Kick-Ass (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Kick-AssTo say that I was not looking forward to the original April 16th theatrical release date of Kick-Ass would be like saying that I would rather watch a SD DVD of my favorite film over its superior HD counterpart.  It’s just not going to happen.  My obsession with this film happened way back on the magical date of July 24, 2009.  It was on that very day, within Hall H at Comic-Con 2009 in San Diego, that I was introduced to the world of Kick-Ass. I never wore a grin so large in life as compared to when we, the captive audience within Hall H, were treated to not only the film’s Red Band trailer, but also exclusive clips highlighting the mayhem and action of the eccentric cast.  Weird thing is, the film had no distribution deal as of yet.  It was shown first at Comic-Con to gauge the public’s interest.  And if memory serves me correct, the panel even got a standing ovation by the end of its time slot.  Not long after, Lionsgate, one of my favorite movie studios sealed the deal to distribute Kick-Ass nationwide.  And that was a great day indeed.  Sadly, Nicolas Cage was absent from the 2009 Comic-Con panel, but this girl (see below), Chloe Moretz (aka Hit-Girl), won the audience over with not only her youth and innocence, but also her, for lack of a better term, “kick-ass” action sequences.  I’m a firm believer that Kick-Ass would not be half the film it is without Hit-Girl.



I have to admit that upon my first viewing I was a bit let down.  Why?  It’s because like always, I had my expectations set WAY too high.  I hate when I do that.  Long story short, I knew I liked it, but I did not know what was wrong with my first press screening of it, other than the fact that the projector died and interrupted our viewing about three-fourths of the way in, but that’s a completely different story.  Anyway, like I always do, I went back for a second dose.  This time I took my now ex-wife because I know she would appreciate the kick-ass fighting of Chloe’s character because after all, she was a witness like I was at Comic-Con 2009 on July 24th.  So what happened upon my second viewing?  Well naturally, I loved it, just like everyone likes a superhero that anonymously rises against all odds and saves the world.

While the film has its apparent flaws, they are easily overlooked due to the all-star cast assembled for this project.  The Matthew Vaughn directed/produced film (adapted from the comic-book franchise of the same name written by Mark Millar) stars Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloe Grace Moretz, Clark Duke, Lyndsy Fonseca, Nicolas Cage, Marc Strong and Xander Berkely.  Anyone familiar with the previously mentioned names knows that they can all hold their own on the silver screen.  The onscreen chemistry is what makes this film so remarkable.  In my opinion, Chloe Moretz is the new generation of Dakota Fanning-like childhood stars.  It’s amazing how she delivers her performances while her real-life parents do a grand job of keeping her secured in reality, not the typical Hollywood slosh lifestyle.  They continue to do a phenomenal job of raising the young actress while she continues to shine film after film.

The film has multiple plot lines going on in the beginning that all seem to intersect by the film’s conclusion, but this is really a story about a boy in love with a girl.  Sounds familiar, huh?  As fate would have it, one day a teenage comic book geek, Dave Lizewski (A. Johnson), questions why nobody has ever decided to become a superhero like the ones in the comic books and movies.  He decides to take it upon himself to become a superhero, despite not having any supernatural powers, armed with only batons and a scuba diving outfit.  Hence, Kick-Ass is born.  He quickly discovers that crime fighting is harder than it looks in the comics and on the big screen.  After a horrible accident, young Dave awakens to an impenetrable body made possible by the many rods, screws and plates he has holding his shattered skeleton together.  With his newfound strength, he decides to give this superhero business another chance.

Fortunately for Dave, he is not alone in the crime-fighting world.  He has Big Daddy (Cage) and Hit-Girl (Moretz) on his side.  Together, the trio will stop at nothing to topple the evil empire of gangster Frank D’Amico (Strong).  Obviously, there’s more to the story than I am letting on here, but I want you to have fun with this film in case you have never seen it.  This film feeds the fantasies of comic book geeks all over the world, including mine.  While the film is comedic in its nature and tone, it delivers high-octane action, a well-written screenplay and most importantly, characters that we care about.  By the time Act 3 rolls around, if you are not feeling the plight of Hit-Girl’s unfinished business, then you have no soul.  This is a coming of age film that has heart, spunk and triumphantly kicks ass.  I think the film got shafted a bit, revenue wise, due to it’s R-Rating, but I would not have it any other way.



