Thursday, April 29, 2010

With Great Fan-Boyishness Comes Great Responsibility

Kick-Ass(2010) Directed By Matthew Vaughn

Everything before the appearance of Hit Girl was at least interesting, after that the head of the movie goes so far up its own ass, it can perform its own colonoscopy, which it then proceeds to do, as what I'm sure some would call satire. Mark Millar's hacky writing that's made him a 5th tier mainstream comic writer is present here as ever. If this is a good adaptation of the comic (which I gave up on after issue 2) then it's a faithful adaptation of a bad book. "Mystery Men" and "Blank Man" with a little girl who calls people a "cunt" and plenty of references to YouTube-is that what's passing for edgy and original these days...aggro "Juno"? The strain of creatively impoverished Millar writing can be traced from "Wanted", to "Kick Ass" and the "Iron Man" franchise. For instance, Samuel L. Jackson is in the new "Iron Man 2", because Millar had artists model their new Nick Fury after him in his "Ultimate’s" comic’s series. When Alan Moore says that modern comics are now just a spawning ground for bigger commercial properties and merchandise, Millar is looking more and more the eager grounds keeper. His books come with head shots in mind. "With Kick-Ass, the books just out and now the movie's out six weeks later. And I think that's the way things are going to go now, because to go to Marvel's B and C-list characters and try to get movies out them – what's the point of that?"-Mark MillarI know this is the way Kubrick went about "2001", but this ain't 2001. Concerning, B and C-level characters I would gladly take a "Howard the Duck" sequel any day over "Super-Bad" kid doing the world's worst "Batman" quote at the end of a movie. As for Matthew Vaughn as director, "Kick Ass" combines the worst of his last two films; the Guy Ritchie rip off of "Layer Cake" is now replaced by embarrassingly brazen Tarantino worship, and the stifled/self-congratulatory attempts at graphic-novel adaptation in "Stardust" is present and accounted for here. Vaughn financed the film himself, so calling this a soulless studio product isn't accurate or necessary. Bad indie movies get made too...aggro "Juno" is actually more accurate than I suspected when I started writing this. At the beginning "Kick-Ass" tells us how he isn't like your daddy's super-heroes. Lacking alien origins or dead parents to avenge, no powers or super-skills this is the story of a normal guy in the gritty "real world". Not an hour later, were cheering on Hit-Girl's Matrix/Fight Club/28 Days Later/Silence Of The Lambs/Kill Bill reference laden revenge for her slaughtered father, and watching jet-packs streak across the sky. Roger Ebert may have went too far connecting "Kick-Ass" to Columbine and Virginia Tech. A movie can be bad without being the end of western civilization.Children and Old people swearing will always have produce a knee jerk ironic laugh, like a fat man with high pitched voice, or a short person with a deep Barry White voice, and so Kick-Ass has it's moments of amusement (largely thanks to Nicolas Cage), but once the shock has worn off these jokes get old quick. With great fan-boyishness comes great responsibility, and if super-heroes have any meaning at all, it should be about more than just kicking ass. If your reply to that is "But then what else is there?", then just forget everything I've said; this is the movie for you.


Ben said...

The movie never looked very interesting, hyping what I am finding more and more boring and hackneyed about mainstream comics (not satirical). So thank you, Joe, for confirming this.

Joe Sylvers said...

I go where I am needed.