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Moriarty Looks Into The Future Of Superhero Films With A KICK-ASS Script Review!

Hey, everyone. “Moriarty” here. It’s no secret that I’ve been fond of the work of Matthew Vaughn so far. I think LAYER CAKE is a bad-ass little crime film that perfected the formula Guy Ritchie and Vaughn created in LOCK, STOCK & TWO SMOKING BARRELS and SNATCH. STARDUST is a lovely, wacko fantasy that did a nice job of capturing Neil Gaiman’s voice on film, something that has been long overdue.

And right now in London, as that photo of Nic Cage confirms, Vaughn has started production on the film that will absolutely confirm his status as a cult god, and which may well break him through to mainstream success in a very real and quantifiable way. If WANTED, a nihilistic gun-freak wet dream that was little more than a cobbled-together ripoff of THE MATRIX and FIGHT CLUB, could do the business it did this summer, then KICK-ASS has a chance at being something even bigger.

The movie is already generating fan sites, and the comic has created a genuine buzz even among people who don’t normally read comics. A friend of mine ranted and raved to me recently about how great the comic is so far, and when I started asking him questions about it, he went pale. I guess the script covers more ground than the comic has so far, and I inadvertently spoiled some things for him. As Jane Goldman and Vaughn wrote the script adaptation, they had direct access to Millar, who told them where he was headed with the story, even as he reacted to some of their impulses, building them into the comic and refiguring some of what he had in mind. As I said, though, I haven’t read the comic. I’m more of a trade paperback guy than a month-to-month guy with comics these days... just the way I prefer to read them, like a guy who only watches TV shows as box sets on DVD. So when I talk about the storyline or the characters below, realize I’m referring to the script, which may not match the book exactly. I’m excited. I think this is exactly the sort of new take on the genre that audiences are going to enjoy because, finally, they’ve reached that tipping point. They’ve seen enough traditional takes on superhero fare over the last decade, and I think the pump is primed. They’re ready for the conventions of the genre to be twisted, inverted, destroyed outright.

That’s the start of the script. We see this kid suiting up. Same voice-over narration. And then... there’s a painful reveal that we're not watching what we think we are, and we’re off and running with Dave Lezewski. He’s a normal kid. As he describes himself, acutely normal. And he’s just trying to make it through high school with some dignity intact. It’s written with a frankness that would give Sony a heart attack if this were SPIDER-MAN. Dave and his friends Todd and Marty are very real, very profane. Normal. Average. There’s a girl. Of course. Katie Deauxma. And he isn’t even on her radar. And he’s got superheroes on the brain. He knows he isn’t one, but that doesn’t stop him from ordering a wet suit and a ski mask and dressing up in front of a mirror. Fantasizing about being a hero. Wanting it. And then about fifteen pages in, Mindy Macready and her father Damon are introduced. And from the moment they arrive, the film is obviously not playing by any rules that any studio would allow. Mindy’s 11 years old. And her daddy is training her. Making her dangerous. For a purpose. Their introductory scene is really scary and crazy, and it will shake an audience when they see it. They’ll be awake after that if they weren’t already. Their relationship in general is like THE PROFESSIONAL PART II, if Gary Oldman’s character hadn’t come back. If Leon and Matilda had kept going. Getting better at what they do. And when you see their origin story, told in the form of a homemade hand-drawn comic, it's wrenching. It's a twist on the traditional way heroes are created in comics, but awful and sad in a way no major publisher would dare. And then Dave decides to do it himself. Just start doing it. Going out at night. Learning how to run and jump and get from rooftop to rooftop. He’s a kid. He’s got no powers at all. But he’s determined. And more than anything, he loses himself in the fun of it. The kick of doing something he dreams about. The reality of it is a chemical thrill for this kid. And it’s fun for about three pages. Until Dave ends up in the hospital. Seriously fucked up. Hit by a car and stabbed in the stomach fucked up. And he ends up filled with metal. Pins and plates and a rod. His head. His arm. His leg. You’d think that would stop him, but Dave is wired to do this and nothing else. He’s got no choice. So he goes out again, and this time, when he gets in a fight, he’s able to give some punishment back. And this fight gets recorded and shows up on YouTube...
... and then Dave opens a MySpace page so people can find him, and he starts to catch on. People start to really root for this guy. And reach out to him. And believe in him. Even Mindy, watching his viral videos, hearing about him, can’t help but admire his actions. She may be a deadly little robot, but she reacts to Kick-Ass’s raw bullheaded courage. Her father may not be a fan, but she is. And the way their paths eventually cross, the point my friend tells me is the end of issue #3, comes around the halfway mark in the script. And it’s a stunner...

