starring Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Mark Strong, Nicolas Cage
screenplay by Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn, based on the comic book by Mark Millar & John Romita Jr.
directed by Matthew Vaughn
by Walter Chaw A wonderfully unlikely amalgam of Hong Kong-era John Woo and Shaolin Soccer/Kung Fu Hustle-era Stephen Chow, Matthew Vaughn's ebullient, often-unconscionable Kick-Ass reimagines Woo's iconic Tequila as an 11-year-old girl with a purple bob, an incredible potty mouth (she uses the "C" word correctly in a sentence, cunts), and absolutely no remorse in crushing a defenseless douchebag in a car cuber. Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) is destined to be an icon, a more popular tattoo-parlour fave than Calvin in evoking the cheerful, insouciant lawlessness of misdirected youth. Far from truly groundbreaking, though, sober minds could only identify her as a continuation of that quintessentially American, Huck Finn tradition of children as collective, societal Id and trickster gods. She's even employed in the picture as a punitive, apolitical, unapologetic champion of order who limits her victims to drug-dealers and gangsters, those disturbers of civilization. As her father (Nicolas Cage) clarifies in response to her unconventional upbringing, it's not his blame to shoulder, but arch-baddie Frank D'Amico's.