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Reviewers divided about characters in newest superhero film

April 23, 2010

Kick-Ass was very different from what I expected it to be. That’s not to say it was horrible, but it certainly wasn’t as great as it could’ve been. Kick-Ass is Dave Livewski, a regular high school student who loves comic books. One day he is inspired by all these comic books to become Kick-Ass, a superhero with no powers. Later, he is joined by Red Mist, Hit Girl and her father Big Daddy and they form a vigilante team, fighting drug dealers and vandals.

The previews showed the film on a primarily humorous side. There was humor, but there was a lot more serious action and brutal violence. There was something disturbing about seeing an 11-year-old-girl kill 10 or so people within five minutes, as well as watching her get beat up by a grown man.

The beginning of the film was actually a lot like what i had expected: a teenager becoming a superhero while getting beat up quite a bit with no real powers to protect him. The beginning was humorous and refreshing, showing that anyone can try to be a superhero, but there will most definitely be some drawbacks.

The acting in the film was good, but the characters were strange. Big daddy and Hit Girl were two of the strangest characters that I’ve seen in a film in a long time. Big daddy, played wonderfully by Nicholas Cage, is a father hellbent on avenging the death of his wife and will stop at nothing, even enlisting his young daughter as part of his army. At first, seeing the character give his daughter weapons is humorous, but soon after it becomes quite disturbing.

When Kick-Ass gets involved with Big Daddy and Hit Girl, the film starts to go in a different direction. Big Daddy and Hit Girl attempt to show Kick-Ass how “real” superheroes run things, by killing large numbers of people with no mercy. This is when the film begins to contradict itself. What was supposed to make Kick-Ass so great and different from other superhero films, was that it was realistic. Big Daddy and Hit Girl were nothing like any real people one would ever come across. By taking this turn for the worst, the film that was supposed to be so different from all the other super-hero flicks became just another unrealistic super-hero film.

The action sequences were definitely well-choreographed, but very graphic and usually disturbing, as most of them involved a young girl cutting people’s throats or killing them. One of the things that set the movie apart from other superhero films is that the heroes killed the bad guys with no hesitation -- and they didn’t just kill the central bad guys, they killed everyone else in the room. Certainly there have been many superhero films where the audience would be fully pleased with the bad guy getting killed, but how many deaths, if any, are justified at the hand of a hero?

The deliberate and sometimes irrational killing sprees by the so-called heroes of the film left me wondering at times if I was rooting for the right team. It seemed that the good guys killed more people than the bad guys in the film.

Kick-Ass was definitely a fun and action-packed film, but was not marketed in the right way and could’ve been so much better. If only it hadn’t gotten so caught up with unrealistic things, like brutal violence at the hands of a young girl and far-fetched characters, it wouldn’t have completely contradicted the point that it was trying to make. We can all be superheroes to some extent, but to be honest, we wouldn’t be very good at it. Kick-Ass is only set in reality for the first half hour or so, and everything else is a wild super-hero ride that doesn’t really have anything new or realistic to offer.

Natalie Conrad is a junior journalism and marketing communications major and French minor. She enjoys running,reading, writing, playing guitar, and traveling.