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Kick Ass (Movie)

A 2010 superhero film based on the comic book of the same name by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr.

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Since When is it Funny for a Kid to Murder People?

  • Apr 19, 2010
Rating:
+2
At the start of "Kick-Ass," I couldn't help but feel somewhat excited, as I was introduced to the title character, who, when not dressed as a superhero, I found both engaging and amusing. While his thought process is not something I pretend to understand, the situations he finds himself in as a typical high schooler were somewhat relatable, and they got a chuckle or two out of me. But then we meet eleven-year-old Mindy Macready (Chloƫ Grace Moretz) and her father (Nicholas Cage); they stand in an empty lot, her wearing a bulletproof vest, him pointing a gun at her, all in an effort to train her as a crime fighter. He fires his gun, and that's when the movie stopped being funny for me. But it isn't until she kills someone that I finally realized how deplorable it was.

A killjoy, am I? You'll forgive if I'm not entertained by the sight of a kid murdering people, or of a kid being beaten within an inch of her life by big, mean men with guns. And I'm even less thrilled with the idea of a father training his child to be a ruthless vigilante, as if he were doing no more than showing her how to ride a bike. Yes, I know it's all done stylistically, that it doesn't represent reality, that the whole thing is supposed to be a satire on society and violence and today's internet culture, and yadda yadda yadda. But there does come a point when enough is enough. If I'm failing to see the genius in "Kick-Ass," that's fine by me, because I truly don't want to understand or even inhabit a world where underage carnage qualifies as something to be laughed at.

But before I go too far with this, let me take a moment to discuss the film's first ten minutes, at which point I still had hope it would work. We meet teenager Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), an unremarkable comic book reader who notes that, while just about everyone tries to be like their favorite celebrity, few try to be like a superhero. Of course, no one could ever be Superman, for he possesses extraterrestrial powers that exist only in the imagination - the ability to fly, superhuman strength, x-ray vision, etc. But what about someone like Batman, who has no superpowers? True, he's ultra rich and has access to high tech equipment, but he's still fallible. When Dave is mugged and a bystander fails to intervene, he decides to stop wondering and start acting; he dons a mail order green scuba suit and mask and adopts the alter ego Kick-Ass, New York's newest crime fighter.

His attempts at preventing any kind of crime are disastrous, although he quickly becomes a sensation thanks to websites like YouTube and Myspace. This, I can buy: In Western society, anyone can have a taste of fame, even if that person happens to be incredibly untalented. But that's where the satire stops. In due time, Dave crosses paths with Mindy and her father, who dress in flashy superhero suits have adopted the monikers Hit Girl and Big Daddy; both are so skilled at what they do that they seem like ... I was going to say genuine superheroes, but that isn't quite true since all the good ones have never resorted to shooting, stabbing, or throat slitting. However, their knowledge of martial arts is second to none, and so is their ability to jump across long distances and off tall buildings. In other words, they don't seem like ordinary people trying to be superheroes, so the film's premise is now null and void.

There's also a subplot involving Big Daddy's target: Crime boss Frank D'Amico (Erik Strong), whose son (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), somehow ends up as a patsy named Red Mist, created with the sole intent of luring in Kick-Ass and taking him down. All this could have been halfway entertaining if only it weren't so intertwined with the story of Hit Girl, who at one point finds herself running down a hallway in slow motion, singlehandedly blowing away an entire squad of well-armed hitmen in a blaze of bullets and blood. Had this not involved an eleven-year-old, I might have gotten into the scene's choreography, which, I must admit, is quite impressive. Alas, I'm watching a girl who hasn't even entered puberty relentlessly killing people, something I wouldn't even want to try to enjoy.

If this truly is an accurate commentary on today's media-obsessed youth culture, and if we're still at a point when mass audiences find this kind of stuff entertaining, then I'm sorry to say we still have a long, long way to go. Under no circumstances should we be laughing at extreme comic book violence involving children, not at a time when we're saturated with news stories about youth gangs and classroom shootings. "Kick-Ass" is a grave miscalculation, not only because of its content, but also because of the belief that it's a harmless, escapist action film. The more I think about the audiences that laughed from beginning to end, the sadder I get. Is it no longer fun to watch kids being ... well, kids?

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September 07, 2010
loved this movie but I loved the comic mini-series much better...nice review! (despite we have different opinions)
November 27, 2010
I re-watched this and I have to say the tone was most different from the source material. I see why you didn't like it, and I liked the movie because I loved the comic book.
 
