The Review: A concept so high you could get a nosebleed just looking at it, this is the amazingly-not-really-told-before story of what would happen if someone one day decided to put on a dumb outfit and tried to be an actual superhero.
The story manages to balance the fine line of being both exactly what you’d want such a story to be, and also to have enough subtle twists and turns to keep it fresh and inventive. There’s also a perfectly pitched crescendo of violence and action that runs through the movie, to a last half hour of fantastic intensity, culminating in some real punch-the-air moments of triumph.
Performances are all excellent, but the two absolute standouts are Nicolas Cage, who seems to be enjoying himself in a movie for the first time in about ten years, and Chloe Moretz, who as the foul mouthed, knife flicking, bullet dodging Hit Girl is a complete revelation and a highly inappropriate icon for generations of teenage girls to come.
It’s also worth noting that this has a very British sensibility, no doubt the product of director, writer, original comic writer and leading man all being British, and that the movie was produced outside the studio system. It’s also no doubt how Hit Girl managed to make it to the screen unscathed – to suggest that anyone will be corrupted or seriously offended by this assumes that the wrong people will somehow watch this movie in the first place.
There is a comic book sensibility to the whole enterprise, with lots of loving homages to comic history, in jokes and references, an animated sequence, first person videogame style action sequences and action sequences which would make John Woo proud. All of these enhance the experience rather than intruding, and it’ll take days to get the smile off your face by the end.
Why see it at the cinema: Simply to experience the pure balls out, unashamed guts of this movie with the biggest crowd possible. With any luck they’ll be cheering by the end.
The Score: 10/10