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Reviews Comments: Disappointing on multiple levels Kick Ass film/book review by Darkmane

First off, the costumes don't work. Admittedly, they might have been intended to look stupid, but that doesn't make it any less moronic when Dave is standing in front of a mirror and practicing his posing as if he thinks it actually looks cool. To quote a line from the comic: "What works on paper doesn't always work on screen." Should've taken that advice. Second, the brightly-colored, perky cinematography of the film strikes a sharp contrast to its dark theme; they don't go together. Third, the violence's been toned down a LOT. Which doesn't even make sense, 'cause they were going for an R rating anyway; so why the hell hold back? There's even Bloodless Carnage at one point where HG is chopping a guy's leg off. And then there's the cheerful music; which makes the limping, inconsistent Direction stand out even more.

Onto story issues: the reason the original kick-Ass was such a great read is because it straight-up deconstructed the "Hero Seeking Revenge" stuff: BD's one single line "Because we needed a villain," practically defined the entire plot retroactively; in the film BD is an Anti Hero on a Roaring Rampage Of Revenge; which throws the entire story out of whack; basically turning it into Kill Bill - with costumes! And Nick Cage didn't do a very good job, either. Katie Duxma definitely suffers from Adaptation Decay; although it's at least made bearable 'cause she's hot.

Plot Holes aplenty in the whole thing: Not the least of which is Red Mist Wangsting and arguing to let KA and BD go, right after he shot a little girl in the chest without blinking an eyelid. And him and his father looking at each other relieved after hearing the gatling guns go off; "That's one weird-sounding bazooka." Full-automatic-fire sounds like Bazookas, now? Also, jetpacks? Seriously?

Gotta hand it to Chloe Mortez, though. (At the age of 11, no less!!) She makes HG believable, something I didn't think possible. Although the screenplay does force her to do scenes she's not ready for yet; like getting emotional at BD's death (In the comic, she shakes it off without expression). Good as she is, Chloe isn't a mature enough actress to pull off something like that. They should've stuck with the comic version.

Loved the lobby scene with the Dollars music, however. Overall 4.2/10.


  • SoRiku
  • 29th Jul 10
Please, no one listen to this review. It's a biased fanboy review. The movie is excellence.
  • 1st Aug 10
Agreed that this is a biased fanboy rant. Every single thing that Darkmane hated about the movie, I loved. Silly costumes? Perfect for the over-the-top nature of the movie. "Perky" directing? Again, perfect for the tone of the movie. And the Bloodless Carnage thing? That's an outright lie - you can visibly see blood splattering from the thug's leg after its been sliced open and he falls to the floor. And the cheerful music is one of the best parts, further highlighting the over-the-top insanity of the story. And I personally liked Big Daddy's shift; the virtual psychopath in the original was entirely without sympathy for me, while in this movie I liked him and felt the emotion when he died.

As for the Plot Holes - Red Mist Wangsting isn't a plot hole, he only demanded they let Kick Ass go, and the gatling guns confused for bazookas thing was for laughs. Lighten the fuck up, man. And jetpacks are awesome.

In short, the Kick Ass movie is kickass.
  • Darkmane
  • 2nd Aug 10
Might be some people have more Willing Suspension Of Disbelief than I do, 'cause just 'cause something's Played For Laughs doesn't make it any less fucking stupid to me. Also, "ranting" does not sound like that. It's an opinion. If I was ranting I wouldn't have had anything positive to say about Chloe's performance or the music.

And shooting a little girl on first sight but trying to save "some geek" (as he called kickass earlier) who he didn't even know or like? Totally not a Plot Hole.
  • blueflame724
  • 4th Aug 10
He spared Kick Ass because despite his popularity, he wasn't actually a threat. I would assume that it gives Red Mist (don't know the character's real name) depth; He's not as much of a monster as his father...yet. Isn't the movie supposed to be a parody of the superhero genre anyway? I thought the violence was graphic enough. What do you want, to have people get chopped to pieces with blood splattering everywhere?
  • Darkmane
  • 4th Aug 10
Oh yeah.
  • JackMackerel
  • 5th Aug 10
What do you want, to have people get chopped to pieces with blood splattering everywhere?

