Thursday, 15 April 2010

Review on 'Kick Ass'

Ok, so the other day I went to watch 'Kick Ass' ready to laugh out loud for the better part of the movie. I mean, correct me if I am wrong but the movie marketing is clearly preparing you for a spoof-like experience, bashing the whole superhero genre etc.

I was hoping that Matthew Vaughan would bring something infinitely better than 'Stardust' that mucho cheese infested excuse of an adventure/love story. Well it certainly brought it, and well it's over a week since I watched it and I'm still unsure about the whole experience of viewing it. Not a good sign I guess, I believe a film needs to make you feel something on either side of the spectrum - if you're still on the fence, then that can't inspire more viewing - not in me, anyway, I'm not in the least tempted to re-watch it, just to make sure how I do feel about it.

Why? Well because it is rather shocking, a semi-Taratino esque take on the whole superhero-without-having-powers story. (when Hit Girl enters the building dressed as a school girl, screams Battle Royale/Kill Bill). I mean that premise is good, keeps you thinking. Yet it wasn't hugely capitalised on, i.e. the character Dave, isn't particularly clever, just dorky enough to take it on (and somewhat possessing a righteous streak where he secretly can't stand people being abused and no one caring). And well, the shock starts when he's stabbed at his first attempt to be a 'hero', dressed in his mad costume. It wasn't sugar coated and averted at all, the stab was full on, knife going in, blood spurting out and then being brutally run over. Serious ouchness.

The real madness starts when Big Daddy and Hit Girl enter the fray - I mean there is a mad and seriously sad story there but it's the most interesting one and that alone could have made a movie. I could have done without the whining tones of Dave narrating over parts of his life. Aaron Johnson wasn't bad at all by any means, just not inspiring enough - unless that's the point. I didn't care either way (*alarm bells!*) There were some great comedy moments, (I don't know why but I laughed for a whole 20 secs when Dave's dad asked whether they had changed the bee on the cereal box) yet the violence was what really stuck out and it was pretty gruesome. I mean, I've watched my fair share of violence and it was sort of Kill Bill in it's relentless-ness but there seemed to be something off about it, like it didn't comfortably 'fit' into the other material of the film - maybe that was the point? There was just something creepy and disturbing about how Big Daddy disposed of various nasty baddies with his 13 year old daughter seeing it all. That gal gonna have ishoos! She was great in her own way, I do confess I loved her entrance into the whole thing as Hit Girl when she comes in and saves Dave's ass with the soundtrack playing 'Banana Split' - that was rather cool. Just while we're on the note of violence, I'm not averse to it in films but I think its a delicate aspect that should never be shrugged aside - after Dave's first attempt at being a hero ends so brutally, I seriously doubt the guy would jump back into the fray. The violence just didn't seem to effect anyone - was that the point?

Without getting into too much, I essentially don't know what the film was trying to tell me, or relate to me, other than kids need to stick to doing their homework. I did love the performances from Nicholas Cage, Chloe Moretz (is it ok for an 11 year old to be swearing so badly in films?) and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Soundtrack was good, the script was decent, pacing was a little over the place with Kick Ass not really featuring as the main role in a huge way; there were times when I was wondering what his storyline was or even leading to until the last half an hour instilled some purpose.

Final verdict: 6/10

**EDIT** - I just realised this is based on a comic (duh) so maybe the whole violence among kids is the take on the whole thing but still...?

I encourage people to watch it though to make up your own minds.


  1. You raise a number of interesting points that have been playing in my mind since I watched it. I have to confess though that I thoroughly enjoyed the complete disregard for any self censorship from the film-makers. Also, Hit Girl (once you conveniently forget that the actress is only 13) is a brilliant character. Like eating all your easter eggs in one go, it's a ridiculous amount of fun but you feel a bit off afterwards.

  2. Nice way to put it actually, I agree that Hit Girl was fascinating to watch. Glad I got you thinking though!