... more proof that no studio in town would know how to actually make this film while leaving it intact. Vaughn knows. And Vaughn’s smart, working outside the system and owning a piece of the film. If you can raise the bank to do something like this, something radical, and you can own a piece of it in the meantime... that’s real filmmaking power. I think being a producer first has made Vaughn very good at getting a project off the ground. Once it’s airborne, he’s able to focus on actually making the movie, and I’m dying to see how he interprets this sort of comic book “real” that John Romita Jr.’s using for the book. Mark Millar seems to be intimately involved in the production at the moment, and that’s interesting. It seems like a really close collaboration with someone whose work you’re adapting on the part of Vaughn and Goldman. I like the boy-girl stuff in the movie, the way Dave gets close to Katie when she misinterprets something and starts to think of him as her “gay friend.” It’s funny, but it’s not played as a THREE’S COMPANY-style joke. It’s more about the agony of finally being close to the person you want, but unable to close the distance of that last few inches. Another thing I really like in the script is the way the main bad guy, a drug lord named Frank, has a son the same age as Dave. Chris is a quiet kid who keeps to himself, and he wants nothing more than to be a part of his father’s business. When his father becomes obsessed with finding Kickass and killing him, Chris finally sees a way to make his father notice him. He volunteers to hunt Kickass down himself, and to do so, he takes on the character of another vigilante named The Red Mist. This is the role that Chris Mintz-Passe is playing, and it seems to me that this is make or break for him. If it works, he’ll be able to shake McLovin’, and if it doesn’t, then he’s McLovin’ for life. I think it’s a hell of a role as written. They all are, though. That’s the thing. The reason this really works isn’t because it’s a clever deconstruction of a genre. It’s because of the intensity of feeling that each of these characters has been brought to life with, the heightened emotion of the piece. It works because you feel the impact of every choice, every scene. And the kids in the film talk like real kids. It's savvy writing precisely because it's not more clever than reality in every single scene. People make bad choices. There are awkward moments that strike me as very close to how things would really play out. It's just grounded, solid character writing at every turn. Nic Cage has been circling various superhero properties for years now, famously almost playing Superman at one point. He’s such a comic fan he even named his kid Kal-El. For him to play Big Daddy seems karmically correct to me. Big Daddy was born of tragedy, but he took his identity from comics, just like Dave does. In fact, you could even view KICK-ASS as a wry commentary on comic fans in general. There’s something really rich bubbling just under the surface of this one, even as outrageous set pieces and broad dramatic flourishes play out. The climax of the script is genuinely tense, and the violence throughout is so grim that there’s little chance you’ll mistake this for just another comic book movie. The stakes are high here, and if Kick-Ass or Big Daddy or any of the others are going to live to that last page, they’re going to have to stop living in a fantasy and deal with some harsh, harsh realities. And as a big fan of SHAOLIN SOCCER's lyrical ending images, I was moved deeply by the way Vaughn wraps it all up. He may paint a dark picture of human nature here, but he has faith that we are capable of more, of genuine good, and that's a hell of a way to leave an audience. I’m hoping to head over to either London or Toronto while they’re shooting this one so I can bring you some impressions from the set. I have a feeling when it finally hits next year, it will be seen as a fascinating bookend to WATCHMEN. If superhero movies finally grew up this year with THE DARK KNIGHT, then next year it looks like they’re going to go completely insane. And I can’t wait.

Drew McWeeny, Los Angeles

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 18, 2008, 3:22 a.m. CST

    Glad to see Mori putting his heart and soul into it

    by JackRabbitSlim

    Certainly do't always agree with Drew - the Coen's as Superman is ... um ... no ... but he does argue with exuberance and i respect that kind of passion. Even for a funny book adaptation.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 3:22 a.m. CST


    by Dangkok_Bangerous

    Very excited for this. What a great time to be a comic fan.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 3:26 a.m. CST


    by Mr. Lahey

    This sounds quite awesome. Is it currently an ongoing series, or are there a set number of issues lined up to be released?

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 3:35 a.m. CST

    ...Afterall....We are ALL Heroes....

    by DarfurOnTheRocks

    This comic smacks too much of the sentiment that we all have a hero inside of us. I am not too sure that this is a fresh idea anymore.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 3:56 a.m. CST

    could you provide us with an Amazon link?

    by newc0253

    isn't that what AICN does now?

