Friday, April 23, 2010


This is, in my humble opinion, the film that Watchmen should have been. Yes, its nothing particularly like the film or the comic, but in a way Kick-Ass graps what the comic is about a lot more firmly than the film of Watchmen did. Superheroes have been in need of a decent satire. They have had parody- see Mystery Men for that, but a satire is a bit more subtle and interesting.

Kick-Ass has a lot going on. Its about a geeky guy discovering girls, about a boy trying to be a man, trying to make a difference. Its about an old cop taking revenge. Its about a young girl who's had her childhood stolen. Its about a relationship as messed up as the one found in Leon. Its even about one childs desperation for the approval of his father. And its also about some funny and kinetic action scenes.

For the most part it succeeds in balancing all these- the plot moves along fairly pacily (it drags a tiny bit to begin with, but its forgivable), with a blending of the surreal and the realistic- a kid tries to dress up as a superhero, but soon discovers why its not a good idea. The only real misstep in the blending of these elements was the conclusion: I felt like the main characters motivations were a bit weak to take part in the conclusion, he simply hadn't grown up enough.

There has been some kerfuffle about Hitgirl in this film. First of all- her story is a tragedy, and we know its a tragedy, but nothing simple is happening here. Nicholas Cage plays Big Daddy well, and its clear he has affection for her, even as he destroys her life. The film knows this, but also knows quite how cool she looks when fighting bad guys. The scenes are simultaneously a comment on comic book action, and just plain awesome.

As for the notion, suggested by some, that she is a "paedophiles fantasy"... well she's not that sexualised. At one point she does wear a school uniform.. but shes an 11 year old girl! Her super hero outfit is in no way sexy, she does not strike sexy poses... She certainly participates in violence, but the film addresses that- at no point is she sexualised. Its certainly possible a person with a deranged mind might find something there, but are we to cut out 12 year old girls from films on the possibility that people might be aroused?

I'd definitely recommend seeing Kick-Ass, its a splendid film, and well worth your time.

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At 12:14 pm, Blogger Nicholas said...

Watchmen was more of a comment on Nuclear War's looming threat and the extremes to which men would go than a send-up of comic books, though that was probably a secondary theme.

Kick-Ass says what it needs to very well and plays the satire off against the comedy very well. I'd agree the main character had to be pushed to take part in the final bit, but that was because he owed Big Daddy and Hit Girl, and they are not people you say no to...


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