Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kick Ass (April 20, 2010)

Well, let's see. I first heard of this movie a few months ago, and everything I read promoting it made it sound like it was going to be a farce, like "Superhero Movie" or something, about a real life guy trying to dress up like a super hero and fight crime. I was excited to see it. Then a few days ago I got wind that this movie was super violent, and I was confused. Nothing I'd read up to that point made the movie look like it was going to be really bloody and violent, so I was fair warned when I went in to see the movie. It's clear that a lot of other people weren't as lucky though, and the violence seemed to piss off a lot of the other movie goers.

It's a shame, too, because "Kick Ass" is actually a really cool movie. It's gory and kind of disgusting, but I can handle that. I watch violent movies all the time. the problem arises not when a movie is violent but when I have no idea that a movie is going to be violent and then I see it and get blindsided by a lot of gore I wasn't expecting. In short, I don't blame people for being pissed off at this movie, but I think the blame should go to the marketing campaign, not the movie itself, because the movie is awesome. It's not the movie's fault that ad execs wanted to make more money so they made commercials that made the movie look like it was going to be a laugh-a-minute riot.

In point of fact, there are a lot of laughs to be had here. The movie is really funny, but it's also really bloody and violent. Not only that, the movie shows a young kid doing some of the worst of the violence, and I suspect that's what pisses a lot of people off the most. I've heard a few feminist blogs calling the movie "misogynistic" and I suspect that stems from the scenes with this little girl (and from the fact that one of the bad guys tells her "I wish I had a son like you") but I think the problem is that they're taking those scenes out of context. Yes, the movie is stylized and cool in its violence, but it also looks horribly painful and not at all like something I'd want to try at home. Basically, I don't think kids are going to be out emulating this movie because I think it definitely shows the consequences of the actions it depicts.

Also, I personally like the little girl and I like that she can kick ass, and I also think there's more than enough of the idea that she shouldn't HAVE to be fighting like this and she deserves to have a childhood (a character says as much in the movie) and thus I don't think the movie is giving parenting suggestions or anything. Plus, I can see why the "I wish I had a son like you" line would bother people, but I think they're wrong. I think that line shows that the little girl is awesome and that the guy saying that line is an asshole. I don't think the movie is espousing the idea that we should like this guy (he's the villain, for Christ's sake, what did you want him to be a nice guy?)

In short, yeah, I get it. I get why some people are pissed, and I get why they are shocked. I think the movie should be separated from its initial marketing campaign and judged on its own terms, because it really is one of the best movies I've seen in awhile, and I think it deserves to be appreciated for what it is, not punished for what it isn't (that is was never trying to be in the first place).

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