Sunday, August 9, 2009

Script Review: Kick-Ass

Genre: Action/Comedy
Premise: A high school teen decides to live out his dream and become a superhero. Aaron Johnson, Nicolas Cage, Mark Strong, and McLovin....I mean Christopher Mintz-Plasse star in the movie.
Writers: Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn

Dave Lizewski is pretty much what you’d expect in a movie like this. A nerdy kid who loves comic books. That’s basically how he spends his days. Reading comic books and jacking off. But he does impose a pretty good question. For years our culture has been flooded with superheroes. There are endless amounts of characters and they are featured in all different types of media, so why hasn’t anyone attempted to become one. It shouldn’t be to hard. Slap on some tights and a mask and your set. This is the question that haunts Dave. So he decides to change things. He puts on a costume and a mask and does the best job that he can of fighting crime. These first few pages are actually pretty grounded in reality. And then the writers decide to really mix things up, and boy do they take us on a ride.

We soon meet the character Big Daddy and Hit Girl. These are some twisted characters. Hit Girl at first glance is a sweet 12 year old girl. Our first scene with her we know there’s much more to this seemingly innocent child, because soon her father, Big Daddy is firing off rounds from a gun at her chest. Don’t worry. He’s not that sick, he made sure she was wearing a vest first, y’know, cause that makes this situation okay. Big Daddy is training his daughter to be a killer so they can take revenge on a guy named Frank D’Amico, the town’s gang leader who just so happened to cross Daddy in the past. Big mistake.

Dave (who now goes by Kickass) and the Big Daddy/Hit Girl combo go about their superhero deeds differently. While Kickass starts to gain nationwide fame as a masked vigilante, Daddy and his Girl are secretly offing Frank’s men, one-by-one. It doesn’t take long before Frank catches on and gets a shot of a costumed figure leaving the scene of one of his men’s deaths. So it’s not to hard to make the wrong connection. That’s right, Frank is mistakenly going after Dave/Kickass. And Frank is not the type of dude you want coming after you.

Frank is coming on the town superheroes hard, and we get a sub-plot that focuses on the dynamic he has with his son, Chris. Chris goes to school with Dave, and has the same interests, but is a loner due to his association with the biggest crime lord in the city. His father keeps his business very close to the chest and cares deeply for his son, not wanting him to get involved, but if he wants to stop these masked vigilantes, he needed Chris’ help. Enter Red Mist, Chris’ superhero alter-ego, used to earn Dave’s trust.

There are some great scenes that show the buddy dynamic of Kickass and Red Mist, who don’t know that they’re secret identities actually go to school together. Chris is actually a good kid and soon he gets Dave talking and realizes his father has the wrong hero. Maybe I was too hasty with that statement, because Chris aks Red Mist is going full force after Big Daddy and Hit Girl. He has Dave lead him right to them. And soon I start realizing the problems with this script.

Spoiler Alert: Big Daddy dies. He’s burnt alive and it’s Dave’s fault. He lead Frank and his goons right to him. This should have been an emotional scene, but the way the Big Daddy and Hit Girl characters are written, it’s as if Goon #2 had been the one in Big Daddy’s place. As Hit Girl watches her father die, she doesn’t even shed a tear. She has no family left, and she’s a trooper. Kudos, I guess, for the writers not letting them break character, but every script needs one thing, and that’s emotion. When Big Daddy dies I realized this script had none of it. I felt no remorse for Big Daddy. I didn’t care if he died. In fact, I realized I wouldn’t care if everyone in this script died because I didn’t particularly like any of them. Dave’s done nothing wrong, he’s a good kid, but if he died I could care less. Now, I understand this is based on a comic book series, and that’s how these characters were written. Keep in mind I haven’t read these comics, I’m just going off the script, but I really needed more from these characters. I can’t even describe it. There’s just something missing. Luckily, I’m a sucker for some good entertainment, so I still enjoyed myself.

So overall, it’s a exhilarating, action-packed thrill ride, but it’s riddled with teen cliches, lacks real emotion, and has a pretty basic plot. Maybe later drafts have fixed some of these problems. We’ll see.

[] Somebody should be fired
[] Bad
[] Mediocre
[x] Worth the read
[] Great
[] Amazing


Josh Floyd said...

Script Link:

Enjoy reading and leave your comments on the script here.

Coolio D said...

Its a shame about the lack of emotion thing cos that could totally ruin the movie :(

Anonymous said...

The clips released so far have been awesome. I'm definitely giving the script a read.

theblackpattern said...

Wow. Just wow. I loved this script. I had little interest in this film until I read this screenplay. It gets a little messy near the end, as Josh observed, but overall, this caught my attention in a big way.

Anonymous said...

All action and nothing else.

Anonymous said...

I'm hoping it's not just all action, the clips have been going over really well with audiences and the script sounds amazing!

Screenplay Jay said...

I enjoyed this script. Many of the same things bothered me though. I would have like more of the emotion connection with Chris and his father, Dave's motivation for donning the goggles (he says optimism and naivete - I say boredom and attention).

Chris seems to disappear for too long in the first half of the script and Dave's friends seem to be underutilized. After seeing some of the casting choices in these rolls, I have faith they will be fleshed out more.

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