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Monotreme 04-07-2010 07:51 AM

Kick-Ass review
 
http://thepeoplesmovies.files.wordpr...11/kickass.jpg

(Matthew Vaughn, 2010)

I think it’s safe to say that one of the most prominent and notable film sub-genres to have emerged this past decade is the superhero movie. Sure, there has been a Superman here, a Batman there, but they were few and far between. But around 2000 when the first X-Men movie came out, and even more notably in 2002 when the first Spider-Man film came out and broke numerous box office records, it became apparent that this was a surefire way to make a blockbuster, and studios have made billions of dollars over these years, thanks to literally dozens of superhero movies and comic book adaptations, and even more proposed for both the near and distant future. Like anything that shows up so suddenly and with such brute force, it only took a few years for the products to begin to fluctuate and waver in quality. Movies like Fantastic Four, Daredevil, and others started to show signs that the genre, with its “origin story” requirements and “super villain”-involved plot restrictions, could only go so far, and only has so much to offer. As these limitations begin to become quite apparent, new, fresh approaches to the genre take center stage. Films such as The Dark Knight prove that there are ways to transcend the genre and enter unprecedented realms of quality. And then there is Kick-Ass, quite an odd, peculiar little film, and dare I say, the beginning of a whole new wave in the superhero sub-genre, which also includes the recently released Defendor, and the upcoming Scott Pilgrim.

I should mention say that, first and foremost, this is an irresistibly entertaining film. It is really funny, the characters are very endearing, convincing, and extremely easy to connect to, and the action scenes are impeccably well conceived, shot and choreographed. If anything, it is just a fun, enjoyable romp of a film. But it is also so much more than that. Probably my favorite aspect of the film is that it manages to adhere to and stay loyal to the rules and regulations of the comic book superhero genre but, at the same time, turn them all on their head. On the one hand, we have the basic formula of the superhero film: an evil organization with a nasty villain at its head, stages of self-discovery, loss of faith, low-point slump but eventual overcoming of obstacles and triumph. But then again, it features a cast of characters completely devoid of super-powers: our protagonist is just a regular, below-average comic book geek who decides to take matters into his own hands and express himself in a peculiar and unexpected way. On his first night out “fighting crime”, he gets beaten up so bad he is hospitalized. Two characters in the film can be seen as possessing some sort of heightened abilities – Big Daddy and Hit Girl are quite proficient at gunplay, weapon handling, acrobatics, and killing. But these characters, especially Big Daddy, are portrayed as nothing less than bloodthirsty psychopaths. They are not out to fight crime; they are out to fulfill a wild revenge fantasy. They revel in murder and disembowelment. And the film does not spare us when it comes to showing their graphically violent escapades. For a villain, we are treated to a character that, at first glance, seems like a stereotypical New York City mob boss. But we soon discover his relationship with his son, which is surprisingly realistic, tender, and protective. He genuinely cares for the boy, and their relationship quickly becomes one of the more fascinating elements of the film.

But truly, it’s impossible to discuss this movie without talking about the main attraction, the star of the show. Although she is not the protagonist, it’s hard to deny that Hit-Girl is the most impressionable, memorable, and brilliantly crafted character in the film. The mere concept of a 10-year-old girl talking with a foul mouth, using the most crass and taboo of language, and displaying an impeccable proficiency at shooting, stabbing, choking, and in general, of taking down and killing individuals twice her size and strength is nothing short of genius. And young Chloe Moretz deserves all the credit for playing this character with the kind of devotion and conviction and believability that one would expect from an adult actor but not someone as young as she. I predict a healthy future for Moretz, if she keeps making great career choices like this one. But she isn’t alone in the film: all the actors, both famous and less known, do fantastic jobs in their respective roles. First and foremost is Aaron Johnson, a Brit, who plays the role of Dave “Kick-Ass” Lizewski, a wiry, insecure, geeky American teen who decides to put on a wetsuit and go out on the streets to fight crime, and does a fantastic job at it. He is an easily identifiable protagonist and we warm up to him immediately, and his conviction certainly manages to carry the audience through the film. Mark Strong is, as usual, simply delicious as the villain: he may be typecast, but there’s a reason for that: he simply revels and always shines in these roles, although he is even more interesting when he’s performing high drama. Christopher Mintz-Plasse proves once again, after he had already done so previously Role Models, that he is much more than a one-note wonder, and that he has no problem breaking away from his debut role and not being typecast as the “McLovin” type. His character, like the others, is intriguingly multi-layered, and he, too, plays with utter conviction and believability. And topping it all of is Nicolas Cage, who takes an uncharacteristic supporting role but truly shines as the manic, obsessive, borderline-psychopathic Big Daddy, whose love for his daughter – whom he teaches the violent, brutal, vulgar way of the world – is the only sign that he is still human.

Kick-Ass is certainly an odd bird of a film. On the one hand, it is a realistic and hilariously charming depiction of what would happen if some frustrated geek just decided to one day put on a superhero outfit and walk the streets, helping people in need. Of course he would become an Internet sensation, of course he would use MySpace to receive requests, of course he would be beaten to a pulp the first few times. But on the other hand, it is also a very campy and stylish comic-book film, featuring caricature villains, over-the-top stunts and colorful alter egos. On the one hand, it is a tender but completely disturbing account of a loving but psychopathic father who coerces his pre-pubescent daughter into helping him seek vengeance against the man responsible for framing him and killing his wife. On the other hand, it is a wild, hilarious, action-packed, ultra-violent adrenaline rush. With endearing, memorable characters, whole-hearted performances, a hilarious script and top-notch production values – the musical cues, the cinematography, the visual effects – Kick-Ass is not only a great entertainment, but also the shoe-horn for a new kind of superhero movie: one that doesn’t take itself too seriously, one that revels in its own exaggerated, over-the-top, comic-book-rooted elements, and one that I suspect we’ll be seeing a whole lot more of in the future.