...We got that, actually.
  • JackMackerel
  • 9th Aug 10
And shooting a little girl on first sight but trying to save "some geek" (as he called kickass earlier) who he didn't even know or like?

...Actually, there was a big conversation in which he declares that Kick-Ass wasn't at threat, but someone he'd like to hang out with.
  • 12th Aug 10
Movie kicks ass, end of story. Even the freaking jetpack was realistic considering recent improvements in real tech. Also, "original" comic was not finished when the movie was filmed, so you're completely wrong about adaptaction decay.
  • 19th Aug 10
I wasn't a fan of the jetpack either , but other than that, this review is moronic. Everyone else already said why, but I'd like to "ninth" it.
  • 22nd Aug 10
I'm another person who was not a fan of this movie. The movie set up a world, it set its rules of the world. Then it proceeded to break each and every one of these rules and then the very message of the movie when the premise of having regular people be heroes is thrown out the window upon the arrival of hitgirl. A supersoldier in every sense of the word, also a sociopathic unempathetic monster who has no regard for life, she is able to take more of a beating then any real life UFC fighter could handle and she survive... at 11?

This movie was nothing more then pure crap. Its more like Super Hero Movie then a super hero movie.
  • JackMackerel
  • 26th Aug 10
122.110 didn't watch the film. Hit-Girl is punched by a grown man and is nearly killed.
  • 2nd Sep 10
"the very message of the movie when the premise of having regular people be heroes is thrown out the window upon the arrival of hitgirl"

I agree. Though not superhuman, she's ridiculously out of place in what had been a Don Quixote universe. Plus, I can't get over the inappropriate Fetish Feul aspect.
  • 2nd Sep 10
Whoops, I meant "Fuel."
  • 4th Sep 10
No you're wrong about hit-girl. Surely she was trained to the extreme by her father, surely she plays knives instead of dolls, but inside she remains just a little child - acting hastily, doing silly childish mistakes (like not watching her back or not checking weapons on the floor before confronting Frank) - and it's this aspect that makes her character so attractive.
  • 6th Sep 10
"inside she remains just a little child - acting hastily, doing silly childish mistakes (like not watching her back or not checking weapons on the floor before confronting Frank) - and it's this aspect that makes her character so attractive"

So in the midst of efficiently slaughtering dozens of bad guys she makes a few mistakes, or once in a while she lets slip her sociopathy and has the sniffles, and that's supposed to make her believably childish? Sorry, but that's like saying Barney the Purple Dinosaur is a well-rounded character because he wasn't always singing and occasionally waited a few minutes between hugs.
  • 6th Sep 10
So you're trying to tell there's no such things as child-soldiers and child-gangsters just because you don't believe it?

Just do some research. Reality is often much more unbelievable than wildest fantasies.
  • 7th Sep 10
"So you're trying to tell there's no such things as child-soldiers and child-gangsters just because you don't believe it?"

There are such people, obviously. Much like there are real-life vigilante crime fighters. Just not people like Batman and Superman, who are blatantly unrealistic. Not that they can't be enjoyable to watch, but if you drop Batman in the middle of "L.A. Confidential," for instance, it's not going to click. Hit-Girl did not fit in.
  • 7th Sep 10
"Reality is often much more unbelievable than wildest fantasies"

Put it this way: let's assume that real-life child warriors are as efficient killers as Hit-Girl. Or, rather, that Hit-Girls preternatural skills are an acceptable cinematic exaggeration of reality. Doesn't matter. She's still out of place. "Kick Ass" is supposed to be a movie about regular people becoming masked heroes, not child prodigies bred for annihilation, with access to enough weapons and gizmos for a James Bond movie.

