I feel a bit ashamed that all I seem to post is movie reviews lately. I am still too busy for my year in review post, which will take me a few hours to write. But I am not too busy to watch movies while I need to finish writing jobs or comb my inbox.
Kick-Ass is as awesome as the internet says. I watched it 3 times. 2nd time with audio commentaries on, which were very insightful, 3rd time showing it to somebody else.
1st time around I was not happy with the last third of the movie. The movie, which is about real-life wannabe teenage superheroes, does only focus on Kick-Ass in the 1st half of the movie. They make me feel for the character, something superhero movies usually do not accomplish with me, because how can you really cheer invincible Superman or root for Know-It-All Batman? And they basically take him from the plot. He has only 1 action in the showdown, the 30 minutes before that he is absolutely useless. Even the big “final plan” leading to his only action makes no sense at all. “I do everything, you do nothing and then at the end you do that one thing”. A plan of genius.
Instead they switch over to Hit Girl. I have mixed feelings. In the beginning, I bought the moral system Kick-Ass is placed in, and Hit Girl seemed horribly violent (from that point of view). I thought the movie wanted me to react that way. “Look, she wanted to do good but fell to the Dark Side”. But at the end I realised, they want me to love that violence. So, why do they do that brilliant job of pulling me into the world of Dave/Kick-Ass, feeling for him, and then they suppose I desert him for the super girl who uses brutality that alienates Kick-Ass.
So, 1st time it felt like a deus ex situation. Like “we take it from here, shorty”, and you root for the sympathetic child hero instead of the big FBI bully. It should have been about Kick-Ass. They sort of gave me that but it felt hollow. My imaginary FBI bully would fight crime for 40 minutes, and at the very end lean down to the child hero and say “But YOU deserve all the credits.” That’s lame, and has a bitter taste.
Director Matthew Vaughn says, he always compared his plots to Star Wars. Here, Kick-Ass is Luke, Hitgirl is Han Solo. Yea OK, and now imagine Han Solo doing everything after half a movie, Luke not growing at all but just contemplating that he is a failure. NO, it’s the other way around. Han Solo want to quit and has his one last action, shooting the Death Star. Kick-Ass is my hero. In your movie, Kick-Ass is Short Round, and Hitgirl is Indiana Jones. (Or rather, Kick-Ass is Bastian Balthasar Bux and Hitgirl is Atreyu, but in Neverending Story, Bastian at least has universal power at the end). I feel bad when he is pushed aside into the dirt and you deny me the full satisfaction of his rebound from that.
BUT Hit Girl is so cute. Actress Chloe Moretz is 11 years, plays all stunts herself, because there are no 11 years old stuntmen (quoting the director). What a brilliant performance. 2nd and 3rd watch I really loved her and was OK with her violence, because I knew then that the movie does not want me to hate the violence. Now, I felt for her. A lot (CUTTTEEEE).
Therefore I still give 5 stars. What the fuck, why not? I have never seen a movie 3 times in a row before, and brilliant story otherwise, cool references to modern age (Youtube, Myspace), funny, good dialogues, a lot of cool scenes. That’s a super hero movie for 2010. I NEED a sequel. And I hate sequels.
Music is great! Several composers were worked really hard by the director according the audio commentary. Danny Elfman gave them a cue as a gift. 2 songs by prodigy. And the main theme at the end + DVD menu is totally cool.
Things I learned from the audio commentary: