KICK ASS (2010)
Have fear. They’re here.
Damon Macready / Big Daddy
I can’t be invisible but I can kick your ass
Jon Romita Jr (illustrator)
Kick Ass is a revolutionary take on the superhero genre following the life of an ordinary New York teenager Dave, who becomes obsessed with becoming a real life superhero, despite having no superpowers or abilities.
The superhero norm is playfully deconstructed, beginning with Dave buying a superhero costume, training hard to develop his agility, including attempting to jump between rooftops, but unlike Superman, backs out at the last minute. Soon encountering his first crime, Dave takes on two car thiefs singlehandedly, receiving a severe beating, getting stabbed and ending up being hit by a car, putting him in hospital with metal plates being placed inside his skeleton. However, rather than be put off his Superhero dreams, Dave returns to patrolling the streets, and in defending an attack victim and heroically seeing off his assailants (mainly due to his damaged nerve endings, giving him a higher capacity to endure pain) his Kick Ass character becomes a famous youtube phenomenon overnight.
Things were looking up for Dave especially as the girl he has a crush on, Katie, wants to become his best friend, albeit by mistakenly believing he is gay.
In an attempt to help Katie, Dave’s next opponent is local drug dealer, but he is soon out of his depth with the dealer’s gang and it becomes clear he is in mortal danger. Enter superskilled vigilante ‘Hit Girl’, who deftly kills all of his assailants in a swiftly violent hyper skilled attack, leaving Kick Ass stunned as she departs with her masked vigilante Batman lookalike father Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) until they later find Kick Ass at home and offer them their support to work together.
The father and daughter / Big Daddy and Hit Girl story is revealed in a comic book style; he is former cop Damon Macready who was framed by crime boss Frank D’Amico and consequently jailed. While in jail, his wife took an overdose and died. Ever since, Damon has been on a mission to get his revenge, and on his release, from the age of five, trained his daughter and himself to become crime fighters, creating their alter ego identities as ‘Big Daddy’ and ‘Hit-Girl’.
Meanwhile, Frank D’Amico is on the hunt for Kick Ass who he believes has damaged his organisation, which results in his own son dressing up as a fake ‘superhero’ called Red Mist in order to ‘befriend’ Kick Ass and luring him, Hit Girl and Big Daddy into a devastating trap in the process, resulting in Hit Girl going on a path of revenge of her own, with her new found crime fighting partner, Kick Ass.
Nicolas Cage Movie Quote:
“There was a kind of playful creativity to the experience of making Kick-Ass that I enjoyed thoroughly, particularly because of Matthew Vaughn’s direction and his willingness to go in these pretty unusual waters. He was open to the idea of me channelling Adam West to play Big Daddy. I can’t think of another director who would allow that, but at the same time he was really the captain of his own ship.”
Kick Ass won a 2011 Jameson Empire Award for Best British Film, presented by The Industry Trust and nicolas cage was nominat3ed for several awards for his performance as Big Daddy / Damon Macready including the 2010 Teen Choice Award for Best Movie Actor in an Action Adventure, the 2010 Scream Award for Best Superhero and the 2010 Scream Award for Best Fantasy Actor
Director Matthew Vaughn described Nicolas Cage’s performance as Big Daddy as ‘a little bit Elvis and a little bit Adam West.’
Apart from Nicolas Cage’s homage to Adam West’s Batman, there are several winks to the superhero genre in the movie, especially to Superman.