Saturday, 24 April 2010



Dir: Matthew Vaughn (Stardust, Layer Cake)
Cast: Aaron Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Nicolas Cage, Mark Strong
UK/USA, 2010

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



Jamie Ridler said...

"I prefer my super heroes a little more heroic and a little less bloody." I'm with you, sistah! That's why I have a feeling this one isn't for me. Thank you so much for sharing your review.

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

You're welcome! I don't think this one would be for you either. Many more movies to explore out there :)

The Film Reel said...

I actually thought this one was less brutal than people had been making it out to be and found it to be so comic booky and over the top that it wasn't as harsh.

I'll agree with you that Chloe Moretz stole the entire movie and I wondered why it wasn't called Hit Girl myself!

Suzie Ridler said...

I can see why you found it disturbing Shannon. I was pleasantly surprised at the storylines, it was deeper than I was personally expecting. Also, knowing how brutal it was prepared me so I could enjoy it. I guess I don't mind revenge stories but that's just me.

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Maybe we will get a Hit Girl spin off, Film Reel! She steals the show, but certainly isn't the protag.

I don't think you could get more brutal in a film, to be honest. My issue with the violence is that it didn't feel comic booky - it kept pulling it back to reality so that made it feel more like their actions were real.

I didn't find it disturbing, myself, but I'm a little surprized at the 'woohoo this is fun!' reaction considering the extremeness of the imagery. But, I think the divide might have something to do with it really being revenge film, not a hero (super or otherwise) story.

The Film Reel said...

I can see how the results of the violence are realistic but the actual acts are way over the top.

Watching Hit Girl spin off walls and pick guys off left and right was like playing the latest video game.

I'm a huge comic geek so knowing it's a comic book movie had me expecting it to be more violent but it also had the idea of comics running through my head while watching.

I might be getting soft on the violence from growing up on an unhealthy diet of horror movie after horror movie though!

Trista @ The TFS said...

I agree. I really didn't like the film, but I also have to say, in Mark Millar's defense his comics are also hyper violent -- I think in some attempt to make them more realistic, even though the violence is actually less so.

That said, I really didn't like this movie. I was mostly bored for the duration, except when Hit Girl was on the screen. I've never said this before, and I am unlikely to ever say it again, I think they stayed too close to the book.

PS: My word verification for this comment was 'ballity'. I'm not making that up.

ad said...

If they are showing violence, I think they should show the results.

Why is it so moral (as some seem to think) to pretend that injuries do not hurt?

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Wow, too close to the comic - that's a first that I've heard! Interesting.

I definitely don't need to see the results of violence every time, with every film. It's a common thing to do 'off screen' or can be inferred, or highly stylized, etc. Everything is a choice.

In this case, what they does fits the film but it's not a film for me.

M. Carter @ the Movies said...

The trailer did NOT prepare me for the level of violence on "Kick-Ass," but maybe I'm desensitized by all those Quentin Tarantino movies -- I just accepted it after awhile.

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