Kiddy Kill Bill
Those two glorious words ring in my ears as I sit down to watch Kick-Ass, the latest comic book adaptation to get the big screen Hollywood treatment. These are the words Roger Ebert, the messiah of film criticism used to describe the film. If only the marketing department had the foresight to include Mr Ebert’s quote on every poster, trailer and TV spot promoting the movie, Kick-Ass could have broken box office records. An endorsement like that is priceless in today’s rather dull and predictable film landscape.
I don’t know about you, but there is no better way to assure my ass will be first in line buying a ticket than to describe a movie as “Morally Reprehensible”. Overused film-critic phrases like, “The Must-see film of the year”, “Oscar worthy performances” or “A real crowd-pleaser” don’t seem to get bums on seats anymore. “Winner of 14 Academy Awards, including Best Picture!”…meh..so what? Is that the best you can do? What else have you got for me? “This film is morally reprehensible!” Whoa, this I gotta see. You can count me in. “Suzie, hold all my calls”. Sign me up. I’m down.
Call me shallow, call me shameless…hell, you can even call me “Morally Reprehensible”. It aint about that. Like most of you, I have become increasingly tired of modern-day, pedestrian movie making. These flash-in-the-pan, over-hyped buzz films that try to lure me by wearing their candy-colored, 3D-laced frilly jumpsuits and their over-the-top, big-name-celebrity emblazoned knickers – they just tend to leave me unsatisfied. These films are usually so disposable, safe and lifeless that by the time you’ve brushed the popcorn crumbs off your chest and stood up to leave the theater, you’ve forgotten what you’ve just watched.
Kick-Ass is a blast. It’s fun and silly in all the right places. Sure, it’s bloody, and yes, sometimes it is excessive in its portrayal of violence, but it always keeps its comic-book tone, separating it from being disturbing or unsettling. This is firmly ingrained in fantasy. It isn’t a kids film, it is simply a film with kids in it. If you don’t think kids should watch it, don’t let your kids watch it. It’s always been that simple.
Perhaps Kick -Ass really is worthy of being deemed “Morally Reprehensible”. Is that such a bad thing? This is cinema. Some of the most brilliant films ever made drift into morally reprehensible territory. Like all art-forms, films are supposed to challenge us. If they didn’t, our multiplex’s would be full of Jennifer Aniston/Katherine Heigl romantic comedies playing non-stop across twenty-five screens every day of the week.
…..and as far as I’m concerned, THAT would be morally reprehensible.
By Adam Fay
Read more film reviews by Adam at http://iseefilms.wordpress.com