Kick-Ass thoughts (Spoilers)
Kick-Ass was an incredibly enjoyable movie. There is no hesitation in my reporting that. A story about an individual with no super powers and no drive for vengeance becoming a hero anyway should involve some requisite trope play, and that was definitely there. Unfortunately, it looks like the script was written to pander to the general audience instead of keeping to the general crap sack tone of the original comic. The movie could have been great; it’s only incredibly enjoyable. Not a huge failing by any means.
What bothers me, aside from the altered plot point about who Big Daddy really is, is the dehumanization of the characters in the face of their grim reality. People may contest that the movie is about its refuge in audacious ridiculousness and I should not gripe about these things, but I feel these points kill the depth of the characters:
- Up until the climax, Kick-Ass had never killed a person. At that point there should be some reservation or difficulty in pelting people with machine guns or blasting someone with a bazooka. In the case that is accounted for by an adrenaline rush, there should be some emotional fallout for having caused death.
- Hit Girl did not mourn her father. I can understand her being hardened to the face of death due to her intensive training, but this was her own father. One of my favorite moments in the comic was her turning to Kick-Ass with tears in her eyes after all the bloodshed and asking for a hug because her daddy died.
- I absolutely love the fact that Kick-Ass and Red Mist had a relationship of sorts together, to the point where Red Mist screamed for his goons to leave his friend alone. But after that he completely waffles and is willing to have a showdown for no good reason. It struck me as pretty weak.
A movie is at its strongest when the characters themselves are strong. Flaws are fine so long as there is consistency and realism. The characters were well realized but lacking. Someone might suggest that I am being a little hard on the movie despite my admitted enjoyment. Someone will likely say that the movie is supposed to be ridiculous and I should not take the characters seriously at all. I am missing the point, which is centered on the events and the violence, because of my focus on character.
I can’t help it. I have seen so much media violence that I can be wowed by new scenes of action and gore but never entranced by them. An upbringing very much inclusive of horror films and a healthy dose of Takashi Miike has pretty much killed my sensitivity to screen violence. But I will never be desensitized to character. No one should be.