Thursday, May 13, 2010

Kick-Ass (2010)


Comic geek Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) tired of being mugged, and nobody doing anything, decides to become the super hero Kick Ass. Soon Kick Ass becomes a cultural phenomenon, but his actions, which parallel that of father-daughter team Big Daddy (Nic Cage) and Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz) puts him in more danger than he bargained for.

Kick Ass is definitely an interesting film to review. Splitting viewers in terms of presentation and morality, it's movie that has more than its fair share of controversy looming. Utilizing the increasingly present theme of deconstructing the super hero, Kick Ass has all the visual spectacle of Watchmen, with more action, similar themes, and a prevailing comic book approach.

Perhaps what is most visually compelling is how Kick-Ass is able to take that comic book style Ang Lee used in Hulk, and tone it down to a more agreeable level. Not shying away from the opportunities to cook up the hammy acting, it creates a film that walks the thin line between the realms of realism and comic. Bringing to life a group of colorful characters that'll get fellow film geeks jumping for joy.

Unfortunately, I struggled with the overbearing lack of care that waved in and out throughout the run time. Not that the movie is ever boring, so much as the characters are very plainly developed. Any layers offered to them are often undeveloped, and never play out during crucial scenes. It's the sort of film that says, here's cool characters doing cool stuff, just enjoy... and many rightfully have.

Now, for the issue of Chloe Moretz's oft debated Hit Girl, I find myself disagreeing with the like of Roger Ebert who have taken great offense. First I would point out that in Horror films children have been doing, and saying, things that are comparable to those of Hit Girl for well over 30 years. Secondly, why the morality of her actions is never discussed is simple, nobody ever presented her with a reason to think otherwise. Our sentiment of morality lay solely in the narrator and titular Kick Ass.

And while his notions of morality may be jumbled, and a tad contradictory, that's as far as the film is willing to take it. There's not great debate on whether or not such actions should occur, but rather that they do. Since I, for one, possess the mental strength to separate film morality from reality, I feel as if any consequence lay at the hands of those who can't. And whether or not it is the job of the film to dissuade, or avoid encouraging, such actions, is a debate I care not to enter.

As for the film in its fully, I definitely enjoyed it, but feel I could have loved it more. Great use of John Murphy's score for Sunshine in t a key scene stand as strikingly memorable. Not to mention I'm a big fan of the recent geek gets the beautiful girl in cinema, but that's neither here nor there.

The blend of comedy, action, and likable characters is a dish well worth serving. A universe unto itself, filled with life, color, and enjoyment for viewers to absorb.

While far from perfect, Kick Ass is an interesting addition to the anti-hero genre. It's not breaking any new grounds, instead, it relies on its fun characters, and creative action sequences which blur the reality and comic book world brilliantly.

7 better thoughts:

Film Intel said...

Excellent stuff, glad you enjoyed it. The under-developed characters criticism is starting to crop up more and more. It wasn't one of my criticisms when I watched iteee but the more I think about it the more I think it has probably got weight. Will definitely bear it in mind when I watch it again.

The Film Connoisseur said...

Agree with you on Hit Girl, I wasnt offended at all by this characters actions, its just a movie, a fantasy. And its true, kids have been doing evil things in horror films for ages, I recently did a post on such films! It was called "Evil Tots! Movies with evil little kids in them" check it out if you are interested:

Castor said...

I agree that there was nothing all that offensive about Hit Girl. She doesn't even cuss all that much. Happy you liked it!

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

As I said before the lone issue I had with Hit Girl was the misguided kiss she blew to Kick Ass after they meet him for the first time, it's out of character and just disconcerting but other than that I'm completely nonplussed as to the "stodgy morality" the film apparently suggests. But then, I'm completely nonplussed on many things, so....

Univarn said...

@Intel Be sure to feed the twitter monster after you revisit it wit your thoughts :)

@Connoisseur I'll be sure to check out that, thanks!

@Castor Definitely not, but she's not exactly a saint either (then again, if they were at my middle school they'd know no 11/12 year old is)

@Andrew Perhaps, there could be something there. I think her character had a rather large playful/sarcastic side that may be something she'd do. That scene didn't register much with me, but good point.

Simon said...

Good stuff, then. But, seriously, Clark Duke should be in everything.

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