Aug 9, 2010

My Thoughts on 'Kick-Ass'

My brief synopsis: A geeky high-schooler decides to become a superhero (called Kick-Ass) and mainly ends up getting his own ass-kicked. Two other wanna-be superheroes (Hit Girl and Big Daddy) with real weapons expertise and fighting skills befriend him. HG and BD are planning revenge against a big crime boss and Kick Ass becomes unintentionally involved.

Likes and Dislikes: Hit Girl’s character is pretty cool – a thirteen year old girl in a purple wig and school girl skirt who swears like a sailor and seriously kicks ass. Pretty cool. But the violence and gore shown in her fight scenes is excessive and uncomfortable to watch (she is, after all, just a little girl). The fact that Big Daddy, her father, admittedly has brain-washed her to carry out his own desired revenge, taken away her childhood and warped her mind to think of it all as a game is also very disturbing.

High point: when director Matthew Vaughn (producer on Snatch and directed Stardust) takes a note from Kill Bill and incorporates a brief, comic book-style, animated sequence to explain some of the back-story of Big Daddy’s character. In a movie about superheroes and comic books, I expected (and wanted) a lot more of this.

Low point: the end of the film when Kick Ass rescues Hit Girl but kills multiple men in the process. Up until this point he was a loveable, awkward, well-meaning teen – now he has been bullied and brainwashed himself to believe that it is ok to violently and abruptly end the lives of others all in the name of revenge. He finally kicks some ass and it’s not a victorious moment but is actually sort of sad and disappointing.

What surprised me: it was definitely not what I expected. I thought Kick-Ass would be primarily a comedy and though I may have laughed once or twice, overall it wasn’t really funny. Then for a film that deals with the subject matter of superheroes and comic books I thought there would be more of that comic-book-movie style that is oh-so-much-fun (split screens, freeze frames, bright colors, interesting angles, incorporating animation, etc.). Especially after hearing so much hype about Kick-Ass and Brad Pitt’s involvement (he was one of the producers) in this film I had much higher hopes. Overall though, it was a big letdown.

Maybe if Kick-Ass were more stylized I could get behind it (like Sin City or Kill Bill). It’s confusing what genre this movie is meant to be though. It’s not really funny and it’s definitely not your typical teen, coming-of-age story (though it touches on some of the common themes). Kick-Ass is actually shockingly violent and gory, and is really just an exploitation film with a weak development of an interesting, original concept. What disappoints me most is that it had the potential to be great.

The final scene left the storyline open for a sequel… please – no sequel! I can’t watch more of this crap, though something tells me that out of curiosities sake, if for nothing else, I probably will.

My Rating: 3 out of 5
I’ve seen worse films, I’ve definitely seen better. Perhaps if I knew what to expect, I’d have enjoyed it more… maybe.


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