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More Kick-Ass (movie) reviews
review by . April 16, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
You Wanna Be A....WHAT??!!!!!
   Let’s get one thing out of the way; there is no way Hollywood can ever match the awesomeness that is Mark Millar’s and John Romita Jr.’s comic book mini series titled "KICK ASS" (see my review here). The comic series was just a different the way it was successful in mixing black humor, action and a dark premise about isolation and loneliness that made me doubt my insanity why I read comic books. But since Hollywood is one major money-making machine, (as …
review by . December 19, 2010
I just saw this not an hour ago and I can safely say that it is one of the best comic book films of all time. The acting is great, the story (essentially about an amateur superhero's days in crime-fighting) is great, the action is great, and it has some great humour mixed with a fair amout of gore and swearing. That being said, this movie is definitely not for everyone, especially those who aren't comfortable with a young girl swearing and killing people. There are also some reasonably …
review by . February 01, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
***1/2 out of ****     "Kick-Ass" pretty much kicks ass in every way possible. It's profane, slightly irrelevant, and equally as entertaining to watch as it was to read when it was a comic. Despite the typical art style, I personally loved reading the "Kick-Ass" comic. It isn't extremely deep, but hey. It kicked ass. Well, now there's a film adaptation, and it kicks more ass than a horse in the stable. While it will certainly not appeal to everyone (looking at you, Roger Ebert), …
review by . April 29, 2010
A friend invited me to see Kick Ass and I went knowing nothing about the movie besides it was a comedy.  I love seeing movies that way.      I was drawn into the plot until the introduction of Hit Girl and the level of violence.  This 13-year old girl single handedly kills numerous grown men using a variety of weapons, laughing much of the time.      On one hand, sure, it was pretty cute to have a super hero girl.  On the other, it was too …
Quick Tip by . June 03, 2013
If you enjoyed the film I recommend reading the graphic novel, its brilliant
review by . April 21, 2010
Kick-Ass: It's Watchmen minus emotional drama and Dr. Manhattan
I've had my fair share of watching comic book based movies (Spider-Man, Fantastic 4, Iron Man, X-Men, Watchmen, Batman) and each of them have unique ways of presenting the super hero and their heroic actions. But Kick-Ass kinda veers the opposite and kinda reminds me of seeing Watchmen (even the promotional posters kinda relate).      The reason why I reference Watchmen is that both relate to having costumed vigilantes taking down crimes on a daily basis. Kick-Ass twists things …
review by . July 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
What Pompted You to write a Review?   I was prompted to write this review because never has any of the comic movies I have seen in the last 5 years or so have realistically resembled the actual comic book. Most big hollywood comic book movies do not closely follow the actual storyline or have characters that are far from physically looking like the actual comic book characters this movie followed the book well.      How was the Plot, Acting, Direction?   …
review by . April 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
As a kid, when it came to the heroes that I liked to watch on television or the comics I read, there was always this sort of sense of wanting to be a superhero.  If you were one of those really dorky kids, you made a cape and pretended you could fly by jumping on your bed when no one was there.  I think most kids who admired the likes of Superman, Spider-Man, Batman, etc. did that sort of thing from time to time.  This is, more or less, the basis behind Kick-Ass.  Based off the …
review by . August 05, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Have you ever wanted to be a superhero. Kick-Ass is about four very different people who take very different paths to become superheroes. With a few exceptions, they do provide some innovative fighting scenes and hilarious moments.      First, the great. One of the superheroes, Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz), is a adorable 10-year old girl who has a passion for guns and slaughtering bad guys the way other young girls get excited for jewelry or dolls. Chloe is a great actress and gives …
review by . August 09, 2010
A cheesy fun violent comic book movie that was strangely marketed as a lighted hearted teen film.
Kick-Ass is a cheesy fun comic book movie based on a "graphic novel" of the same name.  The story revolves around some goofy teenage (Aaron Johnson) who decides to become a real life superhero (after donning a wet suit) named Kick-Ass.  After a rough start, he becomes an internet sensation when he gets involved in a brutal beat down in front of a cafe.  His actions and a near fatal attempt in trying to fight a local drug dealer catches the attention of a real crime fighter …
About the reviewer
Chris Pandolfi ()
Ranked #5
Growing up a shy kid in a quiet suburb of Los Angeles, Chris Pandolfi knows all about the imagination. Pretend games were always the most fun for him, especially on the school playground; he and his … more
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Kick-Ass is a 2010 superhero action thriller based on the comic book of the same name by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. The film was directed by Matthew Vaughn, who co-produced the film with actor Brad Pitt, and co-wrote the screenplay with Jane Goldman. The film's general release was on 26 March 2010 in the United Kingdom and on 16 April 2010 in the United States.
 
The film tells the story of an ordinary teenager, Dave, who sets out to become a real-life superhero calling himself Kick-Ass. Dave gets caught up in a bigger fight when he meets Big Daddy, a former cop who, in his quest to bring down the evil drug lord Frank D'Amico, has trained his 10-year-old daughter to be the ruthless vigilante Hit-Girl.
 
Kick-Ass has generated some controversy for its profanity and violence, particularly for the character Hit-Girl. The film received mostly positive reviews.
 
Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) is a normal teenager who wonders why nobody has ever decided to become a superhero like the ones in the comic books, so he decides to become a real-life superhero, despite having no superpowers  or training. During his first attempt to fight crime, Dave is beaten, stabbed, and hit by a car. Some of Dave's nerve endings are damaged as a result, giving him an enhanced capacity to endure pain, and metal plates are placed in his skeleton to support his bones. After a painful recovery, Dave returns to school only to find out that his longtime crush, Katie ...
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Details

Director: Matthew Vaughn
Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime, Drama
Release Date: April 16, 2010 (USA)
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman
Runtime: 117 minutes
Studio: Plan B Entertainment, Marv Films, Lions Gate Films
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