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trick or...treat?


Aaron Johnson, Clark Duke, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloe Moretz, Nicolas Cage, Mark Strong

Dave: The comic books had it wrong.  It didn’t take trauma or cosmic rays or a power ring to make a superhero…just a perfect combination of optimism and naivety.

A regular high school kid, Dave (Aaron Johnson), decides to try to become a superhero.  It doesn’t go very well, but he still becomes an internet sensation while also making enemies with some very dangerous criminals.

I had heard a lot of good things about this movie, so I had high expectations going in.  Despite some up and down moments, overall my expectations were mostly met.  Especially in the second half of the movie.  It gets sillier, but very entertaining and even kind of moving at times.

After a rough start where we have to listen to A LOT of voice-over by Dave, telling us just how normal of a teen he is, things finally get rolling.  I liked his initial attempts at superheroing and how mostly he was a failure at it.  I wish the movie had stuck to that premise more.  I was a little sad to see everybody acting fairly superhuman by the end of the movie, but once I came to terms with that disappointment, I was able to just sit back and enjoy it.

Aaron Johnson is pretty likable in the lead, and it’s good to see Nicolas Cage using his oddness to good effect once again, but I’d have to say that little Chloe Moretz steals the show as Hit Girl.  She gets quite a few good lines (often obscenity filled) and is usually at the center of all the best action sequences.  Again, I would have liked to see her abilities be grounded a little more in reality (I don’t think an 11 year old could kick an adult male across a room), but whatever, it works.

As you can probably tell from the title, this is just a fun movie that sets out to entertain the audience in about any way it can.  It mostly succeeds, though I must say it was more violent and intense than I was expecting.  Yet, the comedy, seriousness, violence, etc are all balanced pretty well.  If it had stuck with the idea that real life people could never hope to emulate superheroes, it would have gotten an even higher rating from me.  As is, it’s still a solid recommendation…just don’t try any of it at home.

Body armor…always wear body armor when you do your superheroing.

10 – 1.5 for giving some of the characters too many superhero-like abilities – .7 for some unevenness in tone = 7.7