Theatrical release poster
April 16, 2010
Kick-Ass is a 2010 superhero action comedy film based on the comic book of the same name by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. The film was directed by Matthew Vaughn, who co-produced the film with Brad Pitt, and co-wrote the screenplay with Jane Goldman. The film's general release was on 25 March 2010 in the United Kingdom and on 16 April 2010 in the United States.
Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) is an ordinary teenager who lives in New York City. Dave, an avid comic book fan, is bitter that people do not intervene when a crime is being committed. He purchases a bodysuit and, after making modifications, embarks on a campaign to become a real-life superhero, despite having no superpowers or skills. After his first crime-fighting encounter leads to him getting stabbed and getting run over in a hit and run, leaving him with permanent nerve damage, he gains an enhanced capacity to endure pain, and surgical implants required to repair multiple skeletal fractures give him resistance to further bone-crushing injuries. His effort to conceal the truth, claiming he had had his clothes thrown off after being mugged, leads to rumors that he is gay. His longtime crush, Katie Deauxma (Lyndsy Fonseca) immediately attempts to become his friend, having always wanted a "gay BFF"; Dave hesitantly goes along with it. After intervening in a gang attack, Dave's actions are recorded by a bystander and put on the internet, turning him into a celebrity. Calling himself "Kick-Ass", he sets up a MySpace account so he can be contacted for help. After responding to a request from Katie, he deals with a drug dealer, Rasul, who has been harassing her. Rasul and his thugs quickly overpower him, but he is rescued by eleven-year-old vigilante Hit-Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz), who kills Rasul first, and then kills all of Rasul's thugs and leaves with her father, Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage). They believe he has potential, but warn him to be more careful, and give him a way to contact them if needed.
Big Daddy is Damon Macready, a former cop who has a long-standing grudge against crime boss Frank D'Amico (Mark Strong) for framing him as a drug dealer, leading to the suicide of his wife. His former partner at the New York Police Department, Marcus Williams (Omari Hardwick), became guardian to his daughter, Mindy. Big Daddy, however, has reclaimed Mindy and is training her to be a skilled crime-fighter, against Marcus' wishes, hoping to take down D'Amico, sabotaging his organization. However, Big Daddy's actions inadvertently made D'Amico target Kick-Ass instead, believing that it was the latter that killed his men. D'Amico's son, Chris (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), suggests a different approach. He assumes the role of the vigilante "Red Mist" in order to befriend Kick-Ass and lure him into a trap. The attempted ambush is undone by Big Daddy, who independently kills D'Amico's men and sets the building on fire.
Following his escape from the warehouse fire, Dave decides to quit being Kick-Ass. He confesses the truth to Katie, and she forgives him and becomes his girlfriend. A week later, after finding a number of messages from Red Mist urgently requesting they meet, Dave decides to don his Kick-Ass costume one last time. At the meeting, Red Mist creates a ruse that both he and Kick-Ass have a bounty placed on both of their heads. Believing the story, Kick-Ass calls his allies, unwittingly leading Big Daddy and Hit-Girl into an ambush. Upon arriving at one of Big Daddy's safe houses, Red Mist shoots Hit-Girl out of a window, and D'Amico's men storm the place, capture Big Daddy, taking Kick-Ass with them. D'Amico intends to have his thugs torture and execute his captives in a live Internet broadcast viewed by millions, including Katie and Marcus, who can only watch helplessly. Hit-Girl, having survived the shooting, storms the hideout, killing all of the gangsters; but during the struggle, one thug sets Big Daddy on fire, fatally burning him. He and Hit-Girl share a tearful farewell before he dies. Kick-Ass tries to convince Hit-Girl to quit her dangerous lifestyle, but she plans to finish what her father started, and Kick-Ass agrees to help.
Hit-Girl infiltrates D'Amico's headquarters, pretending she lost her parents, kills the lobby guards and makes her way upstairs. Arriving at D'Amico's penthouse, she proceeds to kill every henchman in her path. She runs out of bullets at the end when Kick-Ass arrives on a jet pack fitted with miniguns that Big Daddy had previously acquired, and kills the remaining thugs. Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl then take on D'Amico and his son. While Kick-Ass fights Red Mist in the training room and the two manage to knock each other unconscious, Hit-Girl is overpowered by D'Amico (who was revealed earlier to be a black belt in martial arts) after a vicious fight and lies helpless as he prepares to kill her. As D'Amico aims his gun, Kick-Ass comes around and, armed with a bazooka that D'Amico's bodyguard had taken from Big Daddy's safehouse, comes to her aid, blasting D'Amico out of the window where he explodes in mid-air.
