Monday, April 26, 2010

Reader Question - Kick-Ass or Suck-Ass?


Kick-Ass has been out for possibly long enough now, and if you haven't seen it then perhaps you need some nudging off your fence or vindication that it's not for you, so here goes. If you have seen Kick-Ass at your local cinemaplex then please weigh in with your thoughts; was it a win or a sin? Did it rock or did it suck? Did you love it or do you want to shove it? Uh, is it great or no thanks, mate?

I think that should be enough, just weigh in with your thoughts, even mini-reviews, or whatever in the comments section. I know what I think and I'll try and put something up after I let you guys percolate on the topic for a little while.

For those who don't know; Kick-Ass is a recent comic movie adaptation about a normal average everyday 'could-be-you' kid who decides to become a real superhero, but without the super part. He doesn't have any powers, he's just got a scuba suit (and I never realized those suits came with masks, you learn something new every day.) and some lead pipe. He eventually gets caught up in a spiral of other real superheroes and a big crime boss who's just itching to be taken down.

The comic was originally written by Mark Millar and drawn by John Romita Jr. and published by Marvel Comics through their Icon imprint. The comic is finally collected in a HC collection, available from all good comic stores and online retailers.

The movie is directed by Matthew Vaughan, the one where the little girl drops the C-bomb, a bunch of ethnic minorities get stabbed, beaten, exploded, and turtured, Nic Cage has a scene where he's maniacally screaming and the soundtrack features Elvis Presley and a track stolen from 28 Days Later... It has already evoked some heavy emotions from critics everywhere, some praising it for it' tongue in cheek tone, while leaving others terrified and mystified that this would pass off as entertainment. Much like the comic itself, it has proven to be a very polarizing piece, so...

What did you think of this movie?


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37 comments:

Iambic said...

I... liked some parts, and really disliked others. It took me a really long time to really get interested in the plot and the characters; not really until Red Mist showed up did I care one way or the other what happened to anybody. The "bunch of ethnic minorities" that "get stabbed, beaten, exploded, and tortured" really made me uncomfortable. I found the main villain a lot more interesting than the main character. Hit Girl was fun but didn't really resonate with me as a character until the end. The scene of her father's death was well done but predicatable, and lacked the punch I would've hoped for -- I just didn't care enough about Big Daddy. The ending was pretty cool, and I liked the whole bazooka subplot. And I did like that the relationship between Dave and Katie didn't follow the whole "I can't believe you lied to me, never speak to me again" cliche that it seemed to be angling for at first. I loved seeing what comics were lying about. I loved the soundtrack.

Nick! said...

I thought it was a great, fun little movie, based on an anaemic and intelligence-insulting comic. They did great work putting some flesh on the comic's 5-minute-pitch deep plotting.

If it sells a few copies of Stardust on DVD, or raises John Romita Jr's profile even a tiny bit, it's a good thing. Unfortunately, I get the feeling those are the three out of the four creators involved who are least likely to capitalise on the movie's successes.

Rogue Smurf said...

I loved the movie! I'd only ever read the first issue of the comic, and wasn't enthralled enough to continue, but the movie was fantastic, giddy fun. In this day and age, being bothered by violence, gore and swearing, even from little girls, is eye-rollingly meh. I thought it added to the flashbang of it all.

I liked the characters, I liked the sub-plot, I liked the protagonist and loved Big Daddy and Hit-Girl. The movie was just a lot of bombastic fun, which I can always get behind.

Jarrad said...

I liked the movie and was glad it didn't follow the comic book. You just have to go into in with the realization that it's just a "popcorn" movie. If anything I can say I thought the whole Red Mist character was ridiculous with who they had play the character and the costume they picked it.

Bill said...

I thought the movie added a little depth to a few characters and improved them tremendously, was a heck of a lot of fun, and really only made one change to the comic that bothered me (the change in the relationship between Dave and Katie).

As for the PC criticisms:

The racism thing was at least addressed somewhat in the movie, adding a sympathetic non-white character and adding bad guys that were neither black nor hispanic nor italian.

