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Adaptation Enhancement.
I never much cared for the comic. I understood the **idea** of it, deconstructing the superheroes-in-the-real-world tropes and placing the ultraviolence front and center (and Mark Millar is usually at his finest when he's at his **meanest**), but it had major issues in execution. The "Real World Physics/Rules" (an almost-necessary ingredient in this switched on and off like a light switch whenever it produced the most Diabolus Ex Machina result possible, and while I'm as big a fan of the You Bastard trope as anyone, several times I found myself thinking, "Okay, okay, I'm a horrible person for liking this stuff, I get it already."

The movie takes a more optimistic tone, which I'm sure the fans will say "waters it down" or "Hollywood-izes" it. Maybe these things are true, I don't know (although Millar himself didn't think so), but the end result is something that holds together better, and in some ways is almost EDGIER. For instance: the comic sidesteps all the troubling questions raised by Hit-Girl with "See, Big Daddy is a monster, this is a horrible, awful thing and you're perfectly right for not liking it!" (I almost felt like it was chickening out) while the movie plays her comparatively "straight," thus allowing the creepiness to become more permeable.

The rest of the movie works better. Katie's acceptance of Dave is a bit too sappy, but it works loads better than how it plays out in the comics (one of the many hey-Mark-you-missed-the-point-of-Deconstruction moments that the movie wisely ditches). In fact, the whole thing is a lot less misogynistic (what with Hit-Girl's more positive portrayal and Katie's lack of bitchiness).

But anyway, let's take the movie on its own terms. Hitchcock's definition of a Great Movie was: "Three great scenes, no bad scenes." Well, three great scenes: The opening montage of Dave's life (relatable much?), the webcast scene (one of the best pieces of cinema in recent memory... a great setup for an awesome action sequence, I was really immersed), and the final assault (the sheer "Fuck yeah" of it all).
I don't know that I would call it a "Great Movie" based on Hitchcock's criteria as there are at least a couple "bad scenes" (or at least mediocre scenes) in the movie, but I am glad to see that at least one reviewer that has read the books and seen the movie is able to objectively review this movie.

I think at the end they could have toned down the over the top nature of the scenes a little (the jetpack fly into the sunset moment was a little overdone, as well as the rocket to the chest exploding the guy) but overall I thought it was a very good movie that took an idea, ran with it, "sort of" deconstructed it, then turned around and played it straight. That is good film making and good story telling. Also, good acting all around (including Nick Cage overacting when in full hero gear).

This kind of film would not work in a straight super hero genre, but with this specific movie, the set up is enjoyable and hopefully will lead to a complete trilogy in the future.
comment #20957 casualobserver 1st Sep 13
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