Thursday, April 29, 2010

Movie Review: Kick Ass

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How many grandparents dragged their grandkids out of “KickAss” within the first 20 minutes when they realized this kid’s movie about kids playing superhero is really not kid’s movie at all. Oh sure, it’s got an ‘R’ rating, but I’ve seen way to many toddlers at R movies, with their grandparents, to think that keeps the little ones out. So I want to be clear – do NOT bring your children to see “Kick Ass”. They will forever be warped, their brain chemistry will change. They’ll want to dress up in a green SCUBA suit and try to beat up drug dealers and get themselves put into an ER unit – JUST LIKE THE MOVIE. (I know I did). For this is an insane film. Not clinically insane, not pejoratively insane, but the good kind of insane: wacky, out there, left field, original. Yeah, if at last I’ve seen an original comic book film, this is the one.

So, if you can leave your children and sensibilities behind, this is a thoroughly fantastic film. I don’t believe I’ve been this entertained since “District 9” and “Inglorious Basterds”. Really. “Kick Ass” is unexpectedly, inexplicably good. I should be so offended by this film: the endangerment of children, the vigilantism, the ultra, ultra violence, blood freakin’ everywhere, giant microwaves, Nicolas Cage, and awful stereotypes. Then they’re all taken en masse, spun on their heads, and up pops a sincere moment of tenderness, a clever bit of kind humor, romantic love, and of all things, a story of dad and daughter taking on a hostile world. In short, by the third act you care about the characters. And if I care, then I love a film – even if the daddy and daughter I care about take on the hostile world with creative knife work and shooting the bad guys in the head.

If you’re looking for morals, they ran screaming toward the exits with the grandparents.

And oh what a third act. If along the way, you thought, this movie may be the craziest thing you have ever seen, two kids proceed to … well, you’ll just have to see it. It reminded me of a John Woo film like “Face/Off” where there’a slow motion gun ballet, bodies flying, birds flying off to nowhere for no reason, a dissonant song underplaying the action like “twinkle twinkle little star”, bad guys in suits, good guys in capes, and a whole lot of paper and junk floating around. A visual feast of violent chaos and somehow it is both bloody and beautiful.

And completely messes with your head.

Clearly, “Kick Ass” is not, and isn’t meant to be, for everyone. It is, I kid you not, a coming sign of the Apocalypse. But if I were you, go see it, and just don’t tell anybody, except maybe your priest. “Kick Ass” will be playing this weekend at Gross Alaska Glacier Cinema in the Valley. This is Clint Farr, concerned for his soul, and Alone at the Movies.