Celebrating the last day of exams week with a colleague this afternoon, I saw today's first matinee of Kick-Ass, a movie I wanted to be a whole lot better than it was. Not that it wasn't enjoyable ... I just wanted better fight scenes and stunt work. What I got was the usual rapid editing and digitized action--but, hell, I've already seen Wanted--three times--I even own it on dvd. I'm not saying Kick-Ass is bad; it just isn't great--and I was sort of in the mood for "inspired"--what I wanted, I think, was the House of Blue Leaves scene in Kill Bill, extended to feature length.
What I did like about Kick-Ass:
Aaron Johnson. He is Nickelodeon cute--and in a sleek wet suit and elasticized mask, he exudes kink like Justin Bieber cock-cuffed to a plush-and-spandex Minnie Mouse. (A showdown with the "Mister Big" villain's son [Christopher Mintz-Plasse] could have been really something, had I only directed it, even without playing up any latent kiddie-porn eroticism. Just a modicum of credible aggression would have been enough to please me. I guess I was hoping against hope for something sort of like when Johnny Sheffield KOed Tommy Cook in Tarzan and the Leopard Woman , a scene that gave me one of my first hard-ons, at age eight or nine. Instead, Johnson-vs-Mintz-Plasse is a truncated nonstarter, with [hopefully] some good stuff on the proverbial cutting-room floor for a future director's cut on dvd.)
Also, watching 12-year-old Chloe Moretz say "fuck" and "cunt" was pretty drastic the first one or two times. It turned ho-hum really fast after the second time. I laughed hard. Then I chuckled. Then I forced one more laugh just to pretend like I was getting my $6.50's worth.
Also, I liked Nicholas Cage's Adam West imitation.
Last, Mark Strong as the "Mister Big" villain. I'd fight him. Yep. Perhaps in a three-way dance with Jason Isaacs.
Again, I don't like to be trashing a movie that's giving a lot of people good bang for their bucks. Just for me, it did not so much. I never saw The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl, principally because I thought it would be a bit like this movie turned out being.
Maybe I'm too perverse and old to find Kick-Ass shocking or funny--but it did have its good points. Don't let my ho-humming stop you from seeing it if you're interested. My guess--and this is just a shot in the dark here--it's a hell of a lot better than How to Train Your Dragon.