Saturday, April 24, 2010

Review: Kick-Ass

Fight like a little girl

Kick-Ass is a parody of superhero movies, particularly Spider-man. But unlike other spoofs, Kick-Ass is a notch better than the rest of its ilk, with cleverer jokes and no cartoon-illogic, anvil-dropping nonsenses, if I remembered correctly. Without a PG-rating restrain, the movie gets to spice things up with some gratuitous violence and darkly, morbid humour. Still, the movie was a few steps short of greatness because of the way it unevenly handles two different storylines that don't seem to gel all that well together.

The two main reasons to watch Kick-Ass are Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz) and Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage). They are the most compelling characters in the movie, and a strange mix of realism and exaggeration of some of your favourite comic book heroes. They are a bizarre and unhealthy father-and-daughter vigilante team where one of their crimefighting training involves the dad shooting his ten-year-old daughter in the chest with a gun. They do the most ass-kicking in the movie, especially the ten-year-old. Imagine O-Ren Ishii from Kill Bill during her prepubescent years.

Less interesting is the titular character, Kick-Ass (Aaron Johnson). Although he is the more realistic character, his storyline takes a too-obvious jab at Spider-man, from the Tobey Maguire-like voiceovers to the rooftop-jumping trials. Such smugness somehow doesn't really fit the realistic tone the movie was obviously aiming for. His story shows how completely stupid it is for a completely average guy to try and become a costumed hero. For a character named Kick-Ass, Kick-Ass spends more time getting his ass kicked than kicking asses.

As I said before, the two really doesn't mix when one is more fantastical while the other plays it real. Maybe it would have worked better if it is a story about an average dude who tries to be a superhero in a superhero world and not the real world. Or if the director or writer just removed some of the snide remarks about superhero cliches, which doesn't help when the movie actually plays to the cliches later on. Another idea is to relegate Kick-Ass' character to a supporting role and reduce his screen time. I had the same indifferent feeling when I was watching Watchmen, which later warmed me over on Blu-Ray. Perhaps I will like Kick-Ass more after a few home viewings. Right now, it's just a high Average for me.

Some cool taglines from the movie:
With no power comes no responsibility.
I can't fly/read your mind/be invisible/see through walls. But I can kick your ass.
Whenever Hit Girl swears.

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