Friday, May 07, 2010


Dear comic-book blockbusters,

If you are going to be 'ironic' about pathos or 'self-aware' about sentimental plot machinations, please do not just immediately, directly, and shamelessly fulfill the conventions you are being 'ironic' or 'self-aware' about. At least pretend that you're going to do something else. Make the effort to fake us out even if it doesn't work. As it stands, one can see the stilted writing on the screenplay page: "Hit Girl smiles wryly as she blah blah blah."

Also, I would appreciate it if one would either be honest about it, or at least do a better job hiding the fact that your film is really a preview for your next film. Bald, shameless promotion in itself is almost refreshing because it's rare ... everyone (like this movie Kick-Ass) has to dress up their bullshit in layers of sonic rapture & slo-mo.

The fact that you made a movie that so deeply involved an 11-year-old girl in bloody violence is, however, commendable.




Jaime said...

Well, I liked it a lot. Why CAN'T a movie have it both ways?

The director's last picture, STARDUST, is also really good.

Didn't you at least dig Nic Cage?

Jaime said...

I liked this film for these reasons:

1) Matthew Vaughn has an eye for the frame. Not the "comic book" frame, and I was indifferent to the "shoot-'em-up game" POV shot when hit-girl wastes Bad Guys while wearing night vision goggles, but regular old composition. Rectangles, diagonals, etc. He also doesn't dwell on his "ironic" content. When the head villain shoots down an innocent bystander, he doesn't close in with a "wasn't that FUCKED UP?!" nod to the audience. He moves on.

2) It was gratifying as hell. I saw it with an audience that was high on the film and totally engaged - a galvanizing experience.

3) While it sends up / I suppose critiques the comic book conventions, it doesn't seem ashamed of them, either. I suppose that's why I give it carte blanche in wanting to "have it both ways." Unlike a lot of my friends who've pinched their noses at KICK-ASS in reviews and whatnot, I enjoy its eager double-dipping as one might enjoy a well-executed heist or elaborate con. It's possible for a mark to enjoy the con as much as the spectator. That's how I felt with KICK-ASS, and it was all the more wonderful for being a once-in-a-blue-moon experience.

ZC said...

Theoretically a movie can have it both ways, I'll agree, but I'm not inclined to argue on behalf that this film deserves it. I do think that, minute-to-minute it's generally entertaining, but even as I watching the film I kept having to brush away my short-term memory just to enjoy each individual scene. (The things it does well seem like things a movie would have to do well at. A young girl who murders without remorse and calls criminals 'cunts'? Well of course Hit Girl is a crowd-pleaser! In a bad movie - even in a much worse movie than this - one would get a kick out of a character like Hit Girl just because she provides something to get a kick out of.) I think the worst moment [SPOILER?] might have been when Kick-Ass is narrating something like, 'Don't be a smartass and act like we'll be OK just because I'm narrating this movie. Didn't you see Sin City? Sunset Boulevard? American Beauty?' I had to roll my eyes - the gesture was utterly superfluous, and weakened the sequence because the viewer's supposed "smartassness" is proven to be completely warranted!

As for Cage - he was OK.

Haven't seen Stardust (or Layer Cake).

Simon said...

Layer Cake is awesome, Stardust is acceptable. Everybody gets one, Vaughn.

Jon Hastings said...

I recommend the original comic book. The plotting is shaggier and the whole thing feels a lot less calculated.

Anonymous said...

you know how ben stiller will sometimes mispronounce a 'big' word on purpose...That's what this movie was like...except not even as funny as ben stiller.

Jamie, you should keep in mind that you are giving vaughn credit for not 'dwelling' on an innocent bystander getting shot.

How much lower should we set the bar?

Incidentally this all reminds me of rivette's take on kapo.

Jaime said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Rivette comment on KAPO without seeing it?

@ Anon. - Not wallowing in the casual brutality of the moment is low? Not sure we will agree on how to apply the term. Maybe if you read a bit more of what I said rather than commenting on a simulacrum of my remarks that you yourself created, we could get somewhere. Else.

@ Zach - I wish I was as eloquent in the defense of the film, but I think Vaughn has talent. Not an extraordinary one, but he's impressed me mightily with two films to date.

Noel Vera enjoyed K-A as well, and he's certainly no drooling Hollywood spectator-drone. His review is up on Critic After Dark.

traxus4420 said...

this movie was a piece of cynical bullshit. thanks zach for saying it.

Anonymous said...

@ jaime

I liked this film for these reasons:

1) After helping to write the screenplay which Included 'casual brutality' Vaughn didn't dwell on those things which he created in the first place.

2) I liked the movie. Others that I watched it with liked it too.

3) I've heard some girls actually enjoy being raped.

Even this, isn't necessarily misrepresentative.

P.S. I can't remember why I brought it up in the first place but I think you're thinking about this and not this.

watch movies said...

I liked this movie a lot. My friends are convincing me not to watch this movie because they found it worse. When I watched this movie I found that my friends are totally and wrong and they have made a wrong interpretation about this movie.