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 3:57 a.m. CST

    thats looks soooo coool!

    by deanbarry

    Hopefully the return to from for Nic Cage!

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 3:57 a.m. CST


    by deanbarry

    I meant to say Form...dagnabbit!

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 4:05 a.m. CST

    Mark Millar is the CO-Creator

    by Midnightxpress

    Of Kick-Ass. A lot of the success is down to John Romita-Jr. Hopefully Millar can give this one the ending it deserves as he often struggles to deliver in the 3rd Act (see Wanted, Civil War)

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 4:19 a.m. CST

    Make sure you only post positive reviews from now on

    by Mr. Moe

    That way you don't have to waste your time apologizing for the negative ones anymore.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 4:22 a.m. CST

    Studios are pushing other genres now...

    by alexpaknadel

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 4:24 a.m. CST


    by ViktorBC

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 4:30 a.m. CST

    Nic Cage is gash

    by Mr_P

    therefore this will be rubbish

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 4:30 a.m. CST

    What I mean is...

    by alexpaknadel

    this will reflect the housing market bubble. Oversaturation followed by swift abandonment. It's getting ridiculous now. It's NOT a great time to be a comic fan, principally because the medium's being treated as a cheap franchise bank. It's being exploited and everyone's fine with that. Comics are being *written* cinematically, and I kind of like Morrison's approach, which is that Hollywood should have to WORK FOR IT if they want to do an adaptation. His stuff (and Alan Moore's) uses the full versatility of the medium to tell stories that are radically untranslatable to any other medium. I can't wait for a new generation of creators who can't wait to vault over to Hollywood to come through. As with the nineties production-line approach, I can't wait for this fad to burn itself out. That isn't to say comics shouldn't be filmed (or won't be), but hopefully Hollywood will be a little more restrained. What is it, 300 comic-based movies in some stage of production? Joe Public will run screaming very soon.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 4:32 a.m. CST


    by alexpaknadel

    Sorry, I meant creators who aren't obsessed with vaulting over to Hollywood. My bad.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 4:32 a.m. CST


    by ViktorBC

    Take it easy! Hey if you don't like Cage, that's fine. He's playing a badguy (to some degree). You're not supposed to like him anyway. Also, Romita does some of his best work here it just seems right for this particular project.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 4:36 a.m. CST

    Don't mess with Romita Jr.

    by alexpaknadel

    Have you SEEN the guy? He's like a human car crusher.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 4:57 a.m. CST

    you left out the quote from that picture...

    by jason baum

    where lil hit girl calls the room of gangsters who she is slaughtering a bunch of 'cunt's'!!!!! how could you forget that?!?! this film is shaping up to be everything i hoped for 'wanted', and all the heart 'kick-ass'deserves. 'kick-ass' is not just an excersize in violence, as there are truly some moving and heartwrenching scenes/characters that we've met in the 4 issues so far. i was paranoid that it would turn into another stupid shoot-em/kill-em up (wanted!), but Vaughn is the man, and i have nothing but faith. cage and that 'stache' are badass as well.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 5:08 a.m. CST

    Holy Shit

    by javery56

    I cant wait, this sounds insane. I hope you keep us updated on Superman status...

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 5:12 a.m. CST


    by ironic_name


  • Sept. 18, 2008, 5:20 a.m. CST


    by javery56

    Since when did chopping dudes skulls in half become tame?

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 5:39 a.m. CST

    did any one else notice the paragraph

    by hesky75

    And as a big fan of SHAOLIN SOCCER's lyrical ending images, I was moved deeply by the way Vaughn wraps it all up. He may paint a dark picture of human nature here, but he has faith that we are capable of more, of genuine good, and that's a hell of a way to leave an audience. DID YOU NOT WATCH THE DARK KNIGHT!!!!? are you not describing the end of that film!!?

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 5:46 a.m. CST

    Nic Cage as(insert role here)

    by Stuntcock Mike

    Keep 'em coming Nicky. Bad Lt.NOW!

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 5:58 a.m. CST

    Kick-Ass will Kick-Ass

    by masteryoda007

    nuff said

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 6:13 a.m. CST

    Cage's hair looks less fake than usual

    by pokadoo

    Is that a sign that the film will be good? Like Bruce Willis with a Baldy = good (Exept Die Hard 4, which kills that theory).

