Monday, April 19, 2010

Kick Ass

The basic idea behind Kick Ass is that all kids, especially losers that get bullied for their lunch money and cell phones, dream of being a superhero and having the power to give a little payback. 

Dave is one such kid. Not a total loser but not a popular kid, Dave is the typical teenager. He goes to school, reads comics, goofs off on his computer, dreams of getting the girl (while often wacking off) and so on. Dave is also a total moron. But in an oddly endearing way. He gets the stupidly insane idea of really becoming a superhero. He gets the costume, some weapons (homemade batons) and hits the streets. It is worth noting that Dave lacks any real fighting or even athletic skills. He’s a walking disaster. In a costume.

Dave’s first attempt at superheroism gets him shivved and then hit by a car. He survives, with his secret hero identity in tact, and ends up with fried nerve endings that make him incapable of feeling all but the most major of pain, and pins everywhere. As he puts it, Dave ‘looks like Wolverine’ (unfortunately Dave neither fights nor heals like him). And yet despite almost becoming a human hood ornament, Dave carries on. Fully aware that he’s probably got some kind of mental defect preventing his sense of self preservation from saving his own butt. His second outing ends up going viral thanks to some well placed cell phones with video cameras and he’s the new hero of pop culture, complete with comic books, a website and party impersonators

Along the way Dave meets up with Damon McCready and daughter Mindy. Damon has a beef against a local mobster and he becomes a psycho version of Batman while his 11 year old daughter becomes a pint size assassin. Their antics both save “Kick Ass” (aka Dave) and get him sucked into Damon’s personal mission. Dave tries more than once to just walk away and enjoy life as the ‘gay friend’ of his dream hottie and hanging with his home boys. But Dave is Dave and of course Kick Ass never stays dead. Mr Mobster makes a leap of logic and initially believes Kick Ass has declared war, but after Mobster Jr Chris goes in disguise as fellow hero Red Mist, the truth comes out. Chris is tricked into helping Daddy find Kick Ass, Big Daddy and pint size Hit Girl but turns total wuss. That is until in the final battle, Chris gets his butt kicked by Kick Ass, his father is killed and Chris gains the keys to the kingdom. The final scenes leave us believing he has plans to become a supervillian. Big Daddy Damon is killed in the chaos and after getting her revenge, Mindy goes back to a normal life, having her first actual school experience etc. 

The best way to sum up this film and the graphic novel on which it is based, is that they are anti comics. Much like Scream both mocked and paid homage to slasher horror films, Kick Ass embraces and pokes fun at superheroes. Dave survives on dumb luck, Hit Girl is a disturbing mockery of the hot supergirl hero and Big Daddy is just utter ridiculous. Cage perhaps took things a little far with his odd. way. of. speaking. each. word. with. a. long. pause. but it was all in good fun. There are also plenty of ‘wink wink’ discussions about comics and who would win in a fight, who is the true superhero etc. Add in some cussing mostly to scandalize and plenty of blood and it’s way over the top in a way that works. The average viewer probably wouldn’t really go for the movie, but anyone that has spent time in the world of comic book superheroes will get the inside jokes and have a good snicker.
Quick Facts
Released April 2010
Rated: R
Official Site
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writers: Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn
Stars: Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Notes: Based on graphic novel.
Get it:
Amazon DVD, Blu-ray, On Demand
iTunes, CD, MP3
iphone/ipad app
Kick-Ass: Creating the Comic, Making the Movie

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