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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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Kick Ass -- Not a Fan of Child Combatants

  • Apr 29, 2010
  • by

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 real.  Unlike most of the people cheering in the audience, I have seen the destruction caused by child soldiers across Africa.  I lived in Sierra Leone prior to its war.  The two villages I lived in were sacked by rebel units, one unit was headed by a teenage boy named "Colonel Rambo."  Some good friends died in those attacks, many others were abused in terrible ways.

There are currently an estimated 300,000 child soldiers in the world today.  Over two million children have been killed in armed conflict, six million disabled and thousands of young girls used as sex slaves.  Child soldiers were and are trained in part by watching Rambo, Chuck Norris and other popular violent films.  Children and youth have these film heroes as role models.

It may seem as a stretch to go from entertainment in the U.S. to child soldiers, but we have to remember the audiences are much broader than the movie theaters.  DVDs are watched in small towns and homes across the world.  The level of media literacy and ability to distinguish what is real and unreal varies around the world. 

My friend who went to the movie with me is an assistant principle in a high school with gangs.  She deals with conflicts on a daily basis, often violent ones.  She did not know the movie would be so violent and apologized for suggesting it.  Afterward she did comment that it was helpful to see the movie so she could better understand what her students are watching.

I do love movies, especially those with heroes that overcome major obstacles -- inner and outer.  I know conflict is a natural part of life and that it makes for good story telling.  Where to draw the line on violence is not an easy question.  I guess what I come back to: is it something I would want in my life? 

To learn more about the impact of armed conflict on children, go to:

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February 06, 2011
I haven't yet seen 'Kick Ass' and this is part of the reason why - I've heard a similar take on it from a couple of my friends. Though many others have also seen it and appreciate the satire and the tone of the film, I'm not sure this would be a movie for me. The children committing gleeful violence may not be the point, but some may find it distasteful. It's certainly something to think about, and I appreciate the thoughtful review and the honest perspective!
May 17, 2010
I appreciate your perspective and I certainly understand your concern, but I think that perhaps you aren't grasping the satire here. This film isn't advocating violence, regardless of the age of the person perpetrating it, but is rather showing how dangerous and ludicrous the idea of teen-aged and child heroes is.
April 30, 2010
Hm. Nice review and certainly thought-provoking. I can see where you are coming from and I can appreaciate it. H-wood did give this movie an up-beat feel and unless you read the source material then you wouldn't know the difference between the two. Interesting take though I liked this one more than you did for its entertainment value. Devora moved this to my community and it definitely has a place in "To Believe Or Not to Believe The Hype"--since it is a movie community that encourages member interactions.
April 29, 2010
Great review, Philip.  I've yet to watch this movie, but I've read many reviews and this is the first one that takes on this perspective.  It's interesting to read your, and your friends', opinions on it given your backgrounds.  I'm going to check it out eventually, but will keep this in mind.  By the way, your movie review would be a better fit in the movies community than in the social media community.  You can simply follow the movie community and then edit this review to add it there :)  Thanks so much for sharing!
April 30, 2010
...and thank you for that, Lady D.
April 29, 2010
I think it's great to have different perspectives like this. So often we watch movies without thought of their wider implications, ignoring that there is a wider audience as well. Sometimes it isn't "just a movie." Especially with comic book adaptations, we have to be careful of normalizing violence. It's one thing for a cartoon to have extreme levels of violence and another to see it realistically depicted. I also think it's worth noting that children are naturally going to be drawn to movies young protagonists, whether they are the intended audience or not. Certainly worth a thought.
April 29, 2010
Interesting and enlightening input
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), …
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 …
review by . April 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
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 (ChloĆ« Grace Moretz) and her father (Nicholas Cage); they stand in an …
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Philip M Hellmich ()
Ranked #389
I read aboutLunch.com's intention of helping people find Common Ground via social networks andloved it! I have been working with Search for Common Ground since 1997,an organization dedicated to transforming … more
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About this movie


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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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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