Kick-Ass (2010)

Kick-Ass is the newest movie by Matthew Vaughn, based on the comic book by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr., starring Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Mark Strong and Nicolas Cage.

Plot:
Dave (Aaron Johnson) is a normal teenager who likes to read comic books and gets beat up a lot. But then one day he decides that, actually, nothing is keeping him from donning a superhero suit and changing the world for the better. This seems to work fine for about 30 seconds and then Dave is in over his head.

Kick-Ass is a fantastic, amazingly disturbing and definitely defining movie. Though I don’t like the morale of it, I can recognise an instant classic when I see it. And Kick-Ass is it.

Kick-Ass makes me feel old. It seems it’s a movie made for the generation that comes after mine. I’ve been mulling this over and I think that Kick-Ass might be for that generation what Fight Club was for mine… and that’s a scary thought for so many reasons. Not the least of which is that there is a generation after me that is old enough to see this film.

But enough about me. This is supposed to be a review after all.

I’ve had my problems with the resolution of the story (and I haven’t yet read the comic, so I don’t know how much is in the comic and what was changed). I didn’t like the morale – that in the end [SPOILER] Dave starts using the methods of the psychos like Big Daddy and Hit Girl (and boy, are they ever psychos). Up until the very end, his role is one of somebody who shows civil courage, mostly. Who is pretty revolted by BD and HG’s murderous tendencies. And instead of leaving it that way and therefore drawing a clear line between acceptable behaviour from “heros” and inacceptable behaviour, he joins in the whole thing and he can only resolve the situation like that. Did not like that at all. [/SPOILER]

But apart from that, it was a fantastic movie. Matthew Vaughn outdid himself in pretty much all categories, unfortunately also the violence. [People, L4yer Cake made me cringe already. Kick-Ass is worse.] I don’t have a problem with violent movies [though I have to admit that the audience worried me a little bit… they were laughing at stuff that made me completely uncomfortable] but you’ve got to have a good stomach for this film.

The cast is really good. (And I feel a bit like a pedophile saying this, but Aaron Johnson is really cute.) It was nice to see Nicolas Cage in a good movie and Mark Strong actually worked as the villain in this film.

Oh, and the soundtrack was really nice.

Summarising, if you can stand excessive violence, Kick-Ass is not a movie you should miss.

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19 thoughts on “Kick-Ass (2010)

  1. the fight club if the next generation… sounds interesting (and I think that we are, in fact, a little too young to be the fight club generation. we were jsut so mature to get most of it already.)

    @ violence in movies: haven’t seen this one so I can’t say anything about it. But I like a lot of violence in movies if I don’t get to see the results. Shoot 100 men and let them fall in a wonderful choreography – nice. Heroic wounds on Ryan Reynolds body – wonderful. Someone dieing with grace and a cool oneliner – perfect. Beat up the badies (10 against one of course, and the one emerging victorious) to the rythm of the soundtrack. Let everyone take pain with grace. Let everyone not flinch.

    But don’t make me see people’s faces when they are in pain. Don’t ever show the results of anything. No tears, no screams, no panick. I don’t want to see it.
    And, most of all: Never let the music stop.

    • Well, if we’re too young for Fight Club and I feel too old for Kick-Ass, what the hell is the movie of our generation?

      @violence: That’s one of the reasons Funny Games is that horrifying. You don’t get to see the acts of violence, only the consequences.

      • Yes. And nobody wants to see the consequences. People who don’t mind seeing this sort of stuff are really creepy or really well trained (like doctors. Or secret service agents.)

        … let’s consider us part of the Figh Club generation. ^^
        But, you know, F.C. has this middle-crisis thingy in it. and we *really* are too young for that.

      • Donnie Darko, I think, is generally considered one of those defining-movie-thingies (I’ve never been entirely certain what that meant…it didn’t do anything special for me).

        @violence – That’s exactly why I won’t watch Funny Games. Ever.

    • Donnie Darko was made the year after Memento, so that one’s out.

      Actually, why did I start a debate on generation-defining films when I don’t even know what a generation is, exactly.

      If I had to settle, I’d say our youth belonged to whatever it was that happened in cinema between John Hughes and Judd Apatow.

  2. Is it too late to join the discussion?

    Anyway, my 2 cents:
    We are not too young for Donnie Darko. We would have been just the right age for it. But I don’t think it did as much for girls as it did for boys.

