Matthew Vaughn film plays to cheers in Austin, but one critic wonders why

March 14, 2010 | 4:55 p.m.
Kick-Ass

 

Over at our sister blog 24 Frames, reporter Mark Olsen sends in a dispatch from South by Southwest where he sat down in the dark with director Matthew Vaughn’sKick-Ass,” which has been hailed by some as the best opening-night film in the history of the Texas festival and conference. Olsen heard the cheers but did not feel the love. Here’s an excerpt…

The independently produced “Kick-Ass,” which Lionsgate will release in five weeks, feels somehow at once lean and bloated. Some of the effects underwhelm, and the whole thing has a light, cardboard-y feel. While set in New York City, much of the film was clearly shot in Toronto. And Aaron Johnson doesn’t quite have the charisma to pull off the lead part of the teenager who adopts the role of a superhero, leaving something of an empty hole at the center of the film.

The audience seemed with the film in places, but at times the cheers felt almost forced, as if the crowd had come out for a rollicking good time and was determined to have one no matter what.

I saw a screening of the film a few weeks ago at Lionsgate in Santa Monica and I have a different take on it — I think there’ll be a lot more cheering for this strange, scabby thrill ride that plays like “Heathers” for today’s audience. Time will time…

– Geoff Boucher

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Photo: “Kick-Ass” in action. Credit: Lionsgate

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