Monday, April 26, 2010
Did you notice the big controversy that erupted with the release of the R-rated super-hero film "Kick-Ass" from UK director Matthew (Layer Cake) Vaughn? Famous film critic Roger Ebert gave it one star and a big fat thumbs down for being "morally reprehensible" due to the movie's portrayal of an 11-year old girl as a ruthless superhero assassin.
With such a brouhaha, I couldn't wait to see it! So, when my son Dave invited my wife and me to a matinee, I jumped. And found Kick-Ass quite entertaining!
To sum up the main plot, Hit Girl (who steals the show) is on a mission, with her father Big Daddy (played by the ever watchably nutty Nic Cage), to take down a local crime boss who was responsible for the death of her mother.
As for Roger Ebert's objections, the movie is clearly a cartoon style revenge flick much like Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill where a female hero slays a legion of evil men in her quest for the Big Bad Guy.
Have we ever seen a young girl character in a movie like this?
In discussing Kick-Ass afterward with my son Dave, he said it reminded him of the excellent anime film Princess Mononoke, a mythical saga about preserving the elemental spirit of nature, which features a young girl as the fierce killing machine that will stop at nothing to achieve her goal of defending the forest from those who would destroy it.
Though Kick-Ass is a hoot of an action flick, there is more going on. For me, the film is saying something profound about the shaping influence that Fathers have on their Children. By the end of the film, both the crime boss and Big Daddy have "birthed" super-hero children who may come back in sequels to do battle again.