The fact that he doesn't have any super powers doesn't stop Dave from donning a ridiculous wet suit costume and attempting to fight crime. His first attempt ends up with his being beaten to a pulp, stabbed and then run over by a car. He's not exactly the Dark Knight. After his stay in hospital he wakes up endowed with amazing strength thanks to a pioneering new surgery...no, he doesn't. He wakes up with some damage to his nerve endings and a lot of metal in his body but that simply means he can take a kicking a bit longer than any of his friends would.
Undeterred by his first crime fighting experience ending so miserably Dave sets to the streets again and this time enjoys a modicum of success by thrashing some gang members who are beating a rival up. When footage of this finds its way onto youTube Dave becomes an internet sensation...or rather his alter ego does.
"Kick-Ass" is born!
Lurking in the background are two slightly more able crime fighters in the shape of ex-cop turned vigilante "Big Daddy" (Nicholas Cage) and his eleven year old daughter Mindy (Chloe Moretz) who is "Hit Girl". Unlike Kick-Ass these two have an impressive array of weaponry and genuine crime fighting/street fighting skills.
Eventually the two crime fighting teams are brought together to bring down mutual enemy Frank D'Amico (Mark Strong) and his son Chris (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) who poses as "Red Mist" in an attempt to lure both Kick Ass and Big Daddy into the arms of his father.
This is all based on Mark Millars comic book and, unlike the last adaptation of his work (Wanted) which was awful, this is a high energy, adrenalized, loud, brash, profane, violent, bloody and original piece of cinema which breathes a shot of fresh life into the comic book adaption world and the superhero genre.
Johnson, who was last seen playing over-rated Liverpool boy band member John Lennon, is fabulous as the awkward "Dave" and his attempts at crime fighting are brilliantly realistic. His question at the films start "Why aren't there any real superheroes?" is a good one...in a world where we are bombarded with images in film and on television about vigilantes in silly costumes it does seem peculiar that nobody has tried it in the real world. I doubt that after seeing what happens to "Kick Ass" that anybody will be following his example.
The real star of the show is Moretz's "Hit Girl". She is foul mouthed, witty, independent and has a mean way with a butterfly knife. She is the type of character guaranteed to have Daily Mail readers wringing their hands and wailing "Won't somebody think of the children?". In other words she is wonderful!
"Kick-Ass" kicks ass.