    But I really don’t know what better movie to describe our generation. [Which, btw, was never my intention, I just meant to say that Kick-Ass is to this generation what Fight Club was to ours. Which doesn’t mean that Fight Club is the only movie of our generation.]

    But if we’re talking TV show: Wonderfalls/Dead Like Me. Though both of those rather describe the status quo than shape the way we see the world.

    And I still think that Fight Club (minus the midlife-crisis thing) is the pendant to Kick-Ass.

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  4. Again, no problem with the shift near the end, and with what Dave is doing. Even if it started like a parody/dismantling of the genre, at the end, it became a comic book/superhero movie through and through. Which is one of the things I absolutely loved about this movie. It starts of with a guy dressing up as a superhero and getting the shit beaten out of him, and ends with a guy flying on a jet pack with gatling guns strapped on it. And still, despite this huge leap, it felt like a natural progression.

    Just take the revenge plot. At the beginning of the movie, they are making fun of that (with the dream-sequence at his mom’s grave, “I will avenge you!”), only to incorporate one later – and one that’s extremely effective, I might add. Anyway, because of this shift in tone, I didn’t mind the ending at all, since by that time it was just as removed from reality as all the other superhero movies ;-).

    Anyway, I absolutely loved this movie, and it actually took the no. 1 spot on my “best of the year”-list. I usually don’t do this, but here it seems warranted -> please find enclosed my movie review as well as my top 10 list of 2010:
    http://www.fictionbox.de/index.php/content/view/9424/88888942/
    http://www.fictionbox.de/index.php/content/view/10206/141/

    • Ha! Your Top 10 list of that year and I, we don’t agree much: The American was super-boring, Greenberg was horrible and Up in the Air just nice. ;)

      And don’t get me wrong, I liked Kick-Ass. In fact, I thought it was an incredibly awesome movie. But I didn’t agree with the conclusions it drew. I thought it would have had a better moral (and for me personally it would have made for a better story), if Kick-Ass had stuck to his non-psychopathic ways.

      But that doesn’t mean that the ending as is didn’t work for me. It did. I just didn’t agree with it, as I said.

      • First of all: The American was super stylish, a classy good old fashioned thriller with the “they don’t make them like that any more” stamp of approval on it. :-p

        With Greenberg, your opinion of the 10 minutes of Girls that you’ve seen, and your review today of Take this Waltz, I begin to see a trend: You REALLY can’t relate to these unsympathetic, “whiny” “I’m so unhappy in my spoiled healthy life’ type of characters, can you? I’m not saying that I agree with them or even necessarily like them, but I know that there are some people like that out there, and I find it interesting and fascinating to watch them on their downward (or very rarely also upward) spiral. I don’t have to sympathize with a character in order to relate to him/her (I’m not saying that you do, it just seems that I may have a little bit more patience and thus am more willing to go on a cinematic jounrey with them, while you seem to feel this constant urge to kick them in the butt and tell them to “get a grip!” :-p)

        But back to Kick-Ass: The fact that it was so morally deprived is exactly what I loved about it. :-) I also don’t think that it really wants to propagate a message. Thus, I had no problem with Kick-Ass’ journey.

        • It’s true. I really can’t relate to white, middle-upper class, usually pretty wealthy people complaining about how bad their lives are in these movies. I have absolutely zero patience with how they are shown in these films. I’m one of those people, and really, we have it pretty good, compared with many other folks. And I’m not saying that they should just pull themselves together, especially if they do have a mental illness like depression – you can’t just pull yourself out of stuff like that. But they have all the means to get themselves some help. They could take medication, they could afford therapy, they could reach out. They are in the best position to do all these things instead of just hanging around and crying. I know it’s not always easy to ask for help, but do we really need to watch movie after movie after movie about them failing to do so? No.

          • I see. It explains quite a lot ;-). I can have trouble with it sometimes myself. Take “Somewhere” for example. I wouldn’t say that I hated it, but I couldn’t realte to the main character at all. He wasn’t “just” well-suited financially, he was damn rich, and a highly popular (and attractive) movie star. Tough life! *g* But if they’re more grounded like that, like “just” doing ok, I tend to not have a problem with it, and am able to enjoy their (mis)adventures.

  5. Pingback: Re-Watch: Kick-Ass (2010) | Stuff

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