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 6:17 a.m. CST

    Cage is coming back

    by masteryoda007

    I have a good feeling about this one. Nic Cage is in good hands with Vaughn and Goldman and I cant wait to see the results ththey come up with.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 6:25 a.m. CST

    I won't believe any of this until I've heard it from the tits of

    by JethroBodine

    It's not true unless ScriptGirl says it's true!

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 6:44 a.m. CST

    youtube video

    by mynemaborat

    whats with the youtube video?? is that from the movie, is it real or just a prank?

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 7 a.m. CST

    Did anyone read this?

    by TroutMaskReplicant

    At, by Robert Sanchez: "Matthew Vaughn was first attached to direct Thor for Marvel Studios but just as was the case with X-Men 3, Vaughn has left the building. Which, in my humble opinion and considering the lack of money that both of his previous films - Layer Cake and Stardust - have been able to bring to Hollywood, it's a good thing" . He's playing to the beancounting "suit" crowd, it's vile. Well watch me play to the geek crowd. Read this as well:

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 7:02 a.m. CST

    javery56, since millar did it to shock.

    by ironic_name

    mynemaborat, viral done for the book.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 7:12 a.m. CST

    don't mind me or my bitterness

    by ironic_name

    if this rocks your socks, I should probably be pleased because it reminds me of my own ideas.. as an example, i heard the main character has a plate in his head, but the thing of having metal throughout his skeleton? <P> I just slapped this mock-up together for an idea a few of us talkbackers had, <P> FROM A CONCEPT I HAD LIKE, TEN YEARS AGO! <P> but kickass will be kickass, I'm sure.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 7:13 a.m. CST

    "I just slapped this mock-up together"

    by ironic_name

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 7:21 a.m. CST

    mynemaborat, the youtube vid

    by Shadow Warrior

    is fictional, created by the ummm... creators. There's also a fictional myspace account. Check out wikipedia.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 7:38 a.m. CST

    The Time Is Right

    by Brian

    This will push the boundaries. If everyone is weeping and wailing over Dakota Fanning doing a rape scene... how will they feel about a 12 year old girl with a sword chopping people pieces at her fathers behest? I wonder exactly how rough the violence will be.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 7:38 a.m. CST

    Doesn't really sound that good, Mori

    by Theta

    Then again, the comic is pretty much standard Millar: nothing original about it except the bluster. Pretty much it's just the Spider-Man origin without the powers and more gay jokes.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 7:39 a.m. CST

    cage sucks

    by mcdowell_32000

    captain corelli's mandolin

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 7:50 a.m. CST

    NO, NOT THE BEES...!

    by Nasty In The Pasty

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 8 a.m. CST

    One of Those Wish I'd Thought of It Concepts

    by cowboyone

    Cannot wait for this one. Vaughn & Millar is a great pairing.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 8:04 a.m. CST

    And you'll ALL be guilty!!!

    by Thrillho77


  • Sept. 18, 2008, 8:21 a.m. CST

    this feels very influenced by Watchmen

    by Cap'n Jack

    I guess any 'real person making a costume and being super hero' would...

  • <p>And 50% more 'cunts'. That's all this is.</p> <p>WANTED intrigued me, so I gave it a try. It was one of my biggest disappointments. Unlikeable, unidentifiable characters I didn't give a damn about -- yes, they're villains, but that shouldn't matter -- and it read like the worst excesses of adolescent fanfic.</p> <p>Thought I'd give the movie the benefit of the doubt. Despite their changing the story, Bekmambetov and the scriptwriters managed to faithfully translate...everything I found wrong with the graphic novel. To hell with these characters. 0-2.</p> <p>The comic has not impressed me. But I loved STARDUST, so I am holding out faint hope that the people on this film may find something worthwhile in this. I'm willing to try for them.</p>

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 8:33 a.m. CST

    I found the comic boring

    by Animation

    Occasionally everybody else gets excited about something, and you read it, and just come out bored. I guess I missed something, but based on my lack of enjoyment of the comic, I'll be skipping this one.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 8:46 a.m. CST

    I hope to head over to Toronto soon, too.

    by DerLanghaarige

    But just because Toronto fucking rocks! :)

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Post-Modern Superhero movie

    by bluebottle

    I wonder if the Superhero movie has peaked with Dark Knight, and then Watchmen next summer will only solidify that. By the time this comes out, audiences may be sick of the conceit. I hope I'm wrong.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 9:10 a.m. CST

    Let the Superhero backlash begin!

