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A little cheese and a little whine

Film Log: Kick-Ass

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This film seems to have been written largely with the intent of setting up a sequel, with the story concluding at the point where the supervillain is created. The conceit – of a perfectly ordinary high school student deciding to become a superhero despite having no powers, skills or equipment – is never really worked through because the action is driven by “Big Daddy”, a vigilante with tremendous skill and the sort of armoury Bush would be proud to have found in Baghdad. The meat of the story is the conflict between Big Daddy and his highly trained and motivated daughter “Hit Girl” and the local mafia; Kick-Ass himself is a bystander who gets caught up in this.

I think the film wants to say some things about making a stand, growing up, and becoming a man; but the messages are ambiguous and a little confused. One minute Kick-Ass is commenting on the shame of three men beating up one while passers-by film it on their mobile phones; the next he is abandoning his life as a super-hero because he’s getting laid.

The fight sequences are good although Hit Girl and Big Daddy both have a tendency to kill people rather lightly and there is no sense of Kick-Ass crossing any sort of moral line when he make his first kill. Moretz does a fantastic job as Hit-Girl and Cage is predictably wooden as Big Daddy, a problem exacerbated by him periodically pretending to be Adam West.

Within these confines the film wanders fairly amiably through its plot, which has no suprises and could happily be about 30 minutes shorter. There’s nothing wrong with the script, or the acting, or the direction, but there’s nothing especially good, either: the film is a pleasant, more-or-less diverting couple of hours, not one to avoid, but probably not one to seek out, either.

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Filed under: Film + TV

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My Bookshelf

The Golden Bough
The Value of Nothing
The Fire
A Wolf at the Table
Devil Bones

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