Movie Review: Kick-Ass
By Shalimar Sahota
April 1, 2010
The film has touched a nerve amongst the mass of moral parent groups, because of the mix of extreme violence and swearing exhibited by the pre-teen Hit-Girl. Are we supposed to believe that there's an age where smiling as you stab a bad guy in the head is acceptable? The focus may be on what she does, but the effect is obviously comical rather than offensive. On the other end, the film doesn't let us forget that she is still just a child, given that she takes quite a hefty beating during a moment of child violence which would surely have been cut from a studio film. As for the language, although a certain C-word was in Miller's comic book, Vaughn revealed that he and co-writer Jane Goldman had actually scripted it out. It was Moretz's chaperone, her own mother, who suggested that they film a take with it in. Wish I had a mum like that.
Is there a limit to what children are requested to do on screen? On the strength of this, maybe it won't be long till we're watching infants shoot heroin and justify it by calling it art... imitating your child's life. One could argue as to what kind of example the film is setting to young girls the same age, but given the 15 / R – rating, they shouldn't really be watching this in the first place. However, if it does miraculously cause a young girl to save your life by chopping a thug's leg off, wouldn't you at least be grateful?
More than any other comic book film, it asks what you would do in a situation if you saw someone in trouble. Would you just stand and watch, waiting for someone to pass you the popcorn? Or would you go out of your way to help a stranger? The message appears to be that we should help people, yet it also shows what can go wrong. "Fantasizing just doesn't do it for you anymore," says Dave, before his first attempt at fighting crime. Despite saying what every 40-year-old virgin is thinking, his effort gets him brutally stabbed. However, his post-hospital attempt, as a lone savior protecting a stranger from a trio of thugs, is one of the most rewarding scenes in the film, and you feel genuinely thrilled for him.
Rarely shying away from any of the violence, it does go into really dark territory; at times it does feel hurt-poundingly real, notably during an extended scene of torture. Some of the action set-pieces do veer towards the absurdly cartoonish, not that there's anything wrong with that, though during a few instances, the special effects aren't always as convincing as the budget would have allowed.
What could have ended up as just another Superhero Movie in skanky hands turns out to be exciting and strangely caring; largely due to the lack of extraordinary powers or unrestricted R&D into far-fetched gadgets. Instead, these normal-heroes are driven by a shared desire of wanting to do something right. Kick-Ass hasn't exactly raised the bar, but set a time bomb for future comic book adaptations. If it happens, I would rather sit through a sequel to this than see more gifted mutants, another Web-Slinger, or Caped Crusader..
Directed by – Matthew Vaughn
Written by – Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn, (based on Mark Millar's comic book)
Starring – Aaron Johnson (Dave Lizewski / Kick-Ass), Chloé Grace Moretz (Mindy Macready / Hit-Girl), Nicolas Cage (Damon Macready / Big Daddy), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Chris D'Amico / Red Mist), Mark Strong (Frank D'Amico), Lyndsy Fonseca (Katie Deauxma), Angie D'Amico (Yancy Butler)
Length - 117 minutes
Cert – 15 / R