One ordinary day, geeky teenager Dave Lizewski's (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) makes the life-changing decision to become a superhero. It's a particularly bold decision given that he isn't particularly strong or smart, and has no superpowers to speak of. Dressed in Lycra like the characters from his favourite comic books, Dave's alterego Kick-Ass takes to the streets, but his first attempt to save the day sees him beaten, stabbed and run over.
With damaged nerve endings and newly inserted metal plates, Dave's life-threatening accident actually helps him in his crime-fighting quest, and when one particularly heroic act is filmed by an onlooker, Kick-Ass becomes an internet superstar.
Dave is soon pulling on his super-suit to help out gorgeous classmate Katie (Lyndsy Fonseca), leading to a brutal run-in with a drug dealer, and a life-saving intervention from Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) and Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage), who he forms an uneasy alliance with. Real-life superhero Damon 'Big Daddy' Macready was a cop, framed by crime lord Frank D'Amico (Mark Strong), and now he and his sharp-shooting ten-year-old daughter are determined to get revenge.
Unfortunately Dave's heroic exploits have also landed him in D'Amico's sights, and the ruthless villain's neglected teenage son (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) has a plan to bring him down.
One of the most enjoyable movies of recent years, this fearless firebomb of fun from Brit director Matthew Vaughn was one of the smash-hits of 2010. Written by Stardust collaborator Jane Goldman, Kick-Ass is packed with sharp humour and stylish action giving it broader appeal than your average comic book saga.
The cast are superb across the board, with Strong rapidly making a name for himself as Hollywood's go-to villain. Johnson, meanwhile, is brilliantly lovable in the lead role - the British star of Nowhere Boy transforming effortlessly into an awkward American high school student. It is Moretz, however, who steals the show as foul-mouthed, ass-kicking Hit Girl, a character who caused much controversy upon the film's release.
The fight scenes are full-blooded, but work well when offset by the film's smart, knowing gags. Those of a sensitive disposition may find themselves offended, but Kick-Ass will delight anyone looking for original and exhilarating viewing.