Saturday, 24 April 2010
Dir: Matthew Vaughn (Stardust, Layer Cake)
Cast: Aaron Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Nicolas Cage, Mark Strong
Seen: April 20, 2010 at the Rainbow
Reason to see: Superheroes type films are always are a yes to seeing
By the time I was sitting in the theatre to watch Kick-Ass, I had already seen the trailer 8 times this year. Not because I hit replay on Apple Trailers, but because it played in front of 8 films I've seen in the theatre this year (Daybreakers, Legion, Frozen, The Wolfman (2010), The Crazies, Cactus, Green Zone and Repo Men). Now, I liked most of those films a fair amount so I figured I'd be the target market. But as it turns out, I wasn't.
Kick-Ass stems on the question of why hasn't a regular person ever tried to be a superhero? Well, it's an interesting question. One that I've seen successfully explored in the fantastic Chilean martial arts film Mirageman, also been done with a comedic slant in the Canadian film Defendor. There's also Special, which is on my to see list. Hell, I saw it done in a Fringe play well over 10 years ago. But, I never like to dismiss something just because it's been done before, but I think it's fair to point out that is has been done before for people that might not know.
Now, how the use this idea in Kick-Ass is done pretty well, our protagonist Dave aka Kick-Ass played by Aaron Johnson goes through the journey of making himself a self-proclaimed superhero. I like journey films. Finding your inner strength is always a good thing, right? And it does this as it entertains us with humour and a lot of brutality.
And that's where it lost me - in the brutality. Now, if this was set in a super hero or fantastical world, that's one thing. But this film keeps bringing us back to the centre of reality every chance it can get, like a compass pointing to the magnetic north. So, things that's normally would fly by and be funny/entertaining in a fauxland of action cinema feels very different when you see is set in what is consistently called real. The film is completely aware and points out notions like consequence, remorse, pain, blood, etc. but then just treats it like action/comedy mode of craziness. Nothing really entertaining about that in my book. If they ignored concepts like remorse, that would be one thing. But to be aware of it and then ignore it so we can have more blood & mayhem, that just doesn't jive for me. Also, where are the hero factor here? The heroic intentions are almost non-existent and overshadowed but out & out crime world happenings along with revenge. Not very heroic. Add to that lots of focusing on women's chest and I knew even further that this film wasn't for me.
I'll give it points that it did surprize me, so kudos on the trailer for that. The plot was interesting and the characters were seriously messed up, but also very entertaining. Of course one big question was why was it Kick-Ass and not Hit-Girl? Chloë Grace Moretz steals every scene she is in and I'm sure knocked everyones socks off. She's not the protagonist, and Dave/Kick-Ass clearly is but this is really her show. Hit-Girl herself is a bit of a double edged sword too, because she's a tragically fantastic female character and I want to cheer for her but I couldn't, the brutality shut me out again here. But I'll be keeping my eye on Chloë Grace Moretz, which won't be hard as we'll be seeing her Let Me In (re-make of Let the Right One In / Låt den rätte komma in) which is scheduled to release October 2010.
There is a lot of love kicking around for Kick-Ass, but I'll prefer my super heroes a little more heroic and a little less bloody.
Warning: brutal violence
Shannon's Overall View:
I didn't love it
I might watch it again
I'd recommend to fans of bloody action and/or extreme action/comedy or revenge-flavour films
10 minutes of preshow including 4 commercials and 3 previews: Robin Hood (2010), The Expendables and The Killers
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© Shannon Ridler, 2010
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