It was touching. It was violent. It was VERY good. Kick Ass is the first film in recent memory to turn the conventions of a genre inside out while at the same time managing to maintain earnest dramatic weight in its story line. It's a film about the impossibility of what films often make possible that establishes the possibility of the impossible still (even though its impossible). In other words-the characters get real licks trying to be bad.
The violence is startling, but serves a larger purpose. It exposes the gross realities of what is really involved in "super hero" activity, a reality often glossed over by other films. This approach, combined with some exceptional performances from Nicholas Cage and some lesser known actors, turn this into a must see. Even if just to quell the curiosity factor.
Five stars *****
Sam Worthington in Clash of the Titans
The same cannot be said of The Clash of the Titans which aims to exceed the original film it is based on, but falters dramatically. The original film, an adaptation of the Greek myth of Perseus featuring Harry Hamlin, had a certain charm and civility. Its stop motion animation was charming and still effective. The remake, featuring the pumped-up guy from Avatar, Sam Worthington, aims to be flashy and big and Lord of the Rings-esque. It does not understand how to take its time and cast a spell. All it knows is bombast.
Two and a half stars ** 1/2