starts out with a fun attempt to deconstruct the superhero genre, by showing what might happen if a real person, Don Quixote
style tried to mimic their favorite fictional heroes and fight crime in the real world. The results are mixed. Dave Lizewski gets his ass kicked, but does get popularity for what he's doing when a video of him taking on a group of thugs goes viral. Sort of like the real-life Phoenix Jones, except in a harsher setting.
It's fun seeing Dave try to live his double life as an unpopular teen, and a masked vigilante trying his best to answer his fans and fight crime. His endless enthusiasm and unwillingness to give up is great to watch. I would have loved for the story to continue along these lines.
Then, when one of Kick-Ass's attempts to teach a gang a lesson goes horribly wrong, Big Daddy and Hit Girl come in and save him. They promptly steal the show and make it about them, as they are competent while Kick-Ass is not, and they also are interesting characters in their own right. The story soon shifts gears and not only follows them, but essentially changes its genre and mood.
From this point on, the story is no longer a Deconstruction
, nor is it a Reconstruction
, as Reconstruction
, by definition, involves recognizing the criticisms of a Deconstruction
and responding to them with a more convincing version. But that's not what we get here; we instead get superheroes played mostly straight. They might not have powers along the lines of Superman
, but they are still superhuman when it comes to fighting abilities, athleticism and reflexes.
And the story itself changes focus: although there are a few twists, it soon becomes mostly "kill the bad guys and win". While fun to watch as well, it's a very different story than the one we started with, and I just don't find it as much fun.
Sadly, this is the fate of something that tries to be two very different things. One story will inevitably be considered better than the other. My brother, for example, didn't care for the movie until Big Daddy and Hit Girl came in, saying that Kick-Ass himself was too much of a "scrub". And there are also those who loved the movie the whole way through. For what it's worth, though, it's essentially two different experiences.