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Thursday, December 23, 2010
One Minute Review- Kick-Ass
Kick-Ass is a dumb and ugly movie. It starts as a promising satire about teenagers and superheroes and why there are none in real life. A brilliant film seems to be blooming until it gets bored with being insightful and moves into violent and reprehensible territory. This is a film that plays like the younger, less enlightened cousin of the great Watchmen adaptation. And I don’t mean that as a compliment.
Call me unhip, square, not with it, whatever, but the problem with Kick-Ass is not that it features teenaged superheroes (one an 11 year old girl) but that people actually die; in graphic detail no less. These kids are not superheroes, they are murderers out for vigilante justice. There’s something morally wrong about all this.
Maybe this is a perfectly accurate interpretation of what the comics the film is based on are like. I don’t know. But that director Matthew Vaugh thinks that this material is hip and funny is a complete miscalculation. Here Vaugh is hiding behind satire: as if, as long as the movie is laughing at itself, it can justify anything. That Vaugh does the best to make this all bright and hyper-stylized (too hyper-stylized at times) is credit to his talent and I hope one day a great action movie falls in his lap.
In reality then, Kick-Ass becomes just the thing the material should ultimately want to deviate from: a superhero movie. Except these superheroes kill and steal and are really no better than the criminals they put down. If the movie had actually been about Kick-Ass and his life as an amateur teenage superhero wannabe, well that could have been brilliant, sparkling satire. My vote is for Judd Apatow to helm the reboot a couple years down the line. As it stands it’s just a dumb, action film, filled with characters not developed enough to care much about, with the sad misfortune that most of them are also under the age of 16.