Kick-Ass – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Kick-Ass - Banner #1

Before Deadpool and Kingsman, there was Kick-Ass. Kick-Ass is a highly entertaining and ultra-violent film that fully embraces the spirit of the comic book. That is to say, writers Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman do a good job satirizing the superhero genre. Right from the get-go, Vaughn introduces the audience to the kind of irreverent tone found in the film. The comedy is as energetic as the film is and the film benefits from it. It’s a nice contrast to the ultra-violent scenes that accompany it. For the most part, the humor and ultra-violence are what made Kick-Ass so special. Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman were truly ahead of their time with this film.

Yet as great as the film is, it’s not entirely perfect. Kick-Ass suffers from a weak second act that drags the film to a lethargic pace. In other words, Vaughn bogs down the second half with an increasing number of subplots. Although some subplots work, others do not. For one thing, the friendship between Red Mist and Kick-Ass is a bit touching. It would’ve been nice to see the Kick-Ass and Red Mist “friendship” develop further. In fact, if Goldman and Vaughn gave our four superheroes more screen time it would’ve easily made the second act better. What we got is the exploration of Dave and Katie’s relationship which bolsters Dave’s “will I or won’t I suit up” dilemma. As we learned from Spider-Man 2, the hero always suits up again.

When we do see the four superheroes on screen then it makes for a grand time. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is engaging as Dave Lizewski/Kick-Ass. He’s personable, naive, and very innocent. He’s just a regular kid with no powers that simply wants to do the right thing. How can you not root for a guy like that? Johnson nails that perfectly. But the biggest standouts is Chloe Grace Moretz and Nicolas Cage. Moretz steals every scene as the deadly foul-mouthed Hit-Girl. Moretz portrays her character with such a childlike attitude that you won’t believe that Mindy is that deadly. Yet when it’s time to get down, Moretz kicks as much ass as anyone.

But the biggest revelation is Nicolas Cage as Big Daddy. Kick-Ass brings out the best in Cage in what may have been his best role since Lord of War. It’s incredibly clear that Cage is having a lot of fun in this role. Thankfully, he doesn’t ham it up as much as he does in his other films either. The rest of the supporting cast, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Mark Strong, are solid as the villains of the film. Then again, their performance isn’t as exceptional as Taylor-Johnson, Moretz, and Cage.

Overall, Kick-Ass is a film way ahead of its time. Kick-Ass was the first R-rated comic book film that blended comedy and ultra-violence together perfectly. Several years before Deadpool and Kingsman: The Secret Service. It’s easy to see why the film had a cult following. It’s charming, funny, entertaining, and doesn’t take itself seriously. Besides, who wouldn’t want to root for the underdog in a landscape dominated by Marvel and DC?

Movie Review: 4/5 atoms

Kick-Ass - Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Kick-Ass hits 4K Ultra HD with a Dolby Vision/HDR10 2160p transfer and a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The video presentation between the 4K UHD and regular Blu-ray is like night and day, and I mean that in an almost literal sense too. The 1080p video presentation is so incredibly bright that the whites bloom, the colors are oversaturated, and the blacks are a milky gray. On the other hand, the 4K video presentation is darker but it has the right amount of brightness. Clearly, the HDR improves the video quality immensely.

The saturation of the colors is just right while the whites are still bright but not blooming. The black levels are a true black and the shadowy details can still be seen. In addition, the details and textures are extremely clear. For example, close up shots of Mark Strong showcases every stubble on his face. Not to mention, the flesh tones are accurate as well. Overall, this is a huge improvement over the regular Blu-ray.

Video Rating: 5/5 atoms

Kick-Ass - Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Nicolas Cage

Kick-Ass hits 4K Ultra HD with a Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Master Audio track. The review will reflect Kick-Ass‘ core Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Master Audio track. Kick-Ass has always had a great audio presentation. The 4K UHD presentation is no different. The mix makes good use of the front, surround, and rear surround speakers. The sound effects pan through the soundstage seamlessly thus encompassing you within the film. There were a few times where loud scenes would overpower the dialogue coming from the center speaker though. It doesn’t happen a lot but it is something worth noting. That being said, the dialogue does come through clearly in the center speaker. In addition, the LFE will rock your home theater space. Overall, this is and always has been a great mix.

Audio Rating: 5/5 atoms

Special Features
Kick-Ass - Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Mark Strong

Kick-Ass‘ 4K Ultra HD and 1080p Blu-ray contain the following special features:

  • A New Kind of Superhero: The Making of Kick-Ass
  • It’s On! The Comic Book Origin of Kick-Ass
  • Marketing Archive
  • Ass-Kicking BonusView Mode (Blu-ray only)
  • The Art of Kick-Ass (Blu-ray only)

Although it’s rare to find special features on the 4K UHD disc, they’re still the same features from the original Blu-ray release. In addition, not all of the supplements can be found on the UHD disc either. What is on it, though, is the extremely comprehensive “A New Kind of Superhero”. The collection of behind-the-scenes featurettes run just below 2 hours long, and truthfully, it can get exhaustive after a while. However, I’m not going to knock it for being too comprehensive. The only other featurette that’s worth checking out is the “It’s On! The Comic Book Origin of Kick-Ass” featurette. This piece showcases how the comic book came to fruition.

Unless you enjoy watching the trailers or looking at still images, the rest of the special features aren’t really worth checking out. Overall, there is a nice amount of special features that can be found here. Just don’t expect to find anything new here.

Special Features Rating: 3.5/5 atoms

Overall, Kick-Ass is such a fun and irreverent film that deserved better box office numbers. Not to mention, Kick-Ass introduced us to the powerhouse combo of Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman. Surprisingly, the video presentation looks amazing in 4K. Not bad for a 7-year-old film. The audio presentation is just as good as previous releases. However, don’t expect any new special features in this UHD release. They’re all repeats from the previous Blu-ray release.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

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