Friday, April 16, 2010

Kick Ass - A review from the front

I'll show you kick ass!

If you are easily offended by strong language coming from the mouth of a very cute pint-sized hero in black, don't go see this movie. If said girl shooting, kicking, slashing, and hacking through about 30 goons shocks you as the song Bad Reputation plays, then skip this movie. If watching her daddy, played by Nicholas Cage, turn the little girl into a weapon of vengeance disturbs you greatly then avoid this movie.

Now if you are willing to watch this movie then hold on and check your seat belt. Its about this geek boy in high school who decides getting shaken down for money by thugs has got to stop. Someone has to take a stand. So donning the ugliest SCUBA suit ever created along with a mask he becomes the crime fighter Kick Ass. One of the strengths of the movie is Kick Ass has read all these super hero comic books and knows the rules, but when he becomes Kick Ass he has to learn all the lessons the hard and painful way. [Though he should know right off the bat Red Mist is bad news as this erstwhile crime fighter shows up in a bright red Mustang with lambo-doors, oh please lambo doors are so lame. :) ] And in the process he becomes a hero because he finds there are things more important than just closing one's eyes and ignoring all the bad things happening. He learns and he grows.

Nicholas Cage plays Big Daddy. He is a real vigilante who is shaking down a crime family due to personal reasons. As the father of Hit Girl some complain his acting is akin to his role in Raising Arizona. I give them that it appears that way, but think on what BD is doing. He is turning his own daughter into a weapon of retribution, to avenge himself upon the drug lord who killed his wife and ruined his life. So he is all polite and soft-spoken to Hit Girl even as he quizzes her on things like what was the first John Woo movie and test bullet proof vests on her in what has to be the most shocking scene of this shocking movie. He is molding her into this weapon, he has this plan and is focused on it and a normal childhood for Hit Girl is not part of that plan. How does he express how much he loves his daughter? He says with pride he only used high velocity bullets during those tests. And Hit Girl adores her father and has supped deeply of the same draught of vengeance or in this case, cups of hot chocolate. Who said revenge had to be a dish best served cold, in this movie its delivered free of charge by a purple-haired pint-sized vigilante armed with guns, knives, and grenades.

This movie is also a commentary on current culture. Kick Ass is busy defending a guy who just slapped him around from three other goons. And the guy he asks to call 911 instead runs into a place and exclaims how cool this guy is. So everyone rushes to the windows to start filming the fight to upload online. So Kick Ass puts up a page on Facebook and gets thousands of hits. Schools with metal detectors, another image of how dysfunctional things are as kids are still shaken down. One could argue when the bad guys decide to stage the killing of our heroes online live, they are borrowing from recent events - strike that they are borrowing with the single camera on a tripod, people tied to chairs, and a curtain backdrop while they abuse our heroes.

Kick Ass to me is a far better movie than Watchmen even if Watchman has higher budget effects. That movie is like its comic book origin, you are left at the end going how could Dr. Manhatten let such a evil crime go unpunished. But he does. In Kick Ass the crime fighters do not let evil get away. They may get beaten up to where they are spitting blood. May see loved ones hurt or killed. But they have this calling to stand up and say 'I will not let this happen.' Kick Ass is this age's Batman, just without the gadgets and a really dorky fighting style.

Health Warning - during the fight in the dark room with some goons, Hit Girl uses a Tac-light set to strobe. So some might go into seizures between all the muzzle flashes and that strobe in a dark room.


Rose said...

OK - I am going to have to go see it

Anna said...

LOL How was it?

ZK273 said...

Finally saw this last week. Yes, it was awesome. And yes, Hit-Girl definitely stole the show.