On one hand, you have Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn, respectively the writer and director of the pitch-perfect 2007 adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Stardust, reteaming for the first time since that fantastic film. On the other, there's Nicolas Cage, who hasn't been truly memorable in anything since Adaptation, and Mark Millar, the comic-book guru whose rampant egomania has come to overshadow what talent he has, as last evidenced in the Angelina Jolie vehicle Wanted. Suffice it to say, then, that going in, I didn't know what to think of Kick-Ass. I had my expectations for each of its component parts, certainly, but of the whole... nothing.
Aaron Johnson, acclaimed for his star-making role in the John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy, is Dave Lizewski, an unremarkable high school student who decides to become a super-hero. He has no powers. His only training is that which he performs in front of his bedroom mirror. Dave has no earthly reason to do what he does - which is to say, order some spandex off the internet and take to the streets to right the world's wrongs - except, well, why not? A false start nearly kills him, but Dave isn't discouraged, and soon enough his antics begin to attract attention from all the wrong places. The media go crazy over Kick-Ass, several more camera-shy vigilantes come out of the woodwork to warn Dave that his amateurishness could be the end of him, and a criminal kingpin - a real villain - blames him for the mysterious disappearance of copious quantities of cocaine.