“This is real life.”
That’s the supposed lesson presented during the first Kick-Ass as Dave Lizewski is beaten to within an inch of his life and later tortured and almost murdered by a horde of mafia goons who kill Big Daddy, a former cop turned vigilante and loving, yet terrible father.
The stakes are real, there are consequences to playing make-pretend superheroes — this is the message, but then all of that is undercut when Dave aids Big Daddy’s daughter, Hit Girl, in her quest for revenge. In the end, the pair soars high above New York City, on their way toward a “normal” life after killing the bad guy with a bazooka.
It’s an ending that is basted in cliche, but it fits as a cap to a fun and empty collection of over the top action scenes that are tied together by the thin thread of a paint by numbers script.
Kick-Ass didn’t light the world on fire with its box office receipts, bringing in just $48 million at the US box office and about the same through international markets, but it was well received and studios seemingly love to be in the comic book movie business, hence, a sequel was born.