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Kick-Ass

Somehow, my radar missed this movie. I don't know why, but I knew next to nothing about it aside from a quick mention from streamweaver here (via his Twitter feed), and from jasondemotte over on Facebook.

Fortunately, my husband was interested in going.

I really enjoyed it. The film manages to successfully combine comic references, satire, a sweet, geeky heart, and a level of violence that Tarantino could respect (Gogo Yubari, meet Hit Girl). Nevertheless, Roger Ebert didn't care for it. Insightful as I think his reviews generally are, in my opinion, he missed the point, as he states in the second sentence of his review. Yes, the villain bloodies an 11-year old girl. Please read that sentence again: the villain. Not a good guy. If anything, it's part of the reality and honesty depicted in the film: average people who go up against gangsters and thugs generally get hurt.

And yet, her father, crazy though he is, has tried to prepare his daughter so she can defend herself against some of the horrible realities of life. I'm reminded of Sydney Bristow and Project Christmas in Alias.

Does she deserve a normal childhood? Of course she does, and that perspective is represented in the film. And yet, if Hit Girl really existed, I don't think she'd be part of the following statistic on human trafficking:

According to United States State Department data, an "estimated 600,000 to 820,000 men, women, and children [are] trafficked across international borders each year, approximately 70 percent are women and girls and up to 50 percent are minors.


Plenty worse than what happened to Hit Girl happens every day to people who aren't anywhere near as prepared to fight back.

I didn't mean to turn this post into a polemic. Let me get back to the movie.

Kick-Ass has a surprising amount of charm and tenderness despite its candor about the harsh brutality one faces as a real-life vigilante. It also stays true to its comic book core by establishing origin stories for at least two characters who could potentially face off in the future if there's a sequel.

References -- there's plenty of fodder here for film geeks. I caught nods to The Matrix, Spider-Man, Tim Burton's Batman, and Superman; there was a John Woo shout-out from Nicolas Cage's character (Cage was in Face/Off), and ... I'd probably catch more on a second viewing.

I've heard the movie is fairly faithful to the comic; I wouldn't mind having a look.

It isn't for everyone; this isn't a cookie-cutter film, and some may be uncomfortable with the way the pendulum swings from teenage hormonal comedy right over to dark revenge, with plenty of quirkiness in-between. Nevertheless, I think it has cult classic potential.

I definitely think almost everyone who reads my LJ will enjoy it.

Side note: I may have strained the muscles in my eyes from rolling them so strenuously over the censorship at the North Point Market 8 cinema. Someone had put black tape over the latter part of every single sign for Kick-Ass. Never mind that Merriam-Webster's first definition for ass is as follows:

1: any of several hardy gregarious African or Asian perissodactyl mammals (genus Equus) smaller than the horse and having long ears; especially : an African mammal (E. asinus) that is the ancestor of the donkey


Any parent could honestly respond to an inquisitive child asking, "What's an ass?" by stating that it was a donkey (or, better yet, a perissodactyl mammal!). There's nothing requiring them to disclose that it's a mildly vulgar term for buttocks, or that it is often used pejoratively to refer to someone who's being stupid or rude. Overprotective much? I only wonder whether the theater was anticipating a complaint, or if some aging PMRC refugee looking for a new cause made a nuisance of him/herself about it.

Which reminds me: if I ever meet Al Gore, I'm going to inform him that, remarkably, I grew up to be a contributing member of middle class society despite being exposed to a few scandalous music lyrics during the Eighties, and that it seems that Tipper's overweening concern was entirely unnecessary after all. Or if I don't have that much time, I'll just tell him that I never liked his wife because of that nonsense, and leave it at that, just to let him know that some of us haven't forgotten. Yeah, I'm sure he'll worry all the way to the bank. ;)

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
jasondemotte
Apr. 26th, 2010 01:48 am (UTC)
Hit-Girl easily steals the show and was awesome and I hope the actress keeps working because she really sold that role that could have easily been made too cutesy or silly.

But after that I loved Nic Cage's performance, in particular when he was acting as Big Daddy. This was obviously a man who watched a lot of Adam West's Batman growing up.
pointedview
Apr. 26th, 2010 02:21 am (UTC)
I'm glad you brought up the acting, and I agree on both counts. Hit Girl could've been a running pint-sized superhero gag. She wasn't. Thanks to Chloe Grace Moretz's performance, she wasn't a joke. Aaron Johnson conveyed a sweet vulnerability and idealism that I found very believable; I thought Christopher Mintz-Plasse was pretty good, too.

It was nice to see Nicolas Cage acting. He's had some iffy roles recently. Overall, a decent cast.

I also liked the soundtrack.
jasondemotte
Apr. 26th, 2010 07:12 pm (UTC)
I almost feel bad for Aaron Johnson because he is supposed to be the star but clearly Chloe Grace Moretz is getting all the attention. And Johnson did a great job but for a good chunk of the film he becomes an observer in his own story.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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