Despite it's name this film is not about animal cruelty. Damned colonials.
This was another film about which I knew nothing before sitting down to watch it. I am also not familiar with the graphic novel.
To start off I wasn't impressed. During the first 10 minutes it looked like nothing more than another juvenile American teen comedy. The lead roll seemed to be that of a cretin who enjoyed running round dressed like a weird Norwich city supporter. Yes I know all Norwich City supporters are weird, this bloke just looks a bit more weird.
It got better. In some places it got much, much better. Nicholas Cage turned up in the role of Big Daddy. The first scene featuring Cage is superb and his take off of Adam West's Batman was really good and quite comical. Hit-Girl (Chloë Moretz) was excellent. The idea of a small 11/12 year old girl beating the living daylights out of nasty gangsters seems silly but it works in the context of the film and is funny to boot.
There was some British interest among the cast. Mark Strong was the baddy Frank D'Amico with Dexter Fletcher as one of his henchmen along with a few other familiar faces. Fletcher's character dies by being crushed in a big yellow Range Rover, which for some reason reminded me of Layer Cake.
There is a good bit of violence in the film. Some lib dems/warmists/guardianistas and other wet wusses may find the site of Hit-Girl stabbing, shooting and generally slaughtering bad guys in nasty ways upsetting. Not to mention the scene involving the industrial size microwave.You should not find this upsetting you should find it amusing and sometimes even funny. If you don't there is something wrong with you.
The film definitely has high points and a few places where it drags especially during the longish periods when Big Daddy and Hit-Girl were not on the screen. There are a few good tunes in the soundtrack. Backing Hit-Girl's first slaughterfest with The Dickies version of the Banana Splits theme put a big smile on my face.
I would rate this film :- Funny, violent, not quite kick arse enough but worth a watch.
Also have a watch of Defendor (Woody Harelson) a similar theme handled a little differently.