Millar's pacing problems are ironed out by screenwriter Jane Goldman, but she introduces some new ones of her own, completely scuppering the revelation of Red Mist's true identity for no apparent reason at all, and introducing Big Daddy and Hit-Girl far too early on, which only adds to the general impression that it's their film, and sidelining Kick-Ass somewhat. The changes to the house fire scene also have a knock-on effect, taking a significant moment of true heroism away from Kick-Ass so that when he later makes that crucial decision to be a real hero, despite his limitations, it seems to come as a result of the influence of the father-daughter team, rather than something from within himself.
On the other hand, the Big-Daddy/Hit-Girl relationship perhaps deserves to steal the limelight, as the pair are developed further than in the comics, and benefit from fine performances from the two actors. Everyone's talking about Chloe Moretz as
The film is packed with great action sequences, particularly towards the end, although the early fight between Kick-Ass and the guys-who-aren't-Puerto-Rican (because you can have a little girl say rude words, and you can show all sorts of gore and violence in close detail, but woe betide you mention the nationality of some muggers, or portray Republicans in a bad light...cripes) doesn't work quite as well as it does in the comics, with less of a sense of the protagonist actually pulling off a victory, something which is important to show at that stage in the narrative. There's a very effective strobe-lit combat sequence later on in the film, and director Matthew Vaughn clearly has a better idea of when to use techniques like slow-motion than certain of his peers; the fights in Kick-Ass are head-and-shoulders above those of Watchmen, while often achieving the savage beauty for which that latter film strained. The soundtrack is strong too, a good mix of songs and score which complements the action, and never seems bolted on in order to sell an album.
All in all, Kick-Ass is loud and silly and stupid in places, and makes some unfortunate errors here and there, but on the whole improves on the source material by throwing away its pretensions of realism and going just a little bit nuts. It's more Kill Bill than Unbreakable, is not quite as good as either, but still great fun. I would give Kick-Ass a Moviewatch eight out of ten!
(The film also gets points for referencing Scott Pilgrim, because Scott Pilgrim is ace.)