I'm reluctant to add to the mountain of blog reviews of Kick-Ass, but I do have a few observations. First, it's remarkable what the filmmakers were able to accomplish in under two hours. They established the origins of four major characters without slowing the pace of the story. Usually in superhero films you have to endure the first act in which the protagonist is endowed with his power, but I didn't get that feeling here. In Kick-Ass, we witness Dave Lizewski become a superhero, but the origin story is woven into the entire plot. There's no twenty minute section that just screams "this is the origin of Kick-Ass". The same goes for Big Daddy, Hit-Girl and Red Mist- by the conclusion, we know enough of their backstory to understand what compelled them to don a mask.
Chloe Moretz - Hit-Girl
I also thought Aaron Johnson and Chloe Moretz gave two of the best performances in any superhero film to date. Johnson's nasally, whiny voice and slumped, beaten down posture perfectly captured a seventeen year old kid just trying to get through life. I thought his "Dave" captured a typical teenager's characteristics much better than even Tobey Maguire did in Spider-Man (2002).
What can I say about Moretz that hasn't already been said? This is the best I can do- her action scenes are as intense and exciting as any that I can remember. Obviously, a lot of credit has to go to her stunt double and the technical wizards that made the scenes so realistic. However, it was Moretz's delivery of the dialogue and attitude that made the scenes memorable. I have no doubt that she'll be an Oscar winner for some future role- I just hope it's in another superhero movie.
Aaron Johnson - Kick-Ass
In some ways, Kick-Ass reminds me of Watchmen (2009). I liked Watchmen because it took the seventy year old superhero genre and twisted its conventions and cliches into something totally original. In overall quality I think Kick-Ass is a notch below Watchmen, but I got the same feeling as I was watching it. I got the feeling I was watching a turning point in the genre. Maybe "turning point" isn't the right word. A better way of expressing it might be "A major evolutionary step in the development of the genre." To some, that might seem like way too much praise, but no matter what you thought of the film, it's hard to argue that there's never been anything quite like it before.