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Kick Ass


bloodyminded

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In a way, the real star of this movie is a character named "Hit Girl," an eleven-year old superhero trained by and fighting with her father, as they dispatch villains, bloodfully. Hit Girl is, I think, one of the most subversive characters ever to grace a major film; certainly the most subversive superhero, in a genre which is too often full of trite convention.

To watch an eleven-year-old girl shooting a man point-blank in the top of the head during a particularly stylized bit of balletic movie violence actually shocked me a little, a reaction I would have considered unlikely. She cuts off a man's leg; she gets in a fist-fight, and is beaten severely, by a gangland Boss. Plus, she knows how to swear; this eleven-year-old girl uses the f-word several times; and once, the C-word. (If that offends you, don't watch the movie, cunts. :) )

I'm not a huge comic-book-to-film fan; most of them I find pleasantly diverting, nothing more. Some I actively detest, like 300, one of my least favourite movies of all time.

But Kick Ass...I liked very much. An homage to comic superheroes, and an homage to ultraviolent and graphic crime films, it's about justice and loneliness and three contrasted families producing three contrasted children. This isn't just candy, or garbage (depending on one's perspective). There's something interesting and honest going on here.

Not a comic book movie for the little ones, however.

Edited by bloodyminded
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I'm not a huge comic-book-to-film fan; most of them I find pleasantly diverting, nothing more. Some I actively detest, like 300, one of my least favourite movies of all time.

Not to high-jack the thread but what is it about 300 that you don't like?

I just happened to watch it again last night (well, watched it on my computer while surfing the internet) and I still enjoyed it.

Yes, the fighting was ridiculously stupid at times (the Spartans would have shown more discipline and would not have been so brawl like as they were portrayed - but then, I usually don't let such things get in the way of a a good story).

Is it the CGI? Is August rubbing off on you? :P;) [You realize that the "c" word to August is CGI?] :lol:

I kind of liked how the story comes across as a how a fisherman tells stories about fishing - extremely exaggerated.

With Xerxes appearing larger and weirder than life, huge animals and various strange looking foes you almost get a sense that the story is being told, and exaggerated, coming down from generation after generation of Spartan.

If anything, the worst part of that movie was the politics back home which rooted the story back in a cold, practical, and boring reality that contrasted poorly with the main storyline.

Anyways, end of high-jack.

Edited by msj
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Not to high-jack the thread but what is it about 300 that you don't like?

I'm guessing the answer runs something along the lines of: unflattering portrayal of brown-people. ;)

I kind of liked how the story comes across as a how a fisherman tells stories about fishing - extremely exaggerated.

With Xerxes appearing larger and weirder than life, huge animals and various strange looking foes you almost get a sense that the story is being told, and exaggerated, coming down from generation after generation of Spartan.

That's exactly it. The narrator himself explains that he was sent home by the king to tell their story for purposes of what-- in modern terms-- is propaganda.

It's not intended as a documentary or an even-handed account of the battle. It's a one-sided, biased account, told by a guy sent home to rally his countrymen against the invader.

-k

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I'm guessing the answer runs something along the lines of: unflattering portrayal of brown-people. ;)

Please.

I am anyhting but a politically correct (or overly harsh) critic of movies. I enjoy some apparently depraved and unconscionable films (though I believe I could defend them if asked). And the only time racism is at all an issue for me (not one that I get excercised about in any case) is when some movie makes the "correct" racial stance in some trite or condescending way. For example, I don't think much of Precious (though I thought Mo'Nique was unbeleivably good, and that her final scene is nothing short of magnificent.)

I'm certainly not the harsh critic that our friend August is. Not every movie has to be realistic, much less profound.

That's exactly it. The narrator himself explains that he was sent home by the king to tell their story for purposes of what-- in modern terms-- is propaganda.

It's not intended as a documentary or an even-handed account of the battle. It's a one-sided, biased account, told by a guy sent home to rally his countrymen against the invader.

