Movies / Comics Movie Reviews

Kick-Ass The Movie Review

By Beth Davies-Stofka
April 20, 2010 - 11:09


I really can't tell you if Kick-Ass is a good movie or not.

Here's what I can tell you: the movie never drags.  It pummels its way through its plot.  It pummeled me with colors, explosions, blood, brains, surprises, music, humor, and language.  I never once wondered what time it was, I flinched on occasion, I was exhausted when it was over, and I loved it. 

I don't think I'd see it again, but I recommend it because it's entertaining and surprising and never boring, and it's about something we can all agree on: comics are interesting.  It's second-generation, to be sure, a comic book movie about the superhero genre.  Its self-importance and pretensions to "deconstruction" are overblown.  Kick-Ass is, frankly, forgettable fun, but still, it's really, really fun.

But boy is it violent!  No one under 15 should see this movie.  The violence is cartoony and doesn't aspire to anything lofty like "relevance."  But it is very graphic, and I can imagine the discomfort and pain that children would experience.  Please don't inflict that on your kids.  This movie is R-rated for a very good reason.  It's an adults-only affair.

That would probably be the end of anything I'd want to say about it, except that it became strangely political on the internet.  I think it all started when Roger Ebert wrote that he found it "morally reprehensible."  Wow.  It really didn't occur to me to take the thing all that seriously.  But I can't argue with Roger Ebert.  We all have our moral thresholds, ones that we believe should not be crossed.  For me, it's those Saw features.  So I can't tell Roger Ebert where he should stand morally.

Still, while I can't agree, I think I know what the problem is.  People are having a problem with the image of an 11 year-old girl shoving swords through grown men's chests while wise-cracking.  They want her to suffer over the taking of life.  This quite misses the point, I think.  This is a fake town of fake people having fake arguments with fake weapons, and spilling fake blood.  Hit Girl is a fake, too.  She's like Bruce Willis or John Wayne in an 11 year-old girl's body.  I think once you remember that, Hit Girl just seems really kick-ass.  Certainly not a candidate for a sociological study in childhood victimization.

I will confess, though, that the character is capable of producing strong feelings.  I loved her and was inspired by her.  When the credits began rolling, my first thought was, "I need to find me a self-defense class!"

Why?  Because I feel the need to kill people?  Hardly!  I've never wanted that in my life.  I'm interested in really hard challenges, like justice and peace.  But I envied that little girl's self-confidence.  And it motivated me to imbibe a dose of it of my own.

So, I guess in a sense I took the movie a little bit seriously.  Hit Girl's confidence left me with a good feeling.  But if I did any more thinking than that, I'd be wasting my time.  This movie isn't for thinkers.  It's strictly for popcorn and giggles.  It's really incapable of being about anything other than the meaning of the superhero genre (voyeurism, or moral instruction), and it doesn't really add to the discussion.  So just go and enjoy it.  Have some fun while you wait for Iron-Man 2.  We all know that's where the real money is!

Rating: 8.5 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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