Skepticism

Kick-Ass and Comics and Whiskers on Kittens

I’m writing a movie review because I saw Kick-Ass before general release and it was AWESOME! Whee! Yeah, yeah, not a big deal to real movie reviewers, but it doesn’t happen to me very often. Actually…just once before.  I was invited to the British premiere of the Simpsons movie. They had a huge yellow carpet (instead of red, clever stuff) all the way up to the theatre, with people-you’ve-seen-on-telly walking up it, fans and photographers screaming over the barriers. Except when I walked up the carpet with the friend who had invited me, total silence. And we were the only VIPs MTV didn’t interview, with the exception of the competition winners and ‘some kid in a wheelchair’. Feh.

But this is meant to be a review of Kick-Ass. Because IANARMR (I Am Not A Real Movie Reviewer) I am allowed to jump to the ‘five stars’ conclusion, which I already did in the first paragraph with my declaration of AWESOME. You can stop reading here or skip to the bit with swearing in, or bear with me. I promise no spoilers, except they all die at the end when aliens arrive and the bad guy turns out to be the hero’s father who can be thwarted by water. Other than that, no spoilers. Oh, and the main dude is really a woman. A ghost woman.

I’ve started with an obnoxious tone, which suits me and suits this review because Kick-Ass is precisely that. It’s obnoxious, it has brightly-coloured hairy balls, and it has a young girl swearing.

Swearing is not big, and it’s not clever.

But it is fucking funny.

Certain British tabloids have their knickers in a twist over the script, in a spectacular yet utterly predictable display of MISSING THE SHITTING POINT. One assumes they haven’t seen the film, because if they had they’d realise that the kid swears because she’s doing adult things like killing, maiming, revengening (that is a word) and generally punctuating her proxy-wrath with appropriate pronouncements. No-one (sane) in the movie says it’s OK for a young girl to kill or use the C-word. Someone in the movie quite clearly states it is wrong and that she is being robbed of her innocent childhood. This is, remember, a comic book movie, and although it starts with the illusion of the real world, asking why real people don’t become superheroes, it’s clear that the morality is firmly in black and white, good and evil absolutes.

So to anyone who accuses Kick-Ass of cheap tricks or sensationalism: you’re wrong, douche.

And yeah, I didn’t need to add the “douche” in there, but like I say, swearing is funny. So fuck it. The kid needs to swear because what else would you say as you’re cutting off a drug dealers’ legs? I found her far more of a parallel – an exaggerated expression of innocence-turned-manipulated-by-fate-superhero – to traditional heroes like Spider-Man, Batman (whose entire motivation has foundations in revenge), and a gajillion others, than the main hero of the movie, regular teenage kid Dave Lizewski who one day simply decides to fight crime. Actually, his motives are deeper than boredom, but I promised no spoilers and I certainly wouldn’t want to suggest the hero had run out of wanking material and has a fetish for Neoprene.

In Britain we have a product called Marmite, which uses ‘you either love it or hate it’ as a strapline, mainly because it’s true. Marmite is divisive and lazy reviewers might be tempted to use that as a hackneyed metaphor for Kick-Ass. Not me, though. I’d use that for Napoleon Dynamite. Kick-Ass is more like something that you start and enjoy straight away and then don’t realise you’ve been enjoying for two hours, then when it’s over you want more and leave with a really happy and excited feeling in your belly. Like…er…like a really great movie. And if you think that I’m being too positive and gushing, guess again. Kick-Ass has some really hokey product placement moments that took me right out of the movie and into the nearest Virgin Media outlet to sign up for their amazing mobile phone deals! But even though that’s the only criticism I have, I still need to point out that it’s an independent movie and if selling a few moments of screen time pays for a few special effects or extra marketing, then I can live with it (and Virgin’s incredible deals on call time and texts!).

