Will Preston

If Spider Man spent more time wanking

by on Nov.12, 2010, under Films, Review

Today we’re seeing a large amount of super hero films being churned out. It’s already been announced that The Green Lantern, Thor, Captain America, and a whole league of others will be flying into the big screen. Oh, and then there’s also the X Men films making sure that no single character hasn’t had a cameo or got their own origin story. There’s too many. And what’s worse, is that with a large amount of super hero films, comes the unfunny spoof films brought to you by that guy who was on the set for, but didn’t actually do anything, Scary Movie or whatever. I’m looking at you, Super Hero Movie!

Tron Man wasn't a catchy name

When I first saw the poster for the Kick Ass film, I mistook it for one of those. What a fucking fool I was. Just like the Watchmen, my lack of comic book knowledge had me unprepared for a truly fantastic movie. Kick Ass is Spider Man, but with more pathos and no super powers whatsoever. Dave Lizewski (played by English actor Aaron Johnson) is you’re typical nerdy teenager. He reads comics, has no luck with girls and spends most free moments progressing towards repetitive strain disorder of the wrists whilst thinking about his English teacher. Already, I’m feeling a connection with the character. Dave often wonders why no one in real life has ever tried to be a batman-style super hero.

One day, he gets pathetically mugged for the last time and immediately logs onto eBay to construct himself a super hero costume, rather then learn martial arts, say. Already you can tell that this is going to end up badly. Calling himself Kick Ass and trying to fight crime, Dave ends up in hospital. His injury leaves him with numbed nerve endings, so his stamina for taking a pummelling is increased. It’s also around this time, his love interest enters the scene. Only problem, is that she thinks that he is gay and wants a gay friend. Already the story is going pretty well with an emphasis on how stupid and misjudged Dave can be at times. We’re also introduced to crime boss Frank D’Amico (played by English actor Mark Strong. Is there a pattern here?) and his nerdy son.

Don't ask her about the purple wig. She gets punchy...

But the most interesting characters in the film are Big Daddy and Hit Girl, a son and daughter superhero team who kick more ass than Kick Ass. Nicholas Cage plays Big Daddy with a hint of Adam West, but is essentially Batman with a Rambo style arsenal. His eleven year old daughter manages to take on six hoodlums at once in a scene that will stay with me to the grave. The sight of a pre-pubescent girl dressed in a super hero outfit and purple wig slicing apart armed men whilst a punked up version of the Banana Splits theme tune plays had tears rolling down my face. It’s a very funny film. The timing of the gags and the smart mouthed dialogue sometimes jump out unexpectedly.

It’s also an extremely violent film with horrendous language. One of Hit Girl’s early lines has her dropping a C-bomb. A few bad guy deaths include one Russian mobsters being put inside an industrial microwave before bursting in a splodge of red goo, and the unfortunate mob driver who learns how a car is crushed first hand; he’s inside it at the time. There’s a lot of wincing nastiness. It sounds like a gratuitous film, but the story and fight scenes are extremely compelling at times and you feel extremely attached to the characters as the film progresses. At some points you feel like there are some underlying emotion about what is happening, most of all with Big Daddy, who has a very depressing back story. Thankfully, it doesn’t get bogged down with superhero references, cheap jokes and saturating amounts of CGI.

There’s something real about some of the scenes, as if it’s very believable for a boy to get dressed as a superhero to fight crime, only to be stabbed by a mugger and left for dead. It’s a black comedy for sure and I’ll be looking forward to more of this rather than the typical super hero romp.

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