As for the thing about turning our children into monsters or whatever... I thought the movie was advertised poorly. It's clearly a hard-R kind of movie that should not be for children. But playing "Bad Reputation" while a little girl dressed in purple kicks bad guys in the face makes it look like a family-friendly Girl Power! movie that you could totally bring your kids to. And maybe it just got an R because of a couple f-bombs. And then you show up and get the foulest of foul language, brutal violence with zero consequences or any thought to the morality of it all. Which I'm fine with, I just think if you're going to do that kind of thing, you ought not to make a trailer that kids are going to be drawn to *and* that makes the parents think it'll be relatively harmless.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was excellent, over the top, and did exactly what it set out to do. I hope Roger Ebert goes blind before he's allowed to review another comic book movie.

http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100414/reviews/100419986

Anonymous said...

This was my experience going to watch Kick-Ass. I went with my wife totally warning her about the violence and foul language. After it finished she commented "I can't believe people go watch this. I mean, what are we teaching our children glorifying violence and death?" and I said "I liked the part were the girl kicked the sh@t out of everyone." I'm going out on a limb here but I think my wife wasn't part of the target demographic. Having said that I really enjoyed the movie. My only minor complaint is that the movie was somewhat slow at parts. As a superhero fan who always dreamed of being a superhero as a kid this movie resonated well with me, especially the scene where he gets filmed fighting off the goons and they ask him why is he doing it. But really it was Hit-Girl who made the movie. She was absolutely awesome. And I apreciated the lack of blood in the fights, which to me blood baths are cheesy. I haven't read the comic but read its plot, and the movie made it better. If you are a superhero fan you HAVE to watch it, even to disagree with it.

Anonymous said...

I liked the film, but I don't think I enjoyed it. It started as a parody of the comic genre but turned into a parody of a parody.

I mean, if they had kept on-track as "real people doing heroics" then the film would have been an enjoyable satire of the comics genre. But it turned into "real people do completely un-fucking believably shit" and lost its charm.

When it was a guy in a scuba suit getting his ass kicked while trying to prove that good exists in the world, the film was awesome.

When it was a guy in a scuba suit in a jetpack with miniguns and a rocket launcher, it turned into absolute absurdity.

It missed the mark, personally.

Anonymous said...

I was bored to tears. Rubbish movie.

Klep said...

I've been saying that the director Matthew Vaughan was not up to the task of making the movie that wanted to be made, so he made a fun one instead. There's not necessarily anything wrong with that, but a better director could have made a much better movie.

Kick-Ass asks and answers the question "What would happen if some random guy decided to be a superhero?" (A:He'd get messed up pretty badly). A better movie than Kick-Ass would have gone beyond that though to more fully explore the followup questions "Is getting messed up that badly worth it?" and "Why do we need a superhero to do the right thing, why is humanity on the whole so indifferent to suffering?" The movie gave glimpses of these issues (most effectively in the scene which makes Kick-Ass famous), but doesn't do anything significant with them, and that can be laid at Vaughan's feet.

Needless to say, Nicholas Cage and Chloe Moretz steal the show (to be expected, since the main character is admittedly and purposefully dull), and I loved Cage's Adam West affectation whenever he was in costume.

Overall, I quite enjoyed the movie and will likely pick it up on dvd. It just would have been nice to see what a better director could have done with the themes the subject matter so obviously wants to address.

Dickey said...

For me the movie was far superior to the comic. Instead of trying to play the whole "real life superheroes" thing straight, Matthew Vaughn recognized the source material was ludicrous itself and made a completely ludicrous movie. Which is exactly what I want out of my comics movie. Honestly, it's a dude in a scuba suit with police batons. Kid better get some better hardware if he wants to storm a mob fortress.

Nic Cage doing Adam West. Awesome. Changing Big Daddy's story from the insulting, loser background of the comic. Even more awesome. Nic Cage going up in flames. The most awesome thing ever (Mr. Cage and I have an intense love/hate relationship).

But the most awesome thing about the movie? It broke my tainted relationship with Godspeed You! Black Emperor. I can now listen to F#A#Infinity without thinking of zombies, just so long as I don't watch 28 Days Later anytime soon.

So, in the end, this is what I want out of my comics movies. It was fun, and that's all I was looking to get out of it.

The Dangster said...

It was waaay better than the comic. In terms of tone, the comic jumped all over the place, and the basic idea of a kid being a super hero in real life got turned upside down once Hit Girl and Big Daddy came in. In the movie, they were introduced earlier.

