DVD of the Week: Kick-Ass

Why a DVD of the week?  Why not a movie pick of the week… something current…. perhaps an album of the week…. but DVD?  The reason for this is the fact that I happen to have a rather large DVD collection… and every so often I am reminded of a movie that I haven’t seen in a while and love the fact I can simply pull it down off of my shelf and re-watch something…. or better yet, recommend to someone who hasn’t seen it.  So think of this feature as my way of saying, “Hey, have you seen such and such?  No…?  Check it out… it’s a good one…”.

The first DVD of the week is Kick-Ass. An extremely under-rated and under-seen 2010 super hero/graphic novel adaptation that is possibly one of the worst victims of poor and/or difficult marketing I can think of. Although, upon it’s release it did garner a great deal of attention…. primarily due to it’s very violent and foul mouthed nature… and possibly more so because the great Roger Ebert called it “morally reprehensible”, and in the process of tearing the film a new critical asshole managed to turn many people away and spoil the final act in a rather big way. The worst part about his review is that it’s not totally off base.

The basic premise of the movie is, why have no real people ever tried to be super heroes? How come in this age of Paris Hilton wannabes and serial killer copycats has no one ever tried to be Spiderman or Batman? So our hero Dave Lizewski decides to find out…. and find out he does! I’m not going to get into spoilers in this review, other than a brief outline of some of the major characters…. Controversy incarnate would have to be Hit Girl, played magnificently and brutally by the now 13 year old (11 at the time of filming) Chloe Grace Moretz (soon to also be seen in Let Me In, the American remake of Let the Right One In… a very likely future DVD of the Week). Her character is responsible for the majority of bloodshed and vulgar language in the film… also a majority of the fun and excitement. She is as fast with her language as she is with her weaponry… an amazing character to behold. I look forward to seeing the young Miss Moretz in the future. Her father is played by none other than Nicolas Cage. I know… stop rolling your eyes… I did the same thing. For whatever reason, his particular hammy shtick works here to great affect. As Big Daddy, Cage does his best Adam West and pulls it off better than I could have imagined. As you might guess, my perception of Nicolas Cage is not quite the best…. but I will admit, when he’s on…. he can be awesome. And here he is. Rounding out the cast of characters is Christopher Mintz Plasse of McLovin fame. He plays another “super hero” by the name of Red Mist. The less said about his character the better.

Now, even with that information (which is very limited), what would you think of this movie if you had seen this trailer…. the trailer featured in movie theaters and on TV?

After seeing this trailer, most people I know thought it appeared to be a fun, light hearted teen romp as they banded together and fought crime…. Doesn’t that sound great?! Golly it does! Well, jumping jilikers… it wasn’t quite like that when I saw the movie. Perhaps the red band trailer (green band being for general audiences, red band for R rated) would give us some insight into what this movie really is…. let’s see that one….

Now, you may have a slightly better idea of what this movie is really like. I happen to think this is one of the absolute best movies of the year… exciting, funny, cringe worthy at times, yet still oddly warm and a great pleasure to allow to unfold. I knew very little about the story itself, adapted from a comic series/graphic novel of the same name penned by Mark Millar (Wanted), before going in and I was completely gripped with anticipation watching this movie. Matthew Vaughn’s (Layer Cake) direction is strong, and the very realistic way of looking at super heroes is extremely welcome after the glut of alternate universe worlds of mutants and uber rich do gooders. It’s fun to see super heroes portrayed at the flawed and goofy antiheroes and mentally damaged individuals they would be if they existed…. and that they exist in our world (more or less) makes it all the better.

I have been raving about this movie since I saw it opening weekend in the theater and was largely greeting with either indifference of a chorus of “not really my kind of movie”. Granted, this movie is not for everyone… it is violent, crass and yes, at times perhaps a bit morally reprehensible. If you offend easily, do not see this movie. If you have a sense of humor and you understand the difference between film and reality… then get a hold of this film and enjoy yourself. Rent it… stream it… buy it. I’ll happily loan you my copy…

Getting out there and kicking ass….
Cornelius J. Blahg

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