Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

Sick, sick people

Yes, it's supposed to be disturbing.

Yes, I just enjoyed a film that features killings by an 11-year-old, and that echoes Taxi Driver at least once, and otherwise acknowledges that in this real world, being a real ass-attacking superhero would be a really, really bad idea (but maybe a really satisfying one) and might be done by deeply damaged people. Damage: check. Aforementioned damaged people getting their asses handed to them: check. Increasingly high-powered weaponry: check. Sweeping, brassy hero music: check. Shocked, slack-jawed stares by other characters who can't believe these people dressed up in tights: check. (I especially liked that.)

Yes, I saw Kick-Ass tonight, as hoped. Yes, I enjoyed it, as hoped. I knew it was deranged and sick, and that screenwriters Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn are both A) amused by dark stuff and B) ultimately very humane, world- and people-loving people. Which Mark Millar, the original writer of Kick-Ass the comic (from which Goldman and Vaughn adapted their film), probably is, too, but I've heard his work doesn't really suggest that. Vaughn and Goldman, though, I give much benefit of the doubt, considering they also adapted Stardust to film a few years ago in a way I loved. This film is darker, and probably more manic (a word I keep using in relation to director/co-screenwriter Vaughn), and also less mature than Stardust. This is fine. I don't need deep searching of the human condition in a film where a father and a daughter are introduced by him teaching her what a bullet hitting a bulletproof vest feels like.

Kick-Ass quickly summed up is: lanky high school guy Dave decides to be a superhero, gets really really injured doing so, gets notoriety, has a crush he has on a girl go in interesting directions, learns there are other superheroes out there, and finds there are nemeses of superheroes too. Chaos and acrobatic fighting ensue. It's twisted, and it takes the piss out of superheroics pretty consistently. And still makes it AWESOME. I laughed at its audacity at times, a good sign.

Wait until 11-year-old fellow superhero Hit Girl (born Mindy McCready and played by Chloe Moretz) gets a few years older, and realizes the true point of being a kick-ass superhero: you may get increased chances to get laid. "What's the difference," Dave says, "between Spider-Man and Peter Parker? Spider-Man gets the girl." Which is seriously selective thinking on Dave's part; it wasn't Spider-Man whom M.J. told "Face it, Tiger, you just hit the jackpot!" And, um, anything else on that front would probably be a spoiler, so stop it I shall. But I love that Kick-Ass is willing to talk pretty candidly about teenage sexuality and raging hormones. The film ain't coy about it, just as it isn't coy about the many ways one can kill people. (Now I'm flashing on True Lies, of all things. Helen Tasker: "Have you ever killed anyone?" Harry Tasker: "Yeah, but they were all bad." I could imagine Kick-Ass having dialogue similar to that.) It's clever, disturbing, successfully action-packed and hilarious. Good treat tonight.
Tags: film reviews

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