Kick-Ass (2010) [REVIEW]

 

I’m a little foggy on the details of the development of this movie, as far as whether the movie was being developed first or if it was the comic book. All I know is that it started back when people still used MySpace, as that was primarily how this film was promoted. One thing I do know is that the comic book debuted and finished before the film was released, so that was the storyline I was more familiar with. When I originally saw the first issue released, it was awesome. I was excited to see Mark Millar writing a “kick-ass” story, especially with John Romita, Jr. being in charge of the art. The only JRJR art I was familiar with was his long run on The Amazing Spider-Man, so seeing him doing graphic violence was pretty exciting. Every issue that came out I made sure to share with my roommate, because it was balls-out action and ridiculousness, and I went into the movie expecting the same.

 

I have also posed like this, but I tend to use dildos rather than wimpy batons.

As far as the plot of the film vs. comic are concerned, the basic elements are similar. The story centers around a comic book nerd who is exceptionally average, when he one day wonders why no one has ever even attempted being a superhero before. While pondering, he decides he will become the first, but not necessarily the way you might think. He immediately gets stabbed and hit by a car and is left in traction for quite some time, wondering why he ever thought of the idea in the first place. But sure enough, he gets the crime-fighting bug again, and gives it another go. This time, he beats people up and the event ends up on YouTube, sparking his internet and real-life popularity. Other superheroes start meeting up with him, to varying levels of superhero-ness, as well as actual crime bosses. As you can imagine, violence ensues, and we learn the fate of the heroes Kick-Ass, Red Mist, Big Daddy, and Hit Girl.

 

That’s so weird! I dye my pubes the same color!

As previously mentioned, I really enjoyed the comic books, so I went into this movie with high hopes. Sadly, those expectations were not met. The series itself was eight issues, but you just couldn’t get enough. It could have been 80 issues and I feel like the intensity would have kept up the whole time. The movie was close to two hours, but it dragged a few times. I would say the action scenes were cool enough, but they were few and far between. More specifically, in the comics, the fight where Kick-Ass officially gets his name was a complete freakout where he destroyed three gang members, but in the movie, he didn’t even win. It was more of an “Even though I didn’t win, I am willing to die to save this person!” kind of moment that wasn’t nearly as awesome. I would say there were three main points in which the movie and film were different, but I can’t go into detail without giving a:

 

SPOILER ALERT



1) It is established in both the film and comic that Kick-Ass, whose real name is Dave, develops a crush on a girl in his class. In his first fight, he took off his costume before paramedics arrived. Word got out that he was found beaten and naked, so the rumors started that he was gay. The object of his affection always wanted a gay best friend, so Dave plays along and furthers their relationship. Ultimately, he can’t take the lies and confesses his love. In the movie, he gets the girl and they have a whole bunch of sex. In the comic, she rejects him, calls him a freak, and sends him picture messages of him blowing another guy. This was so awesome! The fact that even the “hero” couldn’t get the girl  connected you to Dave in the comics, but not so much in the movie.

2) In the film, Big Daddy and Hit Girl have a complicated father/daughter saga involving being framed and ending up in jail and swearing vengeance against the man who put them there, which is the crime lord Frank D’ Amico. For the most part, this is very similar to the comics, except the detail that Big Daddy always carries around a locked suitcase. When he ultimately meets his demise, the suitcase is opened to find dozens of extremely rare comic books, which he has been using to fund his endeavors. Also, it turns out that the whole story is fake. He is just a comic book fanatic who wanted to give his daughter an exciting life. I thought it was a good twist in the comics that they unfortunately left out of the film.

3) The character of the crime lord is only briefly involved in the comics. Granted, those brief moments involve lots of torture and death, but most of the issues just deal specifically with Kick-Ass existing, rather than his enemies. In the film, the crime lord might actually have more screen time than either Big Daddy or Hit Girl. Mark Strong, who plays Frank D’ Amico, did a great job playing the character, connecting to his inner Pacino his over-the-top acting style, but was silly at the same time so you didn’t actually think he was some supervillain. I wouldn’t say this aspect was better than the book, but had a different actor been involved, it might not have worked out so well.

END OF SPOILERS


They got it all wrong. People who read comic books are far more attractive than these three.

As far as the acting goes, it was kind of…meh. Aaron Johnson, who plays Kick-Ass, really just seemed to be a person in a suit. Whereas in the comics, the character is pretty pathetic, so I think maybe just the transition to film changed the character so he wasn’t as pathetic. Unfortunately, this made the character a little bit harder for me to connect to. Nicolas Cage was fine as Big Daddy, but I think that’s just because he has said he was channeling Adam West the whole time, so his entire performance was laughable. Red Mist, played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse, a.k.a. McLovin’, wasn’t really all that good. I get it, the kid will always be McLovin’, no matter what he does, and even if he is playing a similar whiny kid, I still don’t really need to see him. Like I said, Mark Strong was awesome, despite the fact that he made me question whether or not he really was Andy Garcia. Hit Girl….WAS AWESOME. Every scene she was in was great, whether she was just playing an 11 year old or whether she was kicking everyone’s ass. I think that had any of the characters had as good of an actress as Chloe Moretz, the movie could have been ten times better. I would recommend watching the movie, because you’ll probably be entertained, but then when you read the comics later, you will be even more excited.

Wolfman Moon Scale



Official Site
IMDb
Amazon Trade Paperback

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One response to “Kick-Ass (2010) [REVIEW]

  1. Pingback: Kick-Ass 2 (2013) [REVIEW] | The Wolfman Cometh·

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