Going into the screening with Ryan, I had a vague idea that the movie was about a high schooler who decides to become a masked crime fighter, thanks to numerous trailers and a handful of TV spots. Despite not having read the graphic novel, I was blown away.
First off, the cast. The only actor who I hadn't heard of before seeing promotional material for the film and the film itself was Aaron Johnson, who had the lead role of Dave Lizewski/Kick-Ass. Needless to say, he did a pretty good job, although something about him in the role didn't quite click. Maybe it was his voice. Apart from that, the rest of the cast did a great job, especially Chloe Grace-Moretz as Mindy Macready/Hit Girl. She blew it out of the park. ... Or perhaps knifed the hell out of it. A 13 year old girl playing an 11 year old with a dirty mouth and a love for weaponry ... so out-of-the-ordinary, it's hilarious. She stole the movie.
Secondly, the plot. While I haven't read the graphic novel, I took the opportunity to check out the plot run-down on Wikipedia after seeing the flick. While details were changed during the transition, the changes did help to keep the movie grounded in reality at first, before taking off like --- I'm going to stop there.
Thirdly, the soundtrack. It definitely kept the energy up and kept the film going. And there were a few wise song choices, like the theme from For A Few Dollars More towards the end, as well as Joan Jett and the Blackheart's "Bad Reputation".
And finally, I dug all the comic book/pop culture nods, like Hellboy posters in the comic book store that Dave and his friends frequent in the film, along with an issue of Runaways, The Avengers, a passing reference to Scott Pilgrim, Spiderman, X-Men, and the show that keeps everyone guessing ... Lost.
So, because of time constraints, I'll keep this review short, sweet, and to the point.
Overall, the movie was a solid, faithful graphic novel adaptation that was packed full of bloody violence and just enough salty humor. 4 out of 5 stars.