Based on the comic book written by Mark Millar and Johns Romita, Jr., this is the story of Dave Lizewski (Johnson), an ordinary teenager who goes unnoticed in high school until he takes a chance to "do something" and dons a mask and becomes "Kick-Ass" to fight real-life crime. Bruised and beaten and without any real super powers, he is saved by a father-daughter duo (Cage as "Big Daddy" and Moretz as "Hit-Girl") who know all the right moves and have a vendetta against a vicious crime-lord, D'Amico (Strong). After a fiery Internet storm of publicity for Kick-Ass, D'Amico wants to meet the masked man, and his son (Mintz-Plasse) dons a costume of his own and becomes "Red Mist" to befriend him and get in his father's good graces. The story comes to a head when D'Amico succeeds in luring the crime-fighters to his home and ass-kicking destruction ensues. (Gary Reber)
The high-octane three-disc package includes the Blu-ray Disc™ release, the DVD release, and a digital copy of the film. Special features include commentary with Co-Writer/Producer/Director Matthew Vaughn; a multimedia Ass-Kicking Bonus View Mode incorporating video and audio commentary; behind-the-scenes clips and illustrative graphics with Vaughn; plus cast and crew providing an all-access perspective on the film; "A New Kind Of Superhero: The Making Of Kick-Ass" documentary in four segments (HD 01:53:04); the featurette "It's On! The Comic Book Origin Of Kick-Ass" (HD 20:36); "The Art Of Kick-Ass" gallery broken into storyboards, costumes, onset photography, production design, and John Romita, Jr.'s art for the film; a marketing archive, which includes the theatrical trailer, Redband Hit Girl trailer, North American campaign and international campaign; D-BOX Motion Code; BD Touch and Metamenu Remote powred by BD Touch supports iPhone OS and Android personalization; bookmarks; and Lionsgate-Live functionality.
The 1080p AVC picture is terrific, with a vivid and bright color palette, with strong, saturated hues that pop off the screen. Contrast is generally excellent with deep, solid blacks and revealing shadow delineation, though, at times the images are surreal. Dimensional depth is excellent as well. The colors are stunning and richly hued, with excellent resolution, resulting in images that are impressively sharp and clear. Fleshtones are rendered naturally throughout. The comic book renderings are dramatic and visually engaging. The picture is visually stunning throughout and captivating as a visual experience. This is a reference-quality picture experience that is sure to please. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel soundtrack is nicely produced, though, the one disappointing element is the ADR dialogue, which is disconnected from the scenes, with poor spatial integration and a close-mike muffled sound. The dialogue is forward sounding, and Hit-Girl is often unintelligible. The music score is well recorded with a wide soundstage and a solid low-frequency foundation, and a solid surround presence. Sound effects are often aggressively dynamic and dimensional, and surround enveloping. Often scenes collapse to monaural, with no atmospheric sound effect support. The additional channels provide a larger holosonic® presence when the music score is engaged and at times during action sequences, but the added side channels are positioned to the back sides of the sweet spot listening position, not to the sides as they should be. Thus, unless you switch outputs, the normal surrounds in a 5.1-channel mix will be at the sides, not to the back sides. Unfortunately, the creative community, the studios, and the equipment manufacturers, have not dictated a spatial loudspeaker setup standard. Our preferred 7.1-channel setup is a perfect circle, with each full-range loudspeaker location equidistant from the sweet spot and equidistant from each other along the perimeter of the 360-degree circle. In this arrangement, the added mid-left and mid-right surrounds convey added surround envelopment and dimensionality. Unfortunately, some 7.1-channel soundtracks are produced with the added channels not at the sides but behind the sweet spot listening position, which then creates positioning problems for normal 5.1-channel presentations, with the surround loudspeakers located to the back sides of the prime listening position, including for surround music reproduction. The soundfield, at times, sounds impressively huge and expansive but the overall surround envelopment is inconsistent. This is an exciting soundtrack that, at times, sounds dynamic, with effective low-level atmospheric sound effects that enhance the holosonic envelopment. The sonic experience is effectively enhanced with the D-BOX motion cues during action sequences, for a thrilling visceral effect. (Gary Reber)