniest movie of the year

by Scott Rice - SGN Contributing Writer

Kick-Ass
Opening April 16


Miley Cyrus can kiss my ass. Same goes for Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez. There's a new tweener girl hero in town, and her name is Hit Girl. She's the real star of the new movie Kick-Ass, and she doesn't fuck around.

Unfortunately, the screaming tweeners won't be able to get a ticket to see Hit Girl in this five-coupon spectacular because Kick-Ass is rated R - and for good reason, too. This is a comic book flick for adults only, and it's the funniest movie I've seen in months.

Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) is a typical awkward teenager, sifting through high school life anonymously until he decides to become a superhero named Kick-Ass (don't forget the hyphen) by slipping into a customized wetsuit and roaming the city streets looking for criminals. The only problem, young Dave doesn't have any superhero superpowers, so he gets his ass kicked.

Enter Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz). The only things sharper than her wit are her Chinese throwing stars, and she isn't afraid to use either. She talks like a truck driver and fights like a caged wildcat. She does it all wearing a purple wig, plaid skirt, and sporting pink accessories. Hit Girl and Big Daddy, the real heroes of the town, step in to teach Dave a few tricks of the trade.

There are also a few new twists to the superhero milieu. Dave lets his high school crush Katie Deauxma (Lyndsy Fonseca) believe he's Gay so he can woo her. The playing-Gay-to-woo scenario is not a new twist in general, but it's new to this genre and handled nicely by the writers.

Is Facebook passé yet? Is YouTube old news? Guess not. Both features prominently in the storyline as Kick-Ass uses his Facebook page to find people who need his help and he gains fame through a viral video shot on a cell phone.

There are villains and sidekicks and everything else one expects from a deliciously sophomoric movie based on a satirical graphic novel that targets mainstream comic books. There is also plenty of good, old-fashioned movie fun, tasteless humor, and sickening violence - just the way you like it.

Aaron Johnson is best known for diddling Sam Taylor Wood, the substantially older director of Nowhere Boy, a biopic about the young John Lennon that starred Master Johnson. The couple is expecting their first child as I write. If that seems catty, it's only my jealousy bubbling up to the surface.

Johnson is gorgeous even when playing nerdy, which is pretty much the entire movie. He goes from frumpy awkward teenager to lithe awkward superhero wannabe as he dons the wetsuit. Kick-Ass, the superhero character, never quite gets the superhero thing right, and that's part of his charm.

Big Daddy is played by the tamped-down version of Nicolas Cage (thankfully). You never know which Cage you'll get, and much depends on the director. When properly reigned in, Cage is awesome good fun to watch (Adaptation). When he isn't, things spin out of control (The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans). He's under control here, but just barely.

Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who charmed as the misguided teen paramour McLovin in his screen debut Superbad, does journeymen work in a role destined to be fleshed out in the sequel. He doesn't have much to do but count his money until Kick-Ass II gets green-lighted.

That brings me to the real star of Kick-Ass, and the reason to see the movie: Moretz steals the film from the moment she takes the screen. Whether she's a pigtailed little girl named Mindy who teases her dad by asking for a puppy instead of a bazooka for her birthday or is bouncing around the screen as Hit Girl offing bad guys three times her size in fantastically creative ways, you can't take your eyes off her. Moretz is a gifted young actor, physically and emotionally, and she is lovely. Let's hope she's the next Natalie Portman and not the next Lindsay Lohan.

The fight scenes are great fun with expert and creative choreography, the story is simple and familiar with enough of a twist that it feels fresh, and the actors are great. Kick-Ass is the most fun I've had watching a movie all year.

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