The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Kick-Ass.  My original look at the 2010 Blu-ray release can be found here.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Dolby Vision: Yes
  • Clarity/Detail: Compared to the 1080p Blu-ray presentation there is a real nice uptick in detail and sharpness throughout here in the 4K Ultra HD version.  Closeup details like freckles, moles and hair follicles are clearly on display while textures such as the bricks in city walls and stitches in costume clothing, not to mention the Neoprene in Kick-Ass’ scuba costume, make you feel like you can almost reach out and touch them all with tactile responses.  However, with the good comes the bad and the badd here is the shoddy special effects such as fire and explosions.  At times they look ultra fake with the uptick in detail here the 4K presentation provides us.
  • Depth: Depth of field throughout is exquisite too with many deep examples such as the opening scene where a masked crusader looks over the city before taking a tragic flight, the high school hallways, city streets, Frank’s Lumber Supply, Chloe Moretz staring down a gun and so much more.
  • Black Levels: The black levels are like an expensive comic book here.  They are deep, inky and dreamy throughout.  The nighttime scenes also look very dark, inky and gorgeous here.
  • Color Reproduction: The rich, bold and vivacious colors are what impress me the most here with this 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation’s Wide Color Gamut.  It’s like watching a real life comic book unfold onscreen as it’s printed, stamped and minted in the boldest of all inks.  In other words the colors pop with the utmost of saturation.  Needless to say things are a bit tweaked and jazzed up here, but that’s okay!  Things can be a bit surreal in my opinion when the subject matter and/or story is this gripping.  I know you’re probably laughing at yourself, but I really love this coming of age superhero spoof.
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones for me were spot on perfect, lifelike and authentic.
  • Noise/Artifacts: There was a thin layer of grain throughout in the presentation, but a couple of times it did get just a slight busy.  However, that’s nothing to ding things on here.  I did notice though a few white specks here and there and a couple of lighting quick scratches in the 4K presentation as I took it all in.



Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of Lionsgate’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Kick-Ass.  My original look at the 2010 Blu-ray release can be found here.

  • Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD compatible), French 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio Optimized for Late-Night Listening
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
  • Dynamics: One thing Kick-Ass really has going for it is its stellar soundtrack.  I did not feel it upon my initial theatrical experience, but upon subsequent veiwings I can honestly say that the pivotal music really captures the mood of the action sequences and drives the emotions played throughout the film.  The dynamics of this track are wide open because one minutes its sweet and tender and the next minute the action is kicking you in the balls.  However, that’s the beauty of this one as nothing ever gets lost in the crossfire of it all.  Fidelity is also spot on here for everything reproduced onscreen.
  • Height: The Dolby Atmos track here gives things a little boost with the height channels as now we have action, fight sequences, explosions, etc. all happening above as well as some overhead narration too.  It’s a nice added touch, but it’s not demo worthy for the greatest of Atmos moments.
  • Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer channel here gets a nice upgrade as there’s a little more oomph to things here from punches and kicks to gunfire and explosions, a head dive stories down into a parked taxi cab and so much more.  Even the score and soundtrack that accent specific moments give the sub a run for its money too.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: The score and soundtrack infect the rears throughout, but Kick-Ass is primarily front heavy.  That’s okay though because the rears get plenty of work thrown their way with moments such as glass shattering, gunshots, action, a cat meowing, fire burning, voices and many more.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: The dialogue reproduction here is clean, clear and intelligible throughout.



Like the video and audio of the Kick-Ass 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release, the special features back in the day from the original Blu-ray release are pretty “kick-ass” too.  Are you getting tired of me using that word?  I’m sorry.  I will only use it once more before this review is over.  I promise.  In addition to both an audio and video commentary plus a Digital HD file there’s a lot of stuff to cover here in the special features department housed on both the 4K UHD (not the BonusView) and the 1080p Blu-ray Disc, so let’s not waste any more time.  Shall we?  Follow me down…

  • Ass-Kicking BonusView – This is simply a video commentary that runs the exact length of the film’s runtime.  Synchronous with the feature film, this innovative multi-media presentation incorporates video and audio commentary, behind-the-scenes clips and illustrative graphics with Co-Writer/Producer/Director Matthew Vaughn, plus cast and crew providing an all-access perspective on Kick-Ass.
  • Audio Commentary – The audio commentary track here features director Matthew Vaughn.
  • It’s On!  The Comic Book Origin of Kick-Ass (HD, 20:36) – Here’s a 20-minute featurette that discusses the origins and creation of the comics.
  • A New Kind of Superhero: The Making of Kick-Ass (HD, 113:04) – This part documentary expends 113 minutes of screen time on your television set.  The four parts are Pushing Boundaries (creation of comics and making of the film), Let’s Shoot This F***** (behind-the-scenes footage), Tempting Fate (my favorite part which I was part of… visiting Comic-Con and finding a distributor) and All Fired Up! (visual effects).
  • The Art of Kick Ass – This one is kind of self-explanatory, is it not?
  • Marketing Archive (HD) – This one is kind of cool.  It pretty much has all the trailers, including the Redband Hit-Girl trailer, poster galleries and also an international poster gallery.  Not too shabby!



So what are you waiting for?  I am giving you the chance here to revisit the hilarious action comedy in four-times the resolution of Full HD with the Kick-Ass 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack.  Simply put, this film “KICKS ASS,” and I am declaring that this is a disc every superhero and comic book fan NEEDS in their personal collections.  No questions asked.  After a viewing or two, you can’t help but fall in love with this film, its divergent cast and its bombastic orgy of mayhem, action and balls-to-the-walls violence.   This Lionsgate 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release comes with the highest of my recommendations on the movie alone.  Pre-order your copy now!


DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified Ultra HD Premium television set found here and player here.  Make sure to check out all our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.



With Superhero Misfits on

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

October 3rd






Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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