If you’re anything like me you watched this trailer and thought “Hey, that was my idea!”
If you read comic books I’m sure you’ve thought of this premise: A real world setting with no super heroes where a comic book reading nerd decides to emulate fiction and become a super hero despite having no powers. We’ve all had at least a variation of that idea. Well, apparently someone decided to make the comic then the inevitable movie and call it Kick-Ass. So did they do our idea justice? No, not really.
Fist off, I have not read the comic, only seen the movie and read about the differences of the two on the great Wikipedia. So I didn’t go into this with any expectations. In fact, like most people I know I went into this thinking it looked like a dumb comedy, which it most certainly is not. In that regard it was much better than I thought it would be, and my wife even liked it!
The movie excels when it focuses on the title character…Kick-Ass!
If the movie had focused more on this guy it would have been a lot better, as he is a very good embodiment of the regular nerd trying to be a super hero concept. The first third of this movie is awesome as we see this geek’s day to day life and what inspires him to order a wet suit and become the awesomely named Kick-Ass. What else would a dumb nerd call themselves? Seeing this uber dork parade around in his costume, posing, pretending to do moves and jump from rooftops is great. His first fight is simply amazing! He’s clumsy, ineffective and gets stabbed by two lowly street thugs! Getting hit by the car after was a little much, but it served it’s purpose.
From here he has nerve damage and metal frames applied to shattered bones, which allows him to absorb a bit more punishment then a normal man. Cool. In his second attempt to fight crime he is spotted by a crowd who records him with their phones, uploads the video to YouTube and makes Kick-Ass a pop celebrity. A brilliant plot point. Also the fact that this crowd pretty much stopped the thugs from killing him by simply being a group of witnesses that could potentially id the criminals. All good stuff.
This whole story is what I want to see, but unfortunately the movie decides to force other stories and main characters on us. The movie basically gives equal time to a gang and a father/daughter super hero duo, Big Daddy and Hit Girl.
A Batman ripoff and a Power Puff Girl wannabe. Ugh…these two suck. The characters suck and the actors are awful. Nicholas Cage has always been a bad actor, but he seems to get worse with each movie. He is distractingly bad in this movie, and takes you out of every scene he’s in. I dare you not to cringe at how bad his line delivery is. His on screen daughter is not much better. She’s especially bad when in full Hit Girl costume.
These two completely negate the premise of the movie! THERE ARE ALREADY TWO SUPER HEROES THAT EXIST BEFORE KICK-ASS! Stupid! What happened to the real world aspect?! They may not have actual super powers, but they basically do, especially Hit Girl, who has unnatural agility, strength and fighting abilities. They even have the Punisher’s over top comic book origin story! Now it’s just another normal super hero story, and a stupid ripoff one at that. Hit Girl isn’t cute or quirky or shocking or some symbol of girl power to me, she’s just a bad actress ruining what was starting out as a good movie with her unbelievability.
The villains are over the top gangsters, and the plot revolves around Big Daddy and Hit Girl trying to kill them all to get revenge. Kick-Ass just kind of accidentally gets involved in this on a peripheral level for most of the movie. He has some small side stories, but basically he’s relegated to the background of his own movie! Things become very violent and ridiculous, much like a Tarantino film. That can be fine, but not when it’s the exact opposite of your premise. KICK-ASS SHOULD NOT BE FLYING AROUND ON A JET PACK SHOOTING PEOPLE WITH GATLING GUNS!!!
Is it a bad movie? No. You can still enjoy it and it’s worth seeing. Does it reach its potential? Not even close! That’s the real problem. They took the easy route. It’s hard to craft a story that deals strictly with the mundane and make it interesting for the duration of the plot. It takes a lot of effort and talent, and it’s a very rare thing. It’s much easier to add a little mundane subplot to a traditional story, and that’s what we got here. If that’s what you’re looking for then you’ll love this movie. If you’re hoping for something more than you’ll be disappointed.