Fuck alive. How much do movie reviewers get paid again? Honestly, this is really hard. Funny, violent, touching, clever, adjectives and clichés abound but they’re all fitting. I do have a bunch more to add, like “you will love this even if you haven’t read the comic book” and “take your partner even if they don’t fancy it because it really is not just for comic book fans” and “the comic book is good but the movie is better, and anyway I prefer some of Mark Millar’s other comics like The Ultimates and Marvel 1985, although the latter isn’t as good as Neil Gaiman’s Marvel 1602 but get both cause Amazon is having a sale on graphic novels”. Y’know, background stuff to give depth and gravitas to my review.

Ah fuck it, just go and see Kick-Ass. If you don’t like it I won’t call you a cunt.

Tracy’s Movie Review Disclaimer: my opinions are not more valid than anyone else’s, so please don’t go see or be put off seeing Kick-Ass because of anything you read here. I am just some opinionated jerk who has seen a lot of movies and read a lot of comics and therefore thinks that qualifies her to publish her thoughts. My thoughts on this movie and every other do happen to be correct, but really, don’t let that influence you. I’m no-one.  IANARMR. Honestly. Did I mention I cried at the end of Jumanji and bought Showgirls on DVD? See, I’m no-one. PS, I was kidding about Virgin Media, I use their broadband and it’s shit.
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25 Comments

  1. That is officially the best movie review I have ever fucking read. If you aren’t a real movie reviewer yet, you should absofuckinglutely be paid to be one. Either that or paid PR for movies, because I’m going to go see it now.

  2. @Tracy King: Hopefully they’ll think it’s fucking awesome.

    Do you think if you sent your review to Jane Goldman she’d try and put quotes from you on the posters?

    ‘Ah fuck it, just go and see Kick-Ass. If you don’t like it I won’t call you a cunt.’- T. King

  3. I have to take issue with your self-deprecation, Tracy – your review was entirely appropriate given the subject matter, and you have enhanced my desire to see this movie, which I was already strongly considering.

    Also, balls tit fuck ass.

  4. I’m glad to hear you liked it, I saw the trailer and immediately sent it to all my work mates (did I just say mates?). Interestingly one of them had a real problem with a girl that young swearing. I challenged him on it and he admits that the same girl shooting people in the face doesn’t bug him but hearing her say “Fuck” does.

    You are completely qualified to write reviews, I know a few people that do it professionally and all you need is the ability to form an opinion and then share it. What you get paid will depend entirely on what outlet you are working for but try to get on the junket list. First class airfare to stay in a 5 star hotel so you can see the movie early and interview the beautiful people that make these films. All the while not paying for anything you eat or drink.

  5. Do you know how much Marmite costs here in the States?! Well do you? And do you also know that every time someone mentions Marmite I have to go out, buy a jar and eat it all in one sitting?

    $5 for a tiny jar that’s how much.

    I think you owe me $5.

  6. I just want to add that I have also reviewed this movie and you can experience the spoils of said reviewage here:

    http://24frameplanet.blogspot.com/

    If reviews had key words like the IMDB, then the key words for this review would be:

    hot radioactive cock, motherfucker, geek, skull-crunch, ASBO, scum, villainy, battle royale, psychologically unhinged, ice cream, bazookas, warehouse take-down, daughter, slaughter, carnage, Charles Bronson, massive balls, Heckler & Koch, on-screen havoc, first-person shooter, slasher horror, head-spinning annihilation, meat and bones, fucking in an alleyway, kung-fu cucumber, Mickey Rourke.

    So don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  7. Reading the comic, I could NOT stop laughing. Gruesome death, maiming, swearing, and I’m giggling at the whole thing. It’s a parody, a psychologically bleak (but actually ballsy and realistic) look at human nature and their love of fame, heroes, and the stupidly insane things that it makes them do because of it.

    You know what *really* kicks ass about the movie? My name is the same as the lead’s. Not that I’m biased or anything.

    And for the record, Tracy King is the fucking coolest skepchick ever. Teek rules!

  8. I also got a chance to see Kick Ass a few weeks ago at a preview screening in Atlanta and I second the emotion: this movie is very violent, somewhat vulgar and great, great fun from start to finish.

    It’s also a remarkable achievement in the history of cinema in that the mere presence of Nick Cage in it does not destroy the experience for the viewer.

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