One line summary: This movie is the highlight of my movie-viewing year thus far.
Fun+funny+good pacing+good characters = a roaring good time. I am behind on reading the comic series this movie is based on, but it has great geek references/Easter eggs, and evokes a very comic booky vibe (clearly Mark Millar was involved in the story's adaptation). It's fun to see a super hero movie that is based on a non-mainstream character (so, NOT Batman, Superman, Wolverine, Hulk) -- it's not mired in decades of continuity, various artistic visions, ravenous fan boys/girls who will rip it apart for being too far from the original story, and prior Hollywood incarnations of the characters. There must be freedom in making a geek movie like that.
Nic Cage's character, Big Daddy, has a great "Batman-ish" voice that I thought was hilarious. And Chloe Moretz -- who I confused with the kid from Little Miss Sunshine, my bad -- and who was born in 1997, for God's sake -- is my favorite character of all, Hit Girl. She is a pint-sized killing machine. She also has some of the best dialogue.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse (better known as McLovin') is Red Mist and reminds me a bit of Harry Osborn in Spider Man. If anything, he should've gotten more screen time. Probably in the 2nd installment.
Finally, British actor Aaron Johnson is Dave Lizewski (SO not a super hero name! No alliteration?! WTF?) and Kick-Ass. Ruled by hormones, barely out of puberty, and still pretty much a nerd, he's a great, if unlikely, hero. He and his friends could be the kids that ride my bus in the morning. Except I think those kids are cooler than Kick-Ass.
Anyway, he chooses to become a hero -- and why not? Ah, youth and that nigh invulnerability. How I miss thee. But he has no special powers, nothing really extra. Just a warm heat and good intentions.
My favorite line that I'm quoting around is a play on Spiderman's edict "With great power..." Kick-Ass tweaked this as his own version and I love it: With no power, comes no responsibility. I want that t-shirt and/or coffee mug.
I can't remember if I came up with a rating system for movies yet. Let's work on that. For now, I'll say 4 out of 5 stars (boring, I know -- creativity is for the weekend).