Film Review: Kick-Ass [dir. Matthew Vaughn; 2010]
Be warned: if you never went through a phase of reading comic books and you have absolutely no time for stories which feature super powers, rubber costumes or secret identities, then Kick-Ass almost certainly won't win you over. However, those of you who did donate a sizeable proportion of your pocket money to the pension funds of Marvel and DC will probably find a great deal to enjoy in this clever tale - replete with over-saturated colours and skewed camera angles - of a teenager who hatches a preposterous scheme to become a local crime fighter. Super-hero movies are fairly easy to spoof, so Kick-Ass ups the ante by presenting parody side-by-side with a bona fide 'caped crusader' story. The mix of the two works surprisingly well, highlighting the comical elements of the former whilst emphasising the exaggerated action of the latter. When the violence reaches Tarantino-esque extremes - which it does on more than one occasion - it risks souring the movie's playfulness (not least because much of the mayhem is caused by a foul-mouthed little girl) but a judiciously restrained moment of wit usually comes along to redress the balance. And the blink-and-you'll-miss-it shot of two costumed teens bopping along to Gnarls Barkley's Crazy is priceless.