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REVIEW: Kick-Ass

The humor is juvenile, but this wanna-be comedy's not for kids

Kick-Ass: Rates a D+.
Courtesy photo

It's strange to see movie posters for Kick-Ass. You see, when There's Something About Mary was out, I loved the movie poster. It showed a sexy, smiling Cameron Diaz standing there with her hand on her hip. And her blonde hair was going straight up in the air. Anyone that saw the movie knows why.

A week after I saw it, I was at a different film and saw the movie posters showed Diaz with regular blonde hair, all combed down and giving her bangs. I asked a theater manager what happened to the funnier movie poster and was told, "A lot of people were complaining about it, so they were recalled."

It baffled me because, for you to know why her hair was like that, you would've had to have seen the R-rated movie. No little kids would see the poster and even know what was going on.

Yet now, a decade later, we can have a title like Kick-Ass, and nobody blinks an eye.

Kick-Ass is a very disappointing film, but what makes it even more disappointing is that the movie is going to be huge.

At a screening I went to the crowd was going nuts over it. I talked to a critic in New York who told me he experienced the same thing.

It baffles me that people would love this movie.

It’s directed by Matthew Vaughn, a guy that was involved in a bunch of movies I liked (and directed Layer Cake, an underrated British crime drama staring Daniel Craig).

Kick-Ass starts promising enough. We see one kid's failed attempt at becoming a super hero when he jumps off a building and lands on a taxi. Apparently tying a red cloth around your neck doesn’t automatically give you the ability to fly.

When another nerd talks of becoming a super hero, he has a cute line he narrates as he walks by girls at their lockers. He said he had no super powers, and is only invisible to the girls at school.

Yet after these opening scenes, it falls faster than the boy in the red cape.

This is more of the fan-boy comic book garbage that is becoming so popular. It could’ve been so great. It involves super heroes getting popular with the help of the Internet and people using cell phones to capture their vigilante activities.

It was nice to see McLovin (Christopher Mintz) getting some lovin’ with yet another role. He plays the son of a mob boss, and becomes a super hero called Red Mist.

Clark Duke, who was the only actor in Hot Tub Time Machine I didn’t know, has a good role in this as the best friend.

Nicolas Cage, who never saw a script he didn’t like, appears as a Batman type of character (complete with a funny Adam West type of syntax in his speech). It’s strange because Cage wanted the part of Superman at some point in his career. He even named his son Kal-el, after Superman's “Kryton” name.

It’s funny that this movie comes out the day after tax day, and all I kept thinking watching it was that Cage did it to help pay off his tax debt (which is reported to be millions and millions).

Since this movie is based on a comic book, I wondered if the book snobs that like to say, “I liked the book better,” will say, “I liked the comic book better.”

Comic books are at least $11.25 cheaper.

This film is like Napoleon Dynamite meets Sin City; especially when an 11-year-old girl, who goes by the moniker “Hit Girl,” reminds us of the little knife thrower in Sin City. Both dispose of their victims in similar, quick, gruesome fashion.

That’s another problem I have with the movie. I’m not offended by much, but something about a kid that age involved in such savage violence and using curse words (even the “c” word), I find odd. The movie is rated R, and most of the cast wouldn’t be old enough to buy a ticket to see it.

A few critics have complained about Hit Girl wearing a Catholic school girl outfit in one scene, but that didn’t bother me. She was trying to trick the mob into thinking she was a student that was lost and needed to use a phone.

It’s a shame, because the audience that would love this most, shouldn’t be allowed to see it.

There are great stunts, interesting shots, and two or three funny scenes. The scenes that involve Cage training Hit Girl, people found humorous. He’s shooting her in the chest to try out a bullet proof vest. And her birthday gifts include various butterfly knives. All because he was framed and jailed and plans on getting revenge. Isn’t this some form of child abuse? Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s a movie and you’re not supposed to take this stuff so seriously. Even a movie like The Professional (which was highly overrated), worked better because Natalie Portman is the kid being taken care of by the hit man, not the one participating in the violence (at least not until she’s older).

A lot of movies have scenes where a late night host will talk about the characters because they were in the news (Larry King is the king of those cameos). This one with Craig Ferguson (the least funny of all the talk show hosts) goes on for two minutes and doesn’t deliver a single laugh. It simply has Ferguson uttering the name “Kick Ass” over and over. Geez. Doesn’t anyone hire writers?

Quentin Tarantino probably wishes he would’ve done this movie (although he has a tendency of ruining films for me with all his craziness, too).

I hate to admit that my favorite scene was Hit Girl killing a bunch of bad guys, merely because it had Joan Jett’s Bad Reputation playing in the background.

This is a dark comedy that just isn’t funny enough.

It gets a D+..