Red Mist revives in time to see Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl leaving on the jet pack, and is powerless to stop them. Mindy and Dave retire from crime fighting to live a more normal life, and Mindy returns to live with Marcus, and enrolls at Dave's school. Dave has been told to look after Mindy, "not that she needs it". Dave explains that although he is done with crime fighting, a new "generation" of superheroes have been inspired by his endeavor, and the city is safer as a result. Red Mist is shown donning a new mask as he quotes Jack Nicholson as the Joker, "As a great man once said, 'Wait till they get a load of me'."
- Aaron Taylor-Johnson is David "Dave" Lizewski,/ Kick-Ass: Johnson said that Kick-Ass is a "sensitive guy" who lost his mother and is a "nobody" at school, so he creates his superhero identity "as this whole different persona." Johnson said that Dave is "a kid who’s got the guts to go out there and do something different." Christopher Mintz-Plasse originally auditioned for the role of Kick-Ass, but during the audition the producers believed that his acting was too loud and obnoxious for the lead, so they immediately gave Mintz-Plasse the role of Red Mist instead.
- Nicolas Cage as Damon Macready / Big Daddy: Vaughn described Cage's performance as a little bit Elvis and a little bit Adam West. A character in the film even says his costume looks like that of Batman. Cage was inspired by his costume to try delivering his lines in the same style Adam West used for Batman. The police officer father of an ex-girlfriend also influenced his performance; the habit of Big Daddy referring to Hit-Girl as "child" stems from the police officer.
- Chloë Grace Moretz as Mindy Macready / Hit-Girl: Vaughn commented on the maturity of Moretz, who said that because she has four older brothers, she was no stranger to much of the language in the script. Her mother read the script and permitted her to use the profanity in the movie.Jane Goldman, one of the two co-writers of the script, said, "We just really wanted Hit-Girl to be a character who, in a sense, simply happens to be an eleven-year-old girl, in the same way that Ripley in Alien could have been a guy but the part happened to be played by Sigourney Weaver." Goldman said that Mindy "is genuinely dangerous, she's genuinely mad. It's not her fault: she's been raised in this environment where she doesn't know anything different. She's unwittingly part of a folie a deux."
- Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Chris D'Amico / Red Mist: Frank D'Amico's son. Millar said that "the idea was that he was going to be a more minor character in the first film. Then we saw what Christopher Mintz-Plasse was capable of! [...] So the idea of McLovin' and the fun Red Mist doing something horrible is genuinely quite disturbing when you see it happen. We couldn't have got away with that with another actor. The minute we saw his performance, we were looking at each other and realised how good he was and what we could do with him in the future...." Mintz-Plasse said that when he first wore the Red Mist costume, he felt that it was entertaining and that he "looked so bad-ass." The actor sent photographs of himself in costume to his friends. Three weeks into the filming, Mintz-Plasse decided that the costume was not very comfortable and "a big pain in the ass." Mintz-Plasse wore the costume for 12 hours per filming day. Mintz-Plasse had to learn how to use a stick-shift in order to drive the Ford Mustang that is used in the film. Vaughn told Mintz-Plasse that the actor would have to pay for the car if he crashed it.
- Mark Strong as Frank D'Amico: The head of a criminal organization. Strong says he is drawn to playing the antagonist. He tries to "understand the purpose of the character", and then work on building a believable individual.
- Lyndsy Fonseca as Katie Deauxma: Dave's longtime crush and eventual girlfriend.
- Michael Rispoli as Big Joe
- Kofi Natei as Rasul: A gang leader whom Dave (as Kick-Ass) challenges until Hit-Girl arrives to kill the gang members.
- Katrena Rochell as Female Junkie
- Yancy Butler as Angie D'Amico: Frank's wife and Chris' mother.
- Jason Flemyng as Lobby Goon: The building doorman.
- Elizabeth McGovern as Alice Lizewski, Dave's mother.
- Garrett M. Brown as James Lizewski, Dave's father.
- Sophie Wu as Erika Cho: Katie's best friend.
- Dexter Fletcher as Cody
- Clark Duke and Evan Peters as Marty Eisenberg and Todd Haynes: Dave's two best friends.
- Xander Berkeley as Detective Victor "Vic" Gigante: A police officer working for D'Amico.
- Omari Hardwick as Sergeant Marcus Williams: Former partner of Damon Macready.
- Deborah Twiss as Mrs. Zane: Dave's English teacher.
- Craig Ferguson as Himself
- John Romita, Jr. as Atomic Comics barista
Series-creator Millar, a native of Scotland, asked Scottish television children's-show host Glen Michael to make a cameo appearance although his role was cut from the film. Millar was also set to make a cameo as a Scottish alcoholic but the scene was cut from the film. WCBS-TV news reporters Maurice DuBois, Dana Tyler, and Lou Young make cameo appearances.
- Main article: Kick-Ass: Music from the Motion Picture