I mean, the movie was more tongue-in-cheek, and therefore more enjoyable. I'm glad they cut out Dave's dad's subplot, it would've weighed the movie down. They kept all the right things in, and left some of the more bombastic Millar-esque touches, such as Katie's text revenge and like they said above, Big Daddy's origin. By the time they get to the jet pack part, you just go with it. It's ridiculous but you just don't care. I suggest people to watch it for the entertainment it is an not try to search for the satire and parody.

There's something about a man dressed like Batman and gunning down mobsters that I find satisfying.

I agree with everyone, Hit Girl stole the movie, and she's gonna be a big star one day.

The Losers wasn't bad either.

Bill English said...

I absolutely loved it. Hit-Girl was amazing. The movie felt just like the comic even though they changed a few things. Totally worth seeing. I'll be seeing it again in theaters and I'll be buying it as soon as it is available. Great stuff!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Someone on here wishing Roger Ebert loses his sight because he didn't like this movie, after already losing his voice.

Ryan, you thought you had it bad with the Morrisonites!

R_ said...

I'll admit, the blind comment was harsh. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. However, I can't forgive a professional critic who types the line: “Let's say you're a big fan of the original comic book, and you think the movie does it justice. You know what? You inhabit a world I am so very not interested in.”

If your profession is reviewing movies, all kinds of movies, what right do you have to ever make a statement like the one above. basically he’s saying “If you liked this movie, you have taste opposite of mine, and since mine is the only one that counts, there must be something wrong with you.

Kick-Ass is a small budget indy film with a very specific target audience. It doesn’t pretend to appeal to anyone outside that particular audience/ fan base (sort of like a slasher flick). He has no right slamming that fan base for enjoying something the almighty Ebert thinks is juvenile or crosses some arbitrary moral line. What he wrote reads like a petty personal attack on a movie that doesn’t have the big studio backing to defend itself.

Lets suppose Mr. Ebert isn’t very “interested” in teenage vampire/werewolf romances. Do you think he’d have the stones to slam Twilight fans with a line like: “Let's say you're a big fan of the novels, and you think the movies do them justice. You know what? You inhabit a world I am so very not interested in.” I doubt it. And what’s more morally reprehensible, A 17 year old girl who falls in love with a 1,000 year old man, then begs him to kill her so he can statutorily rape her without eating her; or a 10 year-old vigilante who dresses up like a ninja and kills drug dealers? More importantly, who is Ebert to decide.

In my opinion the role of a critic is to give an unbiased, contextual review of film; not to slam a genre, a fan-base, and a movie because it’s something he’s unfamiliar with.

Sorry for getting carried away earlier.

TheDonAbides said...

Why wish a malady on Ebert when he admitted to being outside the target demographis of the film? That is ignorance on your part, not his. This is a movie that will not appeal to everyone, that's obvious. If you liked it, great. If he hated it, even better. But wishing misfortune on a person for having a differing opinion shows your lack of tolerance and intelligence.

TheDonAbides said...

And darn you for posting that retraction while I was posting my scolding! If I was rude, I apologize.

TheDonAbides said...

Dammit, lost that comment. I apologized for my rudeness as well. I don't think he was trying to say his opinion was more valid, he was simply prefacing. I didn't find that comment insulting.

On topic. I liked the comic. But the movie was rubbish. It took a satire and made a parody of a satire. Casting was horrid. Red Mist and KickAss should have been switched. Nic Cage was cashing a paycheck. Direction is muddled and had nothing to say.

cheetahmaster said...

Skipped the comics.

The movie was enjoyable and fun, with some surprisingly good character turns. I felt the absurd parts (Hit-Girl, jetpack, bazooka really brought a good angle to the 'average guy tries to become a hero, fails, and then succeeds, in an awkward way' arc.

Servando Gomez said...

I loved both the comic and the movie. The movie i think did the right choice as to edit the story to be more better in general for the Kick Ass. As in he gets the girl. That way, it could resonate more with its target audience.

I did feel though that the cool comic book moments of felt a bit shoe horned in (except the taser part. Pure comedy genius) but nothing as horrible as the Wanted (the movie) jump where they offer not context to as to how anyone can be that good. (excluding the guy that blocked bullets with his blades).

