Dave Lizewski is an unnoticed high school student and comic book fan who one day decides to become a super-hero, even though he has no powers, training or meaningful reason to do so.
My standard warning: there may be spoilers.
My non-standard warning: Before watching the movie, I read the comics. So I may spoil the movie and the comics.
For one thing, when I thought about this, I thought about Frank Miller, author of the “deconstructing heroes” comic “Watchmen” but alas, not the same person (and their lastnames are not even written the same way!)
But, in a way, “Kick-Ass” is also a “deconstructing heroes” comic/movie, in the sense of “what is a hero?” (while “Watchmen” is a “What makes a hero?”) So it goes hand-to-hand with Watchmen.
The plot was substantially changed from the comic to the movie (although the main plot is still there.) Some things for good, some for bad. For example, in the book, the relationship between Dave and his father is explored further, to point where you notice that he actually cares about him; in the movie, this is barely touched which makes Dave’s decision to help others somewhat strange. On the other hand, the douchery that Hit Girl and Big Daddy are in the comic are completely removed to the point that you actually care about them.
Aaron Johnson as Kick-Ass/Dave works. And that’s all I can say about it: Not a surprising acting, but also not bad. Chloe Moretz is weird, but what could you expect from a 13 year old girl that says “cunts”? Nicolas Cage is so and so, with some good moments and some “meh” moments. Mark Strong, playing the bad guy, really shines. I mean, really. Think Alan Rickman in “Die Hard” shinning. And Christopher Mintz-Plasse, as the bad guy’s son is… well, Christopher Mintz-Plasse: The guy never gets a chance to play anything else, always the small, puny kid that nobody cares.
Editing is strange, when compared with the comic: The linearity that the comic offers is completely broken here. Or maybe I felt it was broken because I knew the comic.
One thing that I was playing attention this time and that usually doesn’t happen is the soundtrack: Really, I usually don’t pay too much attention to it (unless the soundtrack is part of the movie — which is not the case here) but it really shines. It have the perfect combination of upbeat, seriousness and comic when appropriate.
All in all, I’d say: Stay away from the comic till you see the movie; then read the comic.