    by DEX

    I can already hear the protests about a movie featuring kids gruesomely killing people. I still haven't made up my mind about the comic since it's not finished yet. It seems like Millar wants it both ways, he wants it realistic with a normal kid who plays superhero and gets his ass kicked but then you have some super ninja girl slicing everyone up. I think Vaughan and Millar are both quite talented though, and I'll check it out for sure.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 9:11 a.m. CST

    Superhero movies didn't need to grow up

    by Star Hump

    The problem is that time and time again filmmakers refuse to honor the source material, refuse to try and even understand what make those classic comics work so well. They can't see past their egos. They cherry pick bits here and there, and then make up the rest. The general public doesn't know any better. They don't know that they're being sold a load of shit every time another character or group is adapted for film. They want to see these superheroes, they want to take the ride, and so they line up in droves to catch them in the theater. But they're being ripped off over and over again. This is the rule, and the only exception I can think of at this point is Iron Man. Just think, out of a dozen-plus superhero films in recent years, the only one that truly translated faithfully to the screen was Iron Man. The Dark Knight most certainly did not. I don't know who that guy in the black kevlar suit up on screen was, but it sure wasn't Batman. The same can be said for the Joker. Yet another example of an egomaniacal director putting HIS idea of what the characters are up on screen. Fuck the comics. Fuck the creators that put years of work into creating a viable, thrilling modern mythology. Burton did it. Raimi did it. Singer did it. Snyder did it with 300 and will very likely turn in a shit bomb of a film based on The Watchmen. Every one of these primadonnas missed the mark by a country mile. Superhero films don't need to grow up. They don't need to be deconstructed. They haven't been constructed properly in the first place! No wonder moviegoers are becoming bored with the genre. They've been fed a steady diet of substandard shit. It's a goddamned shame. I'm thankful for directors like Favreau. There's at least one ray of hope. It's just too bad that the way millions of movie fans view superheroes has been forever tarnsished by the execrable adaptations of a legion of Hollywood douchebags.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 9:25 a.m. CST

    You should jump into a time machine...

    by TheLastCleric

    ...and go back about two decades when these concepts were actuallly fresh. As it stands now, people like Millar are simply eating the fumes of guys like Allen Moore and Frank Miller. And that shot of the little girl covered in blood and standing admidst the bodies annoys the fuck outta me for some reason. Maybe it's because it reminds me of all that godawful Manga/Anime where that very same type of image has been recycled about a hundred million times.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 9:25 a.m. CST


    by Tindog42

    Yep it does a bit. At lest my memory of Condorman, film I have not seen since the late 80's. I think Condorman's wings were a bit bigger and more bird-like.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 9:47 a.m. CST

    Holy Fuck... Dickless Cage again?!

    by TheBigLebowsky

    That movie sounds great, if it wasn't for Cage, I'd go see it... I just can't watch that guy... He is such an horrible actor... When will people stop casting him in movies? This movie could have had a chance of scoring big but not with Dickless Cage on the top bill. The guy is such a loser that he named is son Kal-El for fuck's sake! And he named himself after Luke Cage... If he wasn't in the movie business he would be the anoying middle-aged geek nobody wants to talk to at the comic-con... Thanks uncle Francis...

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Does Millar lecture us hicks about race in this one?

    by Frisco

    That was definitely one of the more amusing aspects of Wanted, after all, the ham-handed attempts at depicting race relations in the American workplace. With any luck the "gay friend" element in Kick-Ass provides another avenue for Millar to write down to us poor benighted rednecks, eh? Fucker.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 10:08 a.m. CST

    I can't wait, either.

    by JDanielP

    I hope the ending is as powerful as I imagine it could be.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Stardust was atrocious, Millar's writing even more so

    by drturing

    Stardust was woefully, horribly miscast. It wanted to be The Princess Bride and failed utterly. Everything about it just seemed tone deaf - Gaiman's work tends to leap nimbly from the dark to the humorous often in the same sentence. Stardust never had any sense of menace, the music reminding you of just how wacky fun it all is. And as a coherent piece of direction it was all over the map - the cinematography and production design seemed to be wrestling aloud over what film it was. <p> That said, it trumps Millar's continued career in trumpeting the most juvenile, adolescent fan fiction ideas I've ever come across. His writing reads like someone who binged on Miller and Moore without stopping to think of who Nietzche or Ayn Rand are... His writing reminds me of a trenchcoat wearing teenager who loves Ron Paul, thinks they know what actual weapons do from Counterstrike sessions, watches Fight Club while masturbating twice a week, and holds Kevin Smith as the source of wit in the US.<p> If Kick-ass was at all "real" as he purports it to be, well then the hero would be dead in issue one. If I want a meaningful story about teenagers in america against harsh odds that's "real" i'm gonna rewatch season 4 of the wire, where shit actually matters, not this garbage.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 10:29 a.m. CST

