There have been many movies where the hero has some form of power that aids him in fighting his foes with an unfair advantage. What if the advantages were reversed?
A simple kid with no power, talent, skill, or even money to support his dream of becoming a hero. While the villain has all the wealth in the world along with a strong reputation that makes people fear going after him, not to mention the army of goons at his disposal.
That is the basic premise of Kick-Ass. Making the most realistic hero movie while not holding back on its gore and brutality with what it has. Matthew Vaughn, the director of the movie made sure to not hold back to make the movie as revolutionary as possible compared to the classic hero movie formula.
“I think Kick-Ass became a new type of genre. Everyone was like, oh, you can’t make R-rated superheroes. No one will want to see an R-rated superhero. You can’t do this. You can’t do that. So, I had this idea, and it was so nuts that I went, yeah, great. It’ll cause just as much controversy, and everyone will talk about it and as many people that love it will hate it.”
While his mission was greatly successful, it left a sense of action going from a grounded and realistic level to being massively upscaled with machine guns and bazookas being thrown into the mix. Here are a few points that could be deemed realistic and some that are not.
Kick-Ass has some of the most realistic fighting sequences in action movies when it introduces its protagonist as a nerd who wants to become a hero. No gun-fu, no martial arts, no powers, just raw fighting with two batons at his disposal.
Not only that, the movie starts off by making sure its audience knows exactly what the deal is within its universe as we witness a man with a makeshift bird suit attempt to take flight and instantly land on the roof of a taxi and die. This signifies how the movie wants to stay as grounded and realistic as possible while not being too boring.
As the film progresses, the action sequences naturally get more intense and the realistic fighting style slowly starts to take a backseat once Hit-girl gets introduced in the film. However, it still sticks to its roots of having as much fist-to-face action rather than driving more focus to the eye-catching martial arts.
As far as gadgets come into play, the chains to reality start to shift in their early stages. The closest thing Kick-Ass has to a gadget would be the taser he uses in a fight as he aims to incapacitate, not kill.
However, this barrier of staying grounded gets tossed into the wild once Big Daddy and Hit-Girl are introduced as not only do they have an entire armory of guns and knives already available at their home, but they also have tech that can track their targets.
By the end of the film, it reaches a satirical stage once Kick-Ass shows up for the climactic battle at the end of the film as he is strapped to a jet pack that has machine guns installed on both sides.
Realistic fashion decisions
After having such brutality in the movie, one would think that the costumes must be ridiculously armored and made out of some kind of bulletproof cloth.
That is far from the case of this hero film as the protagonist not only starts off by purchasing his hero suit online, he stays in that plain green spandex onesie for the entire film without any extra layer of protection.
Even for the "super" heroes of the film, Big Daddy and Hit-Girl are more cladded kevlar and armor, there is nothing out of the world for their suit design.
Big Daddy is heavily covered in kevlar as he is the attention grabber when it comes to fighting so that he can absorb most of the damage coming his way while Hit-Girl's suit is sleek and flexible allowing her to be as agile as she wants as she kills silently as she sneaks around the area.
The antagonists of the film have already reached the top of the social ladder and relaxed with no goal in mind other than to keep their business thriving through whatever means necessary.
With that type of antagonist, their motivation is already low as they have already achieved what they wanted in their life. Which makes it even more ridiculous when one of them decides to parade around as a fake hero with an entire costume, gadgets, and car ready to go.
The lengths Frank D'Amico and Chris D'Amico go through to capture and kill the heroes definitely makes the film more engaging and entertaining. However, the goal is achieved by sacrificing the grounded aspect it had maintained for the first half of its runtime.