Friday, April 23, 2010

KICK ASS (an "I Saw It" Review)


“Kick Ass? More like…Ass Kicked…heh-heh…” – Big Daddy
“Fucking Cunts!” – Hit Girl (11 years old)

If that didn’t get your attention then what would? The new comic book hero for this decade has to be Kick Ass. It’s the first superhero book to be brutally realistic, funny, and portray teens like they really are in 2010. If anyone at Marvel thinks their newly “re-teened” Peter Parker is anything like today’s youth…they’ve been eating too many wheat cakes…and while I’m at it Amazing Spider-Man has sucked ever since that Brand New Day garbage began.

Now, that said, Kick Ass isn’t going to be for everyone (the movie or the comic). The children heroes of the story swear, fight, kill, have sex, and occasionally have parents who shoot them in the chest with bullets just to teach them a lesson. The general premise presented by the story is: What if someone really wore a costume and went out into the world to fight crime as a superhero? The question gets answered…viciously…and not how you would expect. None of the heroes in Kick Ass have any superpowers…or anything that really makes them special, except perhaps their ability to take a beating and not give up. Kick Ass begins by mocking and having fun with the typical superhero genre elements…and then eventually embraces these same elements to unfold like a more traditional story of heroism (with 11-year old sword-brandishing girls who swear like sailors). Besides our heroic Kick Ass, fans will also be introduced to Red Mist, Big Daddy, and Hit-Girl. Each of these supporting heroes plays an important role in the unfolding of the story…and it is with these three characters that the comic book and the movies differ (familiarize yourself with Big Daddy’s origin in both mediums to see how he is a true hero in one and a self-centered dreamer in the other). Nicolas Cage does a terrific job as Big Daddy in the movie and while in costume does a solid Adam West impersonation.

I’m a superhero fan and I loved the comic book and I loved the movie. One of the nice pleasures to unfold is that they are not 100% copies of each other. I’d guess that they’re about 65% similar which still leaves plenty of room for surprises and enjoyment in both venues. Surprisingly, I believe the comic book ends up being more realistic while the movie’s third act seems like it belongs more in a comic book. The character of Hit-Girl is certainly a breath of fresh air to the genre and a helluva lot of fun to watch fight. Hit-Girl’s showdown with the gangsters felt a lot like when The Bride visited the House of Blue Leaves…neither confrontation leaves the fan disappointed.

So, if you’ve seen and enjoyed the movie then it’s time to checkout the comic book or TPB (let’s be honest the comic industry could use the business). If you’ve read the comic book then you need to see the movie as it solidly delivers on all levels. If you’re under 18…then this shit is not for you!