Sunday, April 18, 2010

Kick-Ass: Earning Its Name Through Humor, Vulgarity and Violence

     Upon first hearing of Kick-Ass (probably) 6 months ago, I wasn't that keen on the premise: a high school nerd decides that he wants to become a superhero and ends up Peter Parkering his way into super stardom with the help of some other on-the-outskirts-of-society wannabe losers. Then I watched the Red Band Trailer and read that the makers were going for a balls-to-the-walls "Hard R" with copious amounts of profanity-laced throat slitting and knives to the testicles. As one can imagine, the film instantly traversed above most of the junk that comes out in wide release nowadays to become one of my most anticipated in 2010. After leaving the opening night showing this past Friday, I was not disappointed.
    Since the best parts of the film come from an 11 year-old's mouth and actions (already a statement that sounds scarily close to pedophilia), I'll refrain from using my typical orgasmic language as not to have my I.P Address flagged by Chris Hanson's crack team of investigators. Let's just say this: Hit-Girl's a girl spawned from the womb of Ellen Ripley's uterus, fertilized by a generous squirt of Tarantino's semen. I guess when your (in the fictionalized movie world of Kick-Ass) dad is a reinvigorated Nic Cage, it's easy to be cool and crazy with a ca-ca mouth.


     Speaking of Nicolas Cage, his character Big Daddy (not of Bioshock fame) is another good aspect of the film. From the moment we first see him shooting his bulletproof vest-wearing daughter in the chest to teach her what it feels like to get shot at point blank range, the audience realizes what a caring, loving father he is. Here's the deal with Big Daddy: he's out to get the major crime boss villain in the film, D'Amico. Why, you may ask? Well, Big Daddy was once a cop and D'Amico framed him and sent him to prison; while in prison, Daddy's wife died giving birth to their daughter, Mindy (eventually becoming the aforementioned Hit-Girl). When the Big D was released from jail, he taught his daughter how to kill the bad guys, presenting her with birthday gifts of butterfly knives instead of dolls or Miley Cyrus DVDs. Cage has rejuvenated his career as of late: between the 30 second scene of him slashing and dashing his way around the room murdering people in Kick-Ass to his bursts of uncontrollable hysterical laughter in Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, he's stealing scenes in every film he touches.
     Which brings us to one of the few small problems that Kick-Ass has: The side characters are more entertaining than the film's main star, Kick-Ass himself. If you were to shave off fifteen minutes of the film's runtime involving Kick-Ass doing tired and cliche acts (I'm talking to you, talk in mirror Taxi Driver style scene...), the film could reach an even higher level of greatness. Not that everything Kick-Ass does is stupid and boring; on the contrary, he does spank his meat to his English teacher's breasts and pretends he's gay to get close enough to a girl to rub lotion on her naked body. Everything's not lost, as Chris Martin would say.
     A significant portion of viewers and critics are trashing the film due to its graphic depiction of child violence in a Columbine Age. Clearly that's stupid, just like the parallel argument that video game violence causes children to act out in violent ways. It's a film based on a Comic Book. It's not real life, although most fanboys probably wish it was. Just buy a ticket, sit down and take the film for what it is: an entertaining story that breaks the mold and kicks the ass of almost all the comic book films before it, all while maintaining a carefree and risky nature that most filmmakers wouldn't dare try in an age where Tea Baggers roam the streets like brainless zombies and Sarah Palin gets a show on the Discovery Channel.     (A-)

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