By Nick Manteris · 0 Comments · Leave a Comment
Kick-Ass. It’s an awkwardly-titled film. And it seems to be a movie without a target demographic. The trailer makes it seem like a comic book movie for kids, but the R rating implies that maybe it’s not for kids. (I can tell you right now: it’s not for kids, but it was a comic book. The comic is even darker than the film and it’s not for kids either.) There’s a built-in audience if the filmmakers can get the word out that Kick-Ass has been made into a movie because the fans of the comic will definitely want to see it. That will take care of about .025% of the population of the US, but I’m pretty sure those people represented three-quarters of the mostly-filled midnight screening that I attended. Will anyone else have any interest in Kick-Ass though? …or will ticket sales drastically drop before the weekend even starts?
Before I address those questions I should mention a few of the things that can be found in this movie. There’s an overly mundane and mostly inept protagonist. There are people that dress up like superheroes. There is drug use, profanity and hardcore violence. It contains the best Nicolas Cage performance since 2002’s Adaptation. It has the hottest sex scene since, well, I’m not even sure when… and it doesn’t even show skin. There’s a John Romita, Jr. animated sequence. There is some humor. There is an eleven year-old little girl with a filthy mouth and the skills of a professional assassin. (Oddly, the controversy of this film will focus more on the words than the multiple murders.) There are significant changes to the storyline if you’ve actually read the comic series. There is a soundtrack as awkward as the film’s title that contains several unfortunate musical choices. (John Murphy’s theme from 28 Weeks Later is one example…it’s a great piece of music, but it’s indelibly linked to the film that it was written for and detracts for that very reason.) There is pretend gayness. There are several exceptional action sequences. (Did I mention the violence? There’s a lot of it.) Kick-Ass also features shout-outs to MySpace, YouTube and comic book geekery in general. Also, in case the Batman, Superman and Spider-Man pop culture references are not enough, there are even a couple direct quotes from other films towards the end.
The massive story differences between the film and the comic are apparently because writer/director Matthew Vaughn was working on the movie script at the same time that Mark Millar was writing the comic script, though they both stayed in touch during the process. Kick-Ass is a fun film (all the way down to the Kick-Ass billboard ads) and the highlight is Chloë Grace Moretz as Hit Girl. They leave things wide open for a sequel and that brings up the topic of attendance again…since the only way a sequel will get made is if this movie makes money. This movie should make money because I really want another Kick-Ass movie. It’s easily the best film I’ve seen this year and if you aren’t completely put off by the list I’ve created here then you are the target demographic.