Kick-Ass (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack + Digital Copy) (2010)

Actors: Nicolas Cage, Mark Strong, Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloë Grace Moretz, Xander Berkeley, Jason Flemyng
Directors: Matthew Vaughn
Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen
Language: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Region: 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Number of discs: 3
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Lionsgate
DVD Release Date: August 3, 2010
Run Time: 117 minutes

Special features:

  • DISC 1:
    - Ass-Kicking BonusView™ Mode
    - Matthew Vaughn Audio Commentary
    - A New Kind of Superhero: The Making of KICK-ASS. In four chapters: 1) Pushing Boundaries; 2) Let’s Shoot This F*****! 3) Tempting Fate; 4) All Fired Up!
    - It’s On! The Comic Book Origin of KICK-ASS
    - The Art of KICK-ASS
    - Marketing Archive
    - BD Touch™ and Metamenu® Remote Enabled for iPhone®/iPod®/iPad® Interactivity
    - D-Box Metadata Track to Connect to D-Box Motion-Based Systems
    - Lionsgate Live™ – BD-Live menu system that lets you access exclusive content, special offers, ringtones, and more!
  • DISC 2:
    - DVD Version of the Feature Film
  • DISC 3:
    - Digital Copy® Version of the Feature Film


For the first thirty minutes, or so, Kick-Ass contents itself with reasonably clever riffs on costumed crime fighters. It posits some interesting questions, spins them out in an agreeably casual fashion and invites us to come along for some mildly grown-up four-color kicks.

And then she arrives: a ten-year-old sociopath clad in purple mylar and going by the handle of Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz). Her shocking dispatch of an entire room of drug dealers—to the theme song from “The Banana Splits” no less—signals the film’s true intentions. The scene is horrifying, exhilarating, gut-wrenching and more than a little sick. Numerous critics (including Roger Ebert) quickly worked themselves into a lather condemning it. Few of them understood its true intentions, however: to rip bare the foundation of the superhero genre and give us a good, long look. Yes, it was exploitative, but it also struck a deep and abiding chord that challenged comic book fans in ways that few films before it ever dreamed.

The movie’s hero (Aaron Johnson) is a perfectly ordinary, scrawny teenager who suddenly decides to put on tights and beat up bad guys. Nothing compels him to do it—no murdered Uncle Ben or deep-set hatred of criminals—just a need to make a difference in the world. He’s not very good at it, illustrating the reasons most of us don’t confront muggers in dark alleys to begin with. Hit Girl and her father Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) soon follow in his footsteps; they’re very good at it, but have become so twisted by their desire for justice that they tread dangerously close to full-bore insanity.

Director Matthew (Stardust) Vaughn reveals their story in starkly violent, decidedly unheroic terms. In the process, he forces us to ponder the difference between fantasy and reality: the ways that heroes both inspire us and leave us open to fatal, soul-crushing delusions. We adore these figures, but the film shows us those parts of their psyche we’d rather not consider. The bloodthirsty side, the damaged side, the side with no moral compass and a burning desire to act without consequences. Kick-Ass provides no easy answers for us or them, thrown into a world which has little patience for lunatics in spandex and forced to do the best they can.

In the process, it attains a remarkable balance. It admires these heroes, invests in their story and asks us to pull for them with all our might. But it also deconstructs them , pities them, and wonders aloud why any of us would form an attachment to them. It’s not always pretty, but it exhibits a profound understanding of the genre, and invites us to think long and hard about why we love it so much. That it comes atop a terrific good guys vs. bad guys throw down is just icing on the cake. Before we’ve even realized it, Kick-Ass has become the best superhero movie since The Dark Knight and one of the better movies of 2010, bar none.

THE DISC: The Blu-Ray emphasizes cutting-edge goodies, topped by a “Bonus View” mode that provides behind-the-scenes tidbits running alongside the movie itself. It also allows for D-Box and BD Touch downloading, as well as interactive news feeds from Lionsgate and a bookmarking feature that lets you pick your personal favorite spots on the disc. More mundane features include an audio commentary from Vaughn; a pair of behind-the-scenes features; a gallery which includes costumes, photos and original art from Kick-Ass co-creator John Romita; and both a DVD copy and a digital copy.

WORTH IT? Hard-core comic book fans shouldn’t require any prompting, and casual action lovers will enjoy it as well. Parents should be warned, however: despite the brightly colored poster and presence of a little girl among the leads, this is most definitely not a movie for kids.

RECOMMENDATION: The bells and whistles on the Blu-Ray add to an already impressive movie. Kick-Ass is an acquired taste, but those on its wavelength should consider the Blu-Ray a must-buy.

- Rob Vaux



blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest Headlines

Most Popular

Copyright © 1997-forward James O'Ehley/The Sci-Fi Movie Page (unless where indicated otherwise).