Kickin\’ Ass from a Different Point of View


Recently,  Jeremy Conrad wrote a review of the new Blu-Ray release for Matthew Vaughn’s “Kick-Ass.”  I couldn’t resist the urge to jot down a few thoughts myself.

“Kick-Ass” did just that – it kicked ass. It was everything I had anticipated; a rollicking funny ride a la “Kill Bill” and like KB it was also smart. The funny and the violent moments deliver but there were some great character moments that really shined and gave the movie a nice feeling of … well, reality. Part of why the satire works is because all of the characters are very grounded and real.  Since the story is all about poking fun of comic book archetypes, Vaughn populates his world with characters with dimension, emotion, and individual self-serving drives.  Sure it was laugh out loud finny, but I was surprised by how much a grew to care about the characters.  There is a scene that brought back incredibly strong memories of “Reservoir Dogs” – not because of the gore, or the pain the character is enduring, but because of how badly I wanted his pain to end because I liked and cared about the character.  That the place where “Kick-Ass” really stands out – it’s a view of a crazy world seen through the eyes of people that are a lot like people I know or have known.

All that said, “Kick-Ass” is pretentious or trying to be something that it’s not.  The insider fanboy/fangirl moments are great – they make you feel like you are part of a very exclusive club – but are not so esoteric that casual viewers would feel alienated.  If anything, the casual viewer can appreciate the satire and story is meaty enough that there is truly something to be relished beyond the humor and fight choreography.

Everyone in the movie is great but Chloe Moretz was incredible – she elevated every scene she was in.

Heresy though it may be, I thought the film adaptation was better than the source book.  Vaughn allowed his characters to retain their “everyman” qualities and used those motivations to draw out their heroism.

A good friend of mine once illustrated very succinctly what makes Batman more heroic than others in the masked hero community:

“Batman is a regular dude.  No super powers.  He can’t fly or turn invisible or any of that.  He’s loaded but really what he is is committed.  He is committed to being Batman – that’s it.  Batman could be you.  Batman could be him.  That is why he kicks ass.”

Its that sentiment that is embodied in “Kick-Ass.”