Manic Movie Magic: Kick-Ass

Comic book movies are now a dime a dozen. Some are fantastic, and some are Green Lantern. I mean terrible. (Wait, they’re synonymous now, right?) They range in epicness, scope, and social commentary, but everyone loves a good comic-movie.

But unlike Superman, and Batman, this comic-book-movie adaptation deals with a horse of a completely different color spectrum.  A comic-book movie which acts almost like a parody, but still retains what we expect from these films.

This week on Manic Movie Magic, we’ll be taking a look at Kick-Ass.

Released in 2010, Kick-Ass is about a teenager named Dave, played by Aaron Johnson, who like many teens his age and most Disney Renaissance princesses, wants something more out of life. Most people would take up a hobby, join a club, do a Rocky-style montage, but not Dave. Nope, he wants to be a superhero. Brilliant kid, this one.

So he dons a green costume, and goes out into the night to fight crime…which goes about as well as expected. He gets his ass handed to him so severely that his nerve endings get permanently damaged, which he uses to his advantage to go back and get the crap beat out of him more and more.

He meets up with Big Daddy and Hit Girl, who are introduced to previously in the film being sociopathically centric on firearms and killing people, as well as Red Mist, played by Mc’ Lovin, or rather Christopher Mintz-Plasse. He starts off as a “hero” but it’s revealed he is really a villain, who is the son of the crime boss Big Daddy is out to kill.

Emo Mc’Lovin ver. 2.0. Now with 50% more “what the fuck.”

Oh, and there’s some romance subplot…I got too enraptured with the violence there.

There’s a very sort of Hollywood plot. Things seem to be going fine, but then shit hits the fan, Big Daddy dies, Hit Girl and Kick Ass team up to take down the mob boss, of course, and the day is saved! Thanks to….two masked vigilantes with high powered weaponry.

Kick Ass tells Hit Girl that she can now live the life of a normal little girl. I’m sorry, but WHAT? This girl has only known violence and death, she has virtually no social skills, and she borders on sociopathic, and you want her to try and blend in with the normal people? Granted, she deserves to have a normal life like everyone else, but she’s never going to be able to learn the appropriate social norms. All this will do is make Hit Girl feel more isolated than before, possibly even drive her nuts. You can’t treat her like an average kid because she’s not average – and yet the movie tries to pass this off as a good idea.

“Thank you, small murderous child whose been trained since conscious thought to handle firearms. Now that the main villain is dead, please integrate back to society.”

The fight choreography is simply phenomenal. It’s fluid, fast paced but never blurry, and it’s so wonderfully creative and stylized that I don’t care about it being stunt doubles – it’s easily the best aspect, or at least most enjoyable, of the film.

The cinematography is pretty good all things considered. The shots and transitions are clear, colors crisp, and well shot. I wasn’t surprised – movies with such a focus on the action portions tend to look amazing because that’s what the audience wants. If the visual aesthetic isn’t there, what is there to see? Though it did give me some flashbacks to the Speed Racer movie.

The best characters of this movie are Big Daddy and Hit Girl, played by Nicolas Cage and Chloe Moretz. Moretz is bitingly witty, delivering lines with an innocent vulgarity that makes you feel a little horrified but also smile at the absurdity of it. She adds a lot to the film, despite being so young, which is proof that child actors can be good if they have real talent. And Big Daddy’s wholesome apple-pie American persona plays perfectly against Hit Girl, leading to some hilarious conversations. Not to mention I’m pretty sure he was secretly born to play this role – his over the top insanity, weird face, and even speech seems molded for this character.

This role was made for Nicolas Cage. Look how natural he looks in this shot!

Kick-Ass and Red Mist are…well, they’re okay. They’re just more bland and flat than I had hoped. That’s not to say that they were completely lacking in depth, but I wasn’t as compelled with their stories as I was with the previous two.

Of course, the movie isn’t perfect. I mean, for one, the pacing is a little weird to me – alternating between a crawl and a Nascar race. Some of the extra plot may have worked in the comic, but just seemed to act as filler which could have been cut and nothing about the film would have changed in the least. Also, again, this was probably for the aesthetics and it was used in the comics but bright colors and fighting crime don’t mix.

Because you know, bright colors are perfect for stalking criminals in the night. Excellent choice there, vulnerable squishy people with no real superpowers to speak of.

All in all, Kick-Ass is a solid film, with some solid work put into it. I can’t vouch for it being a good adaptation, or not, but I have heard the comic is better, but I can’t say for sure. It’s a fun movie if you’re just bored one day and want to give it a go, but go into it to have fun, not to take it super seriously.

Rating: ★★½☆☆

Next week will be a list of the top Horror/Sci Fi Christmas/Holiday themed films!  THE HOLIDAYS HAVE AARRRIIIVVVEEEDDD!

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Starshine5050

As just a regular, hard-working work, often-stressing, procrastination-mastering history and journalism student, I often turn to the silver and small screens for relief, even though I'm only an average cinema-and-television loving viewer, commenting on what, and does not, makes good entertainment. I love horror everything - book, TV shows, games, movies - even though they frighten me terribly. I'm a long time believer of the old saying "When life gives you lemons, don't take life's lemons! Give the lemons back!" So, onward I go, returning lemons and logging an unhealthy amount of screen time for your enjoyment. So please be sure to read my stuff and let me know what you think, I'm alway looking to improve and be the best, most cynical critic I can be!

Latest posts by Starshine5050 (see all)

Starshine5050

As just a regular, hard-working work, often-stressing, procrastination-mastering history and journalism student, I often turn to the silver and small screens for relief, even though I'm only an average cinema-and-television loving viewer, commenting on what, and does not, makes good entertainment. I love horror everything - book, TV shows, games, movies - even though they frighten me terribly. I'm a long time believer of the old saying "When life gives you lemons, don't take life's lemons! Give the lemons back!" So, onward I go, returning lemons and logging an unhealthy amount of screen time for your enjoyment. So please be sure to read my stuff and let me know what you think, I'm alway looking to improve and be the best, most cynical critic I can be!

3 Comments:

  1. Ooh, I might have to do a second opinion on this. It's actually a terrible adaptation of the comic.

  2. It's a pretty faithful adaptation for the most part and one of the few cases when the movie is actually better.

  3. Pingback: 8 Bit Cinema Is Awesome | Moar Powah!

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