Iâ€™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 doesnâ€™t happen to me very often. Actually…just once before. Â 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-youâ€™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 didnâ€™t interview, with the exception of the competition winners and â€˜some kid in a wheelchairâ€™. 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 â€˜five starsâ€™ 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 heroâ€™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.
Iâ€™ve started with an obnoxious tone, which suits me and suits this review because Kick-Ass is precisely that. Itâ€™s obnoxious, it has brightly-coloured hairy balls, and it has a young girl swearing.
Swearing is not big, and itâ€™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 havenâ€™t seen the film, because if they had theyâ€™d realise that the kid swears because sheâ€™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 itâ€™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 donâ€™t become superheroes, itâ€™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: youâ€™re wrong, douche.
And yeah, I didnâ€™t need to add the â€œdoucheâ€ in there, but like I say, swearing is funny. So fuck it. The kid needs to swear because what else would you say as youâ€™re cutting off a drug dealersâ€™ 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 wouldnâ€™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 â€˜you either love it or hate itâ€™ as a strapline, mainly because itâ€™s true. Marmite is divisive and lazy reviewers might be tempted to use that as a hackneyed metaphor for Kick-Ass. Not me, though. Iâ€™d use that for Napoleon Dynamite. Kick-Ass is more like something that you start and enjoy straight away and then donâ€™t realise youâ€™ve been enjoying for two hours, then when itâ€™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 Iâ€™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 thatâ€™s the only criticism I have, I still need to point out that itâ€™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 Virginâ€™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 andÂ clichÃ©sÂ abound but they’re all fitting. I do have a bunch more to add, like â€œyou will love this even if you havenâ€™t read the comic bookâ€ and â€œtake your partner even if they donâ€™t fancy it because it really is not just for comic book fansâ€ and â€œthe comic book is good but the movie is better, and anyway I prefer some of Mark Millarâ€™s other comics like The Ultimates and Marvel 1985, although the latter isnâ€™t as good as Neil Gaimanâ€™s Marvel 1602 but get both cause Amazon is having a sale on graphic novelsâ€. Yâ€™know, background stuff to give depth and gravitas to my review.
Ah fuck it, just go and see Kick-Ass. If you donâ€™t like it I wonâ€™t call you a cunt.