Monday, April 19, 2010

To "Kick-Ass" ... A Geek Dream....: Movie Review

Who hasn't dreamed of dressing up as a costumed crusader and fighting injustice on the streets? Not me you say? Well I cry for you my uninspired friend. That idea is the exact premise of the comic book turned movie "Kick Ass". Let me warn you that this movie is not for the fans of the uber-innocent Batman of the 60's or the boy-scout Superman of Christopher Reeves. This superhero flick is serious as life, and revels in the humor of it's insane masochistic blood lust. Did I mention it has an 11 year-old going off like some strange hybrid of an anime-robocop-prepubescent-predator-mini terminator? No? Well it does, and she kicks more ass in 30 seconds then the entire cast of Kill Bill.

When Dave Lizewski decides that being a superhero can give his life meaning, he decides, rather stupidly, to build a costume, grab some numchucks, (fighting sticks for the layman) and start kicking ass under the moniker, you guessed it, "Kick-Ass". However his brief foray into the costumed saving people gig comes to a painful halt when he's stabbed by some thugs and run over by a car. Now most people would have called it a day at this point. Not Dave, he heals up, and the damage to his nervous system has had an 'uncanny' effect, he doesn't quite feel the same amount of pain as before, plus the tons of metal put inside him to piece his skeleton back together have given him a 'psychological' boost.

"Hey I look like Wolverine..."

Meanwhile, we are treated to two other superhero wannabees, only their not quite so benign. On to the stage comes a cute father daughter pairing, Big Daddy and Hitgirl. This not so nuclear family brings machine guns to a knife fight, and has no problem dishing out death and destruction to anyone or anything that gets in their way. These two are anti-heroes that would make Frank Castle tear-up, if he wasn't simply insane. Their main target? Drug dealers and the mob that has ripped apart their normal family.

Big Daddy is some odd surreal combination of Batman, Punisher and Dirty Hairy, he's a man unhinged, and with his own nearly insane sense of justice, a trait that he has instilled in his young daughter. Hitgirl is every typical 11-14 year old girl who's been raised firing an Ak-47 and practicing her knife wielding skills. She'd much rather slice up bad guys then play with puppies, and she's damn frightening. These two are skilled killers, martial artists, and have serious conviction to kick ass, and leave bullets, and lacerations in every creep they encounter.

So how does Kick-Ass (the main characters moniker) match up with these serious Bad Asses? He doesn't, at least not at first. There is a gulf between them, Kick Ass is a like a 1960's DC character, wanting to do good, and protect the innocent... golly gosh. His intentions are altruistic, and he probably couldn't kill someone even if he tried. As Big Daddy quips... "He should be called Ass-kick, cause that what he's good at."

Big Daddy and Hitgirl are Marvel antihero's as in the fashion of the late 70's. They are darker, edgier, and they curse people out before making them shoot themselves. As they hack away at the bad guys, you might well wonder... Why does Kick-Ass even belong in the same universe as these guys?

The answer? Conviction.

Being a superhero is not about the size of the gun you wield, or how fast you can disembowel someone, or how hard your punch is. It's about how far you're willing to go to make a difference. Kick-Ass has a dedication that won't be denied, the guts to get his ass-kicked and get back up and ask for more. That's why Hitgirl recognizes him as a fellow hero even if he doesn't know how to throw a ninja star to save his life. In the end Kick-Ass does kick said 'ass'... and we love him for it.

So will this movie make you want to be a real life, street haunting, bad mother*%@#&! 'Shut your mouth!', 'just talking 'bout' - superhero?

Hell No! Not unless your mentally unstable, or have serious emotional issues, or have a major masochistic streak. Still it makes for some great entertainment with a serious edge.

Final Score.... 8 Vigilante street fighters out of 10