Imagine, if you will, about high school seniors struggling to make the grade and get accepted to a decent college. Now imagine if halfway through they plop in a perfectly realistic idiot savant, with the brain of a graphing calculator, who helps everyone cheat their way to success. Would that be satisfying? You can go ahead and make a movie about a savant (they already did, and it won Best Picture). But you can't suddenly turn a movie about ordinary people into a movie about genius without annoying me.
  • 11th Sep 10
The whole "realism" argument is absolutely ridiculous. The Hit Girl character is no more unrealistic than BD extinguishing a mob all by himself, or the antagonist's son becoming Red Mist or Kick-Ass getting some from Katie, for that matter. The "realistic" part ends with Kick-Ass being stubbed by a gangster and ran over by a car. The rest can be safely assumed to be a product of some catatonic fan service.
  • 11th Sep 10
Edit: Not that I'm saying that it's not awesome.
  • 11th Sep 10
This was a decent review. The movie started out on an interesting and contemplative note and became a poor, almost plotless, unsympathetic massacre. The good guys aren't justified at all yet the ending is 'happy'
  • 11th Sep 10
"The 'realistic' part ends with Kick-Ass being stubbed by a gangster and ran over by a car."

Please notice I never said the problem with "Kick-Ass" was realism persay. A movie can be as verite as "The Deer Hunter" or as random as "Eraserhead," so long as it's internally consistent. (It can be inconsistent if it wants, for its own reasons, so long as it has reasons.) Hit-Girl is jarring not in an absolute sense but because of her relation to the rest of the movie. She isn't any more unbelievable than, for instance, Superman. Just so happens Superman's abilities are jutified in-universe (he's an alien). Hit-Girl's aren't.

It's not like with the X-Men, where Storm is basically a deity hovering far above the rest (who strangely receive a bunch more attention, at least in the movies). We're not talking matters of degree. We're talking matters of kind. Sticking Hit-Girl in "Kick-Ass" is like rewriting the windmills in "Don Quixote" to have been actual giants.

I was willing to accept Kick-Ass as possessing ever so slightly superhuman abilities (be they of dubious origin), since otherwise there wouldn't have been much of a movie. At least his newfound abilities had some quasi-scientific justification. It wasn't fatally jarring. The film went off the rails when Hit-Girl slayed a room full of gangbangers, and not before.

  • 12th Sep 10
Kick Ass tried to make a comic book a live action movie, Scott Pilgrim tried to make a live action movie a comic book; Scott Pilgrim succeeded. Watch it instead.
  • LaCapitana
  • 25th Sep 10
I've never read Kick Ass but as a film, I thought Kick Ass worked extremely well. It was well-made and the actors were pretty good. I'll remind you that I've never read the graphic novels, but a lot of people like it when Nicholas Cage plays a crazy person. It suits him. (Not a big Cage fan, though.)

The movie fell apart at the end, I think. The movie flip-flopped between trying to deconstruct and then playing it straight, and it all just fell through the roof at the end. The writing isn't perfect, but this movie is entertaining as HELL.
  • LoneRonin
  • 28th Sep 10
I really liked this movie.

I think this review missed the point that whole thing is supposed to be contradictory. From the colorful costumes beside the insane violence, to the title character being overshadowed a third of the way in, to the massive Soundtrack Dissonance. The entire point of the film isn't just to mock the illogical aspects of the superhero genre (mostly Batman and Spiderman) and superhero comic book fans, but also to acknowledge and revel in the escapism that draws us to it.

I had a few minor issues. I kind of wish they showed more of Dave with his friends than getting with Katie, it just felt a bit forced for me. The changes from the graphic novel, such as making Big Daddy and Red Mist more sympathetic (and having Dave get the girl in the end) does sacrifice some of the Deconstruction aspects in favor of entertainment. But it makes you actually care about them more and avoid Darkness Induced Audience Apathy.

Nicholas Cage is kind of like fire or water, he needs a good director to point him in the right direction to deliver a good performance. He usually doesn't work for me, but in this case he hit the sweet spot between dramatic and hilarious. Chloe's performance as HG pushed it from just 'pretty good' to 'completely awesome' for me. They were supposed to overshadow KA and that's exactly what they did.
  • Hbomberguy
  • 29th Sep 10
Though your complaints are legitimate, Darkmane, I feel that your dream adaptation would have been even more of an acquired taste than the current one.

