Friday, April 16, 2010

Jason watches KICK-ASS

And I'll refrain from using the title as my review. That's just lazy. But I will say I liked it quite a lot. The story was engaging, the hero (a dweeb who decides to try to become a super-hero) is likable, the violence was insanely over the top, and Hit Girl is just awesome (and in a way I was more impressed by Nicolas Cage as her daddy, Big Daddy). There's an odd mix of cartoonishness with ultra-violence that...I liked. It might surprise or shock some people (odd that more controversy has been ginned up from the few times Hit Girl swears than all the violence). I like the way that super-heroing totally doesn't suit him. And I liked the subversive way they handled the "message" of the movie. The idea that people are so insulated and callous that they ignore the crimes happening around them--that it takes a crazy idealistic kid to do...anything about it. When his crime-fighting goes horribly awry, rather than calling for help people watch him online, or accidentally run over him and then drive away fast. In fact, as it turns out, he doesn't even follow his own moralizing. Without giving too much away, as soon as he has something better to do, he stops being Kick-Ass. And that's cynical, twisted, and true. And I loved it.

Now for the one bit I didn't like. Same problem I had with the similarly spirited ZOMBIELAND, and something I'm afraid is becoming too typical of action-comedies. I'm talking about gratuitous overuse of voice-over narration. It's lazy, it insults the audience's intelligence, and it's just annoying. There's even a moment in it where he calls extra attention to it by pointing out you shouldn't assume he survives just because he's talking to you, and he points out SUNSET BOULEVARD and AMERICAN BEAUTY as movies that use voice-over narration from deceased characters. A semi-clever film geek joke, but the problem is there would be no reason to point that out if they hadn't overused voice-over in the first place. And pointing out movies that used voice-over narration well (i.e., sparingly) just underlines how annoying it was.

But other than that, it was awesome.

Running Time: 117 Minutes
My Total Minutes: 180,836
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