Other than that, i think i like the comic more (i love Millarism i guess the way some love Morrison) but the movie is probably the only movie i clapped just to clap for a scene. Pretty much the whole time the auidence i was with was just appluading. I can say that never happened all three times i saw Lord of the Rings in thearters.

Oh before i forget, I love Mark Strong role in the film. He's the unsung hero in making this movie good. Especially in the final confrontation with Hit Girl.

Servando Gomez said...

I would like to mention that there are people who dress up like superheroes in real life that help police. G4 did a special on tnem.

Also, the movie and Comic book would have gotten boring really fast if it wasn't for extreme plot twist like Hit girl to continue the story.

Then again, it does answer a small question of why superheroes would chase down the mob. At least in the comic it does.

Ryan K Lindsay said...

Call me old, but I appreciated Ebert's review of Kick-Ass. I don't think a reviewer should give an unbiased contextual review of the film, in fact, I don't even think that's possible, what you're thinking of is a synopsis. A review is meant to be someone's personal opinion on something, and that's why you go to that reviewer, because you either know they have similar tastes to you and so will reflect what you'll probabky think (thus helping make the decision to see a flick) or because you respect the person and want to know what they think anyway. Or, you like their writing style. I don't understand why people go to a reviewer that they don't like and then slam them. Did anyone ever think Ebert was going to like Kick-Ass? Obviously not, and I think he worded that perfect. He doesn't rant at all, he simply throws up a hand and says it's not for him, and that's all he should do. Then plenty of people who know they're like him won't waste their time on this movie, and Kick-Ass most certainly isn't for everybody. I'd show The Dark Knight, or Iron Man, to my mother, I would not show Kick-Ass.

As for what Ebert would say about Twilight, ah, this is where internet people fail, do your research...Ebert didn't pander to the masses:

http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081119/REVIEWS/811199997/1023

This link is his Twilight review, where he states 'But I understand who Twilight appeals to, and it sure will.'

http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091118/REVIEWS/911199998/1023

And that's his New Moon review, which he slams like he's in a cage match with the flick.

Ivan said...

Roger Ebert vs. Robert Pattinson in a cage match. I'd pay to see that.

Rich said...

Thought it was a fun popcorn film. And there's nowt wrong with that!

Matt Ampersand said...

I wish I could weigh in on the discussion, but this movie is not going to be released here in Spain until JUNE.

I mean, for fuck's sake, Kazakhstan, the Czech Republic and Egypt are going to get it before me, in April. And I have to wait until JUNE? Is there some huge market for parody of superhero movies in Kazakhstan that I am not aware of?

Daryll B. said...

Damn Matt ... I sorry man...

Well let me just say as a minority who felt WAY insulted by the comic.... I must say the movie was a pleasant surprise. Definitely Mark Strong and Nicholas Cage helped in that arena with great performances and Moritz as Hit-Girl stole the show...

Losers may have been more in line with what I consider great comic/gn adaptions on film but I can't hate on Kick-Ass the Movie...

Unfortunately I CAN hate on parents who bring lil kids to a movie with a CLEAR R rating...

Steven said...

Keep in mind that the movie was NOT based on the comic book. They hammered out a basic plot and then the comic and screenplay were written simultaneously by separate people. The differences in the characters and plot are because of this. There was virtually, according to Millar, no input from one side to the other at all.

btownlegend said...

This movie was a guilty pleasure.

Jonathan M Perez said...

The best part was the line about LOST. The rest of it was pretty average. (Although the minority thing is a bunch of bullshit. As a Mexican, I'd love it if there was a mainstream action flick that goes out of its way to show white people getting their asses kicked by minorities.) I certainly thought the film was completely amoral, which for me was both a good and bad thing.

temjin said...

There's Mika on the OST.
Mika.
M.I.K.A.
Not some bad ass Entombed or Danko Jones or even Blacksunempire (some D'n'B for the fight scenes)
Nothing screams kick ass teenage vigilante violence like a guy that does videos in his underpants...

fuzzy said...

Usually when they make movies after good books,comics and videogames they end up fucking it up.. but the comic sucked so much that the movie ended up actually being pretty good.

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