We''ve all seen the "zero to hero" storyline a hundred times before, but I must say that this is the most refreshing take on the superhero origin that I''ve ever seen. Never quite a pure satire, this film doesn't really play it straight either as it moves back and forth between hilarious comedy and brutal action while always giving us characters we can care about. The only thing I can really compare it to is Kill Bill, and even that's not really appropriate. This one of a kind movie will take you on a unique, fun journey, provided you're willing to leave the beaten path.
Matthew Vaughn wrote and shot a great story, but the film wouldn't have worked nearly so well without such a stellar cast. Aaron Johnson keeps Dave a likeable teenager amidst all the craziness that surrounds him and Nicolas Cage delivers his best performance in years as Big Daddy. As wonderful as it is to watch these two skirt the line between superheroes and guys playing dress up, it's Chloe Moretz as Hit Girl that steals the show. The vicious killer who's also an innocent child could've gone wrong in any number of ways, but her performance carries it through.
This thing is absolutely loaded with bonus features. The featurettes range from ok to fascinating and cover every element of the film. Vaughn's commentary is more informative than entertaining but it does provide some really good insights into his process. Finally, the 'Bonus View' mode is actually worth checking out as it intercuts the commentary track with various interviews and behind-the-scenes looks. A fan really couldn't ask for anything more on this disc.
While certainly not a big-budget spectacle, this movie is still well served by the Blu-Ray format. The comic-book style colour palate shines in HD and the set pieces, engaging to begin with, really pop on this disk. Vaughn favours long shots over the schizophrenic editting so many action films lean on and his steady visuals really deserve the clearest possible picture.
This movie is not for everyone, but that's the price you pay for creating something so unique. If you can accept that a film can be simultaneously ridiculous, visceral, and heartfelt then this one's sure to please.