RATING: 8/10.

brewsky99 04-07-2010 08:34 AM

What a refreshing,well written film review that was able to portray your thoughts of the film without giving away plot points and spoilers.The hacks that do the reviews in the papers in Sydney Australia could learn a thing or two from you but i generally think they are some journalists that have been lumped with the job.
The movie opens here tomorrow and i will be first in line.

Monotreme 04-07-2010 09:46 AM

Thanks for the compliments :) If only I could actually find a way to make money off my reviews, that would be wonderful. Perhaps you could recommend me to some of your Sydney papers? :) But anyway yeah, great movie, highly recommended! Let me know what you think!

AspectRatio1986 04-07-2010 08:26 PM

Cant wait for this! Just a few more days...

brewsky99 04-08-2010 04:28 AM

yeah saw a few hours a go an loved it,put a friend request too ,mate.

resenen 04-15-2010 02:36 AM

NOTHING LIKE THE COMICS
 
I just watched Kick-Ass today being 4/14, and I have read the phenominal comics. The movie was HORRIBLE !!!! 20% of the comic made it to the film. The film makers literally ditched the entire human element that made the comics so great and decided to make it a CAMPY SHIT FEST. Movie Big Daddy was an ABOMINATION. So far it's 0 for 2 on Mark Millar film adaptations. Wanted and Kick-Ass were amazing comics both followed by HORRIBLE MOVIES

Monotreme 04-15-2010 06:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by resenen (Post 3221134)
I just watched Kick-Ass today being 4/14, and I have read the phenominal comics. The movie was HORRIBLE !!!! 20% of the comic made it to the film. The film makers literally ditched the entire human element that made the comics so great and decided to make it a CAMPY SHIT FEST. Movie Big Daddy was an ABOMINATION. So far it's 0 for 2 on Mark Millar film adaptations. Wanted and Kick-Ass were amazing comics both followed by HORRIBLE MOVIES

Blah blah blah heard it all before. When will people learn that MOVIES are completely separate entities from the source material they are adapted from, and should not be compared to them under any circumstances? Just because only 20% of the comic book made it into the movie, that doesn't mean that the remaining 80% of the movie is BAD just because it isn't directly based on the source material. I've made this rant before. Give me a break!

Cop No. 633 04-15-2010 08:00 AM

No offense, Monotreme, but you really didn't grasp that the guy was talking about the film not getting the tone of the comic right. He wasn't complaining about the content so much as he was complaining about the film simplifying the thematic elements in the comic. He wasn't saying the movie was simply bad because it didn't have his favorite scene. I think you're going a bit far in stereotyping what this poster was talking about with other complaints.

Sure, he wrote "nothing like the comic" but there's a difference from simply complaining about not getting a costume detail right (like the organic web shooter thing with Spider-Man) and not getting the tone/theme of a book right. I consider the second to be extremely important in adapting any work. It would be like taking out the feminist element out of the Silence of the Lambs.

I'd look at the argument more closely next time instead of just seeing the obvious "nothing like the comic" headline.

Monotreme 04-15-2010 03:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CosmicPuppet (Post 3221183)
No offense, Monotreme, but you really didn't grasp that the guy was talking about the film not getting the tone of the comic right. He wasn't complaining about the content so much as he was complaining about the film simplifying the thematic elements in the comic. He wasn't saying the movie was simply bad because it didn't have his favorite scene. I think you're going a bit far in stereotyping what this poster was talking about with other complaints.

Sure, he wrote "nothing like the comic" but there's a difference from simply complaining about not getting a costume detail right (like the organic web shooter thing with Spider-Man) and not getting the tone/theme of a book right. I consider the second to be extremely important in adapting any work. It would be like taking out the feminist element out of the Silence of the Lambs.

I'd look at the argument more closely next time instead of just seeing the obvious "nothing like the comic" headline.

No, I got what he meant. But this argument goes for tone as well as content. If a film adaptation wants to deviate from its source material in tone as well as plot, it is entirely its prerogative to do so. I dunno, perhaps it was an overreaction, but I'm just tired of seeing this argument being made against movie adaptations time and time again. What people need to understand is that sometimes, things like tone that work on the page won't necessarily work on screen, and the same goes for the other elements, be they plot-based or theme-based. Unless it is an adaptation of a short story or a novella, a film will ALWAYS have to condense its source material, and sometimes, there just isn't time to fit in every last thematic detail or tone-setting element. I don't care what is being compared - the plot or the or the themes - it is the comparison in and of itself between a film and the source material it was adapted from that bothers me. Is it really that hard to see the two as separate entities? Is the film really BAD because it portrayed a different tone than that of the comic book?

KelvinRudd 05-06-2010 11:38 AM

Enjoyed it immensely. I watch alot of movies and few entertain me as much as this one. This movie was for the lack of a better word FUN. FUN is exactly what a movie should be. Hit Girl made me laugh insanely hard. I really don't know what to say other than that. FUN!

rainman8888 05-08-2010 06:34 PM

Great review man.

Monotreme 05-09-2010 11:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rainman8888 (Post 3230907)
Great review man.

Thank you :)


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