The comic book did a lot of things a mainstream comic reading audience found alienating, but it worked because comics are a medium that thrives on less-conventional storytelling. At the box office, however, things work differently.
  • JackMackerel
  • 4th Oct 10
Not to mention it's Mark Millar, he does a lot of things that annoy even fans of him.
  • Dogson82
  • 2nd Jul 11
I never read the comic (not a big Millar fan) and basically agree with people who poins the inconsistency of begining with a "Don Quixote" style deconstruction and then throw in two Charles Atlas Superpower bad-ass vigilantes. It was supossed to be contradictory? Well, then I happen to think the way it was supossed to be it's not a very good way to tell a story. But to each his own, I guess.
  • ManwiththePlan
  • 16th Aug 11
Yeeeah, can't say I agree with this review. The original "Kick-Ass" comic really, really wasn't all that good. Sorry but I don't like stories where all the characters who aren't the lead (Big Daddy, Hit-Girl, Red Mist, the Big Bad, Katie, etc) are so damn unpleasent. The film changed it so that while all the characters are flawed, only the Big Bad is a Complete Monster. And then the whole thing lightens up and is a little less mean spirited than the comic and a more fun and engaging story to watch.
  • marcellX
  • 31st Mar 12
Actually I thought he took an aproach similar to Alan Moore with Watchmen. Showing different people and how things would had worked out with them in real life. Instead of making several different comics/movies about the same idea with a change in character. Kick-Ass was a completely normal kid (greatly highlighted at the beggining), Hit-Girl was the child soldier and Big Daddy the psychologically messed up guy, one trying to be a super hero and the other two just taking advantage of the situation the first created. All this in a more realistic universe. Just like watchmen (at least the movie) focused on how Nightowl the gadgets hero, Rosarch the sociopath anti-hero, Ozymandias the genius and Dr. Manhathan a real superhuman would had ticked in real world.

@Darkmane Actually it is a rant when most of your review is about how it sucks because it's not like the comic, you complain about some things being different not because it made more sense in the comics, but just because it wasn't the same as the comic. And more violence? a guy was put on a microwave and did the same thing a marshmellow does in the same situation, what more do you want?

However there are a few things that are a little off or even stupid in the movie. Like how the when KA tells the kid to call 911 the thugs forget about him and just focus on the guy they were chasing, that Katie in this characterization would be involved with someone like Rusel, or that no one in Rusel's gang had a gun. One thing that did bother me was the language. I'm not trying to be a moral guardian complaining about the cursing, it's just that it felt rather forced the first half of the movie. Everyone and their mother had to add the fuck/shit adjetive and it's variations to nearly everything they said.
  • casualobserver
  • 1st Sep 13
I think the review sounds less like a review and more like a rant of someone that wanted a complete adaptation of the comic. That being said, I am not here to hate on the reviewer. It is a review from a personal perspective after all.

I would say, however, that if you try to divorce yourself from the original medium and watch the movie for the story, you might see that alot of the elements in the movie were done specifically for reasons of contrast. The bright colors and the almost cheery way of telling the story combined with music that doesn't fit the scene was a way to shock and awe the audience as well as a stark contrast to everything happening in the movie. The evolution of characters from simple real humans to eventual comic book stereotypes (complete with jetpacks with gatling guns attached) was a way to show how the main characters were going from being that nerdy comic book geek to being "real super heroes". And as for the story about Dave and Kick-Ass being overtaken by Hit-Girl and Big Daddy? Yes, that was the irony. The movie title, and character narrating it are Kick-Ass, but the story is not about Kick-Ass as much as it is the other characters that Kick-Ass encounters in his life as an attempted hero.

Just an opinion from a person that only saw the movie and never read the books. Take it for what you will.
  • TheRealYuma
  • 20th Aug 16
Funny thing is, Nic Cage may have actually been a better choice than Brad Pitt. I\'d have to go with the movie\'s main flaw being that it ended up making Kick-Ass a competent hero at the end. Besides, establishing Dave Lizewski as being such a low-life early on, it was actually realistic that he only started be able to beat up a couple of thugs thanks to a crap-ton of metal plating in him, after a hilariously failed attempt before. Kick-Ass went from essentially lucky to insanely lucky. It just didn\'t feel right.

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