-k

Sure. I have no problem with any motive or intent or thesis--certainly not with the portrayal of ancient Persians which has nothing really to do with ancient Persians. Or Spartans.

Historical accuracy? I couldn't care one bit about it, unless a film seems to be making the claim. This is fantasy, so in my view, literally anything goes.

I just find the movie exceedingly dull and visually cliched. Also, the caricatures posing as charcaters--not in and of itself a criticism, as it wasn't some mistake--is taken to such extremes, in my opinion, that I couldn't care any more about Leonidas than I did about the treasonous hunchback.

Ultimately, it simply didn't catch hold of me. That's all. At bottom, it's not a terribly meaningful critique...but I've read enough reviews, including very fine ones, to realize that subjectivity reigns supreme, so there it is.

Edited by bloodyminded
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That's refreshing. When the movie originally came out, the thread was filled with indignation from progressives who were outraged with everything from historical inaccuracies to supposed anti-gay sentiment to the Spartans' cruel parenting philosophies, but mostly the completely unfair portrayal of the Persians. It was apparently some sort of profound geopolitical message that was unbearably offensive to many people, a metaphor for "the war on terror" or something. It was either funny or sad, I'm not sure which.

I enjoyed 300 for what it was: buff guys with no shirts on running around kicking ass for 2 hours.

As for Kick Ass... I liked it.

Hit-Girl was cute and really disturbing, but I felt that Kick Ass himself was the more interesting character. Hit Girl really had no choice in what she turned into... like a child soldier in an African civil war, she's a remorseless killer because she just doesn't know any better... it's what she's been raised for. Kick Ass, though... why would a basically normal person decide to do that?

He believes it's altruism, and that seems true enough, but it seems more rooted in his real-life powerlessness. As with Dan Drieberg in The Watchmen, he hates feeling powerless and impotent and longs to be something more than just some schmuck who wanders through life with nobody noticing.

-k

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That's refreshing. When the movie originally came out, the thread was filled with indignation from progressives who were outraged with everything from historical inaccuracies to supposed anti-gay sentiment to the Spartans' cruel parenting philosophies, but mostly the completely unfair portrayal of the Persians. It was apparently some sort of profound geopolitical message that was unbearably offensive to many people, a metaphor for "the war on terror" or something. It was either funny or sad, I'm not sure which.

I heard this too, but it has nothing to do with me. People get way to serious about this sort of thing. Hell, I enjoy a lot of movies that might well be overtly reactionary (like many vigilante films seem to be); a good movie is a good movie.

I enjoyed 300 for what it was: buff guys with no shirts on running around kicking ass for 2 hours.

:) Well, we're in agreement on what it was.

As for Kick Ass... I liked it.

Hit-Girl was cute and really disturbing, but I felt that Kick Ass himself was the more interesting character. Hit Girl really had no choice in what she turned into... like a child soldier in an African civil war, she's a remorseless killer because she just doesn't know any better... it's what she's been raised for. Kick Ass, though... why would a basically normal person decide to do that?

He believes it's altruism, and that seems true enough, but it seems more rooted in his real-life powerlessness. As with Dan Drieberg in The Watchmen, he hates feeling powerless and impotent and longs to be something more than just some schmuck who wanders through life with nobody noticing.

Yes, it's really well done. I thought the teenagers, especially Kick Ass, are treated with a lot of respect...far from always the case in movies about teens. And you're right...his personal feelinsg are important to his motivation. He's not suddenly focussed laserlike on ridding the world of injustices...that's the Nicholas Cage character (though he too is driven by his interior more than the exterior world, and he seems to be somewhat disturbed).

But Kick Ass, who is following the tradition of Nice Guy Teens like Michael Cera, what's-his-name from Zombieland, and others, is driven in a way that seems to me reasonable (though maybe not rational, if you get my distinction). And he's also courageous, in a human way (as opposed to a Superhero way) that felt believable to me.

-k

Edited by bloodyminded
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