Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Kick Ass (Matthew Vaughn, 2010)

Remember when Blogger died a few weeks back? Well, it ate my review of Kick Ass, and for the life of me I can't remember what I wrote. I will tell you this, I did not care for it.

I am not a big morality guy, but I think if you have a code you should be consistent about it. The Catholic Church is against abortion and the death penalty. I can appreciate that. Kick Ass mixes its messages, and frankly falls apart because of it.

We have a young man who is tired of being victimized, and sick of the world's apathy. So he becomes a super hero. He doesn't use guns, and doesn't want to kill. He is found by a father-daughter duo of Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) and Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz). These two are out for revenge, and are a more accurate portrayal of what super-heroes would be in a non-super-powered world. They are heavily armed killers, and kind of fucked in the head. Once Big Daddy is killed, the formerly non-lethal Kick Ass joins Hit Girl and begins gleefully mowing down evil minions.

The biggest problem here is that it is all cause and no effect. The heroes experience extreme trauma, and the film is quite graphic, yet at the end they all live happily ever after. Sure, lots of comic books are this way, but at least Batman is traumatized and driven to further lengths in his crime fighting and Spider-Man is haunted by the death of Uncle Ben (a death caused by his Peter Parker's inaction). To the movie's (and I assume comic book's) credit, Big Daddy, at least, is very much what The Punisher or Batman would be. He is not sane, and they don't pretend he is. He deludes himself about his sanity, but it is clear he has a pretty severe personality disorder.

Cage is the highpoint of the film, though they never flesh his character out enough. Really, it should have been Big Daddy and Hit Girl, as Kick Ass was more of a footnote; a way to introduce the two to the viewer. Their story is more compelling, and given the extra time that was wasted on Kick Ass we could have had a more solid tale.

Aside from some cool fights early on (this film blows its wad in the first thirty minutes) and watching an eleven year-old swear there is not much to look for here. As a film it was less original than I hoped, and frankly less honest that I expected.


T. Roger Thomas said...

Thanks for the info as I had been kinda on the fence about watching this before your review!

Darius Whiteplume said...

I'd rewatch the 20 minutes of Hit Girl going to town, but other than that, "meh."

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