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Angela May 8, 2010 (edited Dec 29, 2010)

For my next cinematic weekend double-header (the first being Alice In Wonderland versus How To Train Your Dragon), the contenders this time around are Iron Man 2 and Kick-Ass.  The winner?  Kick-Ass by a country mile.

To its credit, Iron Man 2 does fall prey to some inevitable sequel trappings - and because this ain't a part 2, there's none of that in Kick-Ass.  At the same time, the film feels infinitely more fresher than others that have come before it.  It's like going on a blind date, and you're relying on the same fall-backs of planned activities and places to go...... but because your companion is so vibrant and personable, those same experiences somehow feel so much more livelier than you remember.  Through its intelligent deconstruction of the comic book genre, the film is cleverly funny and consistently self-aware in its cheekiness. 

True, the film glorifies in its over-the-top comic book violence.  It's raw and bloody and visceral, but also inherently story-driven, and thoroughly compelling as a result.  Imagine Spider-Man on a massive vigilante bender; hardcore, over-the-top violence is colored by huge dollops of insanely rad action and dynamic character performances.  The entire cast looks like they're having a blast; the underdog determination and grit of Aaron Johnson's titular hero, Chloë Moretz's brazen, ball-busting Hit Girl, Nicolas Cage's misplaced parental guidance as offered up by badass Big Daddy, Christopher Mintz-Plasse's meek but weasel-like Red Mist, and Mark Strong, who turns in another terrific villain role with Italian mob boss Frank D'Amico.

Unlike Iron Man 2, there's no casting missteps and rarely any lulls in the story.  It's shot with a surprising amount of confidence, given the film's experimentally edgy concept.  Director Matthew Vaughn shows a lot of confidence in his movie, an aspiring result of a studio hands-off production. I once read that Kick-Ass is like the Kill Bill of comic book scripts, and that sounds about right. 
 
Up next: my laundry list of favorite spoiler-filled moments.  Of which there are many. smile

Dais May 8, 2010

Angela wrote:

I once read that Kick-Ass is like the Kill Bill of comic book scripts, and that sounds about right.

er, was this in regards to the original comic, or the adapted movie script?

Angela May 9, 2010

Dais wrote:
Angela wrote:

I once read that Kick-Ass is like the Kill Bill of comic book scripts, and that sounds about right.

er, was this in regards to the original comic, or the adapted movie script?

I meant the movie.  Although perhaps the same could be said for the comic itself?  I've yet to read it, but I'm deathly curious now.

But the movie is definitely shot with a Tarantino sensibility in a lot of places.  The deliberate, stylized close-ups, the gratuitous violence.... heck, there's even an origin sequence that plays out in comic book panel format like how they did with O-Ren's backstory in Kill Bill, as well as a sweet use of Ennio Morricone's "Per Qualche Dollaro In Più" during a pivotal fight scene.

Razakin May 9, 2010

I'm kinda in the middle with Kick-Ass, on some parts it was bloody awesome, on some parts it dragged like dying snail on hot asphalt. Battle scenes were done good and the usage of music was nice, but the main char itself bugged me for some odd reason and his friends.

But then, only reason I went to see this on theaters was the extra cheap ticket price for one day, 5 euro isn't a bad price for this.

Angela Jul 30, 2010

Angela wrote:

Up next: my laundry list of favorite spoiler-filled moments.  Of which there are many.

It occurred to me that I never did follow up with this list.  After viewing the movie again tonight (and it's still a major blast), I'd like to sound off:

**BEWARE AS WE BOARD THE SPOILER TRAIN**


----

"So now I'm getting f--ked in the ass by a ghost?"  Mark Strong is a freaken GOD in this movie.

"Good call, baby doll!"  Nick Cage, equally awesome.  It's a shame he couldn't reach this level of greatness in The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

That little nod to Scott Pilgrim.  I wanna see an equal send-up to Kick-Ass in the upcoming Scott Pilgrim movie.

"F--k you, Mr. Bitey!"

"I like Kick-Ass.  His costume is crappy, he looks like a transvestite...."  Craig Ferguson cameo for the win.

Dave's stabbing and subsequent hit 'n run scene.  Still brutal to watch.  Same goes for the live stream torture/execution sequence.

"Did they change the bee's face?"

The fight with Rasul.  Banana Splits! 

Cody crushed.  What a douche.

"Outside your jurisdiction?  You're a f--king cop and he's breaking the law.  That's so inside your jurisdiction, it's ball deep in your jurisdiction's ass."  Check that: Mark Strong is a god among GODS.

Screw Tony.  Not Louie.

The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare-esque NVG showdown at the end.  Hit-Girl's final two kills before nailing the strobe light was art in motion.

The hot chocolate turned cold.  I started tearing up for real there.

The Pretty Reckless's MAKE ME WANNA DIE and Mika's KICK-ASS make for terrific end credit songs.  I still can't get over the fact that the former's lead singer was once her.

Idolores Feb 8, 2011 (edited Feb 8, 2011)

My favorite quote was from Hit Girl. "Playtime's over, cunts".

Oh, lord did I ever laugh.

Adam Corn Jun 14, 2011 (edited Jun 14, 2011)

As my brief comment regarding this movie seems to have sparked a bit of a reaction in the X-Men: First Class thread I figured I'd elaborate a bit here.

Basically what bothered me about Kick-Ass is while it wasn't a bad movie per se, I came away feeling empty, like the entire endeavor was mostly pointless.  The opening act I enjoyed and the concept of this vigilante high school superhero wannabe held potential (whether he actually succeeds or not it holds potential either way), but once the different plot points with the father-daughter team and the father-son mob bosses came into play I thought they didn't really jive well together.  I also think relying on a murderous eleven-year-old girl as the primary source of entertainment is a bit of a sad attempt at shock value and/or cheap thrills.  It's the sort of thing I can understand a solo graphic novelist indulging in but am not sure warrants a feature-length film.  If it had some really outstanding writing or visuals going for it that could compensate or even justify the questionable content and lack of meaningful story, but while it borrows from the book of Tarantino, on the whole it isn't exceptional in either of those regards either.

There were certainly scenes I enjoyed and again I did see some potential but when the end of the movie came I was left wondering exactly what my two hours went for.

Quick disclaimer:  To be fair the Japanese rental Blu-ray of this I watched was absolutely the worst transfer I've seen for the format (I was double-checking that I hadn't gotten a DVD).  And these comments come a couple months after seeing the movie, but as I doubt I'll ever watch it again what I can remember from that time will have to do.

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