Kick-Ass (Mini-Review)

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 [1946], 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.


  1. Great to hear, Joe. Thanks for the review. I've been debating, back and forth. I think I'll catch it on a slow night on DVD. And Mark Strong is entirely fightable!

  2. I loved this movie! I wasn't familiar with the original graphic novel this was based on, so I was shocked and (pleasantly) surprised by the characters (especially Hit Girl). I heard lead actor Aaron Johnson is British so props to him for playing an American teenager so convincingly. Mark Strong is my new Clive Owen, a British actor whose sexiness overshadows his fine acting chops. (By the way, don't you think the name Mark Strong is so indy pro-wrestler-ish?)

    Also, have you seen "The Losers?" Watch it for Jeffrey Dean Morgan, America's answer to Javier Bardem (and there's Chris Evans in a skintight t-shirt, too). Otherwise, it's meh.


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