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When teens try to be superheroes Jeri Jacquin | Fri, Apr 16 2010 02:56 PM

From director Matthew Vaughn and Lionsgate pictures is “Kick-Ass,” a violent action flick that challenges the superhero in us.

This film tells the story of Dave Lizweski (Aaron Johnson), an out-of-play teen who enjoys comic books. With his two friends Marty (Clarke Duke) and Todd (Evan Peters), he contemplates why no one has attempted to be a superhero.

Dave gets a flash of brilliance and, with the help of a green wetsuit, he becomes the superhero Kick-Ass — with no super powers whatsoever. Taking on the bad guys isn’t as easy as he thought.

He begins to get noticed thanks to cell phones and the world goes crazy for Kick-Ass. Dave tries to get the attention of the object of his infatuation, Katie (Lyndsy Fonseca), by keeping a bad guy away. Instead, he meets two other super heroes — Mindy, or Hit-Girl (Chloe Moretz), and her father Damon, or Big Daddy (Nicholas Cage).

These two superheroes have caught the attention of crime boss Frank D’Amico (Mark Strong). He wants all the superheroes to disappear. Also having troubles fitting in is D’Amico’s son Chris (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and Red Mist is created to help his dad.
Dave finds himself trying to fight crime, get the girl and still graduate from high school.

Final word:
Johnson is very funny as Dave. He has just the right amount of insecurity to pull this off. In his stint as a superhero, before your eyes he becomes more than a superhero. Duke and Peters as his two best friends add the right amount of off-handed support.

Plasse as Red Mist also shares in teen angst, wanting to be accepted by his father. In wanting to help, Plasse creates his own superhero that I suspect we will see more of. Strong as crime boss D’Amico gets funnier the more angrier he gets — that’s a plus for me.

The big stealers here are Moretz and Cage as the father daughter crime fighting — well sort of. Moretz is scary good as Hit-Girl with her witty one-liners, no nonsense action and in-your-face action. Cage actually pulls this off with comedy.

“Kick-Ass” is based on a comic book series created by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. The soundtrack has music from Joan Jett (“Bad Reputation”) and The Prodigy (“Hey Little World”).

Tubs of popcorn:
I give “Kick Ass” three-and-a-half tubs of popcorn out of five. This is an action-packed film of adolescence angst, comedy and the dream of comic book lovers everywhere. This is not a film for younger children, however. Although the characters are young, the content is filled with graphic violence and language.

Prepare for the thrill ride! The film has heart; it gives more than expected while still keeping it simple. The cast works and the story is great, giving the viewer time to know the characters and cheer for them — loud and often.

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