For those who are aware of the current films out there, one of the best received and most controversial is Kick Ass. Its a superhero/comic book film that has been criticised for its ultra violent foul mouthed provocative character, who happens to be an 11 year old girl. To see the risque trailer, to get an idea, click here. I will now discuss my view, but be aware, this contains some spoilers, though not much.
To help, I’ll give a summary of the plot. Dave is a normal guy who doesn’t excel at anything, and is into comics. He wonders why nobody is a superhero, and orders himself a home made wetsuit, and becomes one, Kick Ass. After being beaten up on his first attempt, he gets better, and tries again. This time he’s filmed by onlookers, and wins. He then becomes an internet sensation. He then tries stepping up a notch, but finds himself outclassed and has to rely on back up from 2 pros, Big Daddy, who looks like Batman with guns, and Hit Girl, the afore mentioned 11 year old girl. They help Kick Ass out, who in turn has to help them out to defeat a mafia boss.
Ok, what did I think? Well, its good fun, very enjoyable, but also very messed up. There are some seriously messed up people portrayed as heroes, and frankly, if you can’t see they’re messed up, your a bit weird. To take these guys seriously and as role models would be stupid, though whether people will remains to be seen.
The central message of the film is nothing new, we are defined by our actions and choices, not by what we can do. One great line is “With no power comes no responsibility, except, that’s not true.” It is very violent, and Hit Girl is over-sexed, but that’s kind of the point. What I think the intention was is that by showing you some stuff that’s wrong in the film, you have to ask yourself, what else is wrong in this film, what is acceptable? Kick Ass hates that people can just be onlookers when someone needs help, but what do you put yourself through to help others, and what do you do with those doing wrong? Here they are often killed, but I think this is just the film doing what you expect from a comic film, killing the bad guys. It begs the question, is this right, that our culture involves so much violence and what will the consequences be? If you don’t like the way society is going, how are you going to change it, or are you just going to look on?
It has been criticised for glorifying violence, and some will see it as that, but I see it as showing us what society deems acceptable, and some things it doesn’t and asking you to chose for yourself. Its not suggesting we all don masks and beat up people we deem doing wrong, its doing the little things. One of my favourite moments is when Kick Ass is starting out, he looks for a lost kitten in his outfit. He gets weird looks for his costume, but would he be treated normally if he wasn’t? It also shows a super-hero doing something for others, not seeking vengeance or the glory of defeating a super criminal. The Bible has plenty of gory moments, and very violent acts are done in God’s name. Wars are started, a man kills another with a catapult, John the Baptist’s head is served on a platter. Does the Bible glorify violence? No, all these acts have a context, which makes their meaning clear. The same I think is true for Kick Ass, think of context and you’ll get a lot more out of it.
If you can stand the violence and the language and some very dark humour, I recommend you watch it. Its very well done, and the best film I’ve seen at the cinema this year. Let me know your thoughts below, I’m sure if you see it, you’ll have some opinions on it.