    JDanielP, would that ending be....

    by drturing

    a dipshit like yourself reading about shit online and pretending they know what they're talking about, and then going to aicn talkback to threaten they could kick your ass? yeah, seems like something you'd like.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Deconstructionist comics for 13 year old idiots

    by Olsen Twins_Fan

    Welcome to Kick-Ass! It ain't exactly Watchmen.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 10:58 a.m. CST

    not a "comic book" guy- but this sounds awesome

    by Jugdish

    Can't wait- but the McLovin Factor is a turnoff

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 11:16 a.m. CST

    well written and interesting?

    by maluquiro

    the movie doesn't stay true to the comic at all...

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 11:50 a.m. CST

    QOS Theme On Youtube

    by Rebeck2

    And it's the most god-awful piece of shit you've ever heard!

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 11:55 a.m. CST

    The KICK-ASS comic is sub-par at best

    by slone13

    Pick it up. Read it for yourself. All it's got going for it is some extreme violence. It's really a pretty bad book with some pretty cheesy writing.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 11:59 a.m. CST


    by Robots In Das Guys

    The feedback I've gotten from my five or six KICK-ASS key players confirmed it.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 12:17 p.m. CST

    this script is amazing

    by thewizardofoz

    so subversive and clever. It's unbreakable meets bad Santa, if you can grasp that. Geeks around the world will uproar with laughter when the two leads are driving in their "mobile" and pop in a cd of danny elfman hero themes :). Love it and cannot wait!

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 12:53 p.m. CST

    somebody film The Authority

    by Spartacus Hughs

    or The Filth

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 12:53 p.m. CST

    by SamBlackChvrch21

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 1:06 p.m. CST

    another smart person falls prey to Millars hackery

    by IndustryKiller!

    When are people finally gonna get over his boring post-modern tripe? the man writes almost exclusively for douche bags with the most banal deconstructionist yet uninsightful bullshit in modern times. I've said it a million times before and Ill say it again, look at his work in Civil War. Horrible horrible stuff. Instead of consturctuing something modern and relevant using comic characters he merely took real life situations, cut out the politicians and pasted in superheroes in the most square peg in a round hole way he possibly could. The guy is a bad comic writer, period.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 1:12 p.m. CST

    One more link for ya

    by SamBlackChvrch21

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Isnt Big Daddy Suppose To Be Well, Big?

    by Frodo T. Baggins

    Nice Cage Is Perfect For This However. How old is the actress going to be? I hate how I have been following this comic and the movie keeps leaking parts that arnt in the comic yet. Such is Big Daddy being Sword Girls Dad. I say sword girl because in the comic, she doesnt have a name yet. Also Chis Mintz's character. Didnt know the crime boss had a son. Now I do. And I know hes hired to kill Kick Ass and hes going to get a costume. Sigh. Pumped for the movie. Millar cracked me up when he said Vaughn must be a billionaire and so are his friends for funding this. And if Millar is excited. Then T. Baggins is.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 1:58 p.m. CST

    Sure it DOES sound interesting...

    by DOGSOUP

    ..but this whole script review makes me really want to see The Professional 2.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 2:04 p.m. CST

    If Nic Cage is in it I already hate it.

    by AllPowerfulWizardOfOz

    My least favorite "A" list actor.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 2:07 p.m. CST


    by Tar Heel

    I loved the movie and subsequently read Gaiman's book. This is not usually the case, but I felt the movie was much better. There are whole passages of the book that just gloss over months of adventures. Plus, DeNiro's Captain Shakespeare was a hoot.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Frodo T. Baggins

    by SamBlackChvrch21

    Sword Girl is actually referred to as Hit-Girl in Issue #4.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 2:29 p.m. CST

    I'm sorry...

    by xsi kal

    ...I've read the first three issues of the comic, and I just don't get the appeal. I don't think it's horrible, but it just comes across as over-the-top and bombastic, like most of Millar's work.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Millar has written some good comic books...

    by Lord John Whorfin

    but Kick Ass isn't one of them. It's fanboy wish-fulfillment masturbation dreck. Millar, and Bendis, can only operate in Grant Morrison's wake. And they know it. Let me know when they make a film out of Peter Milligan's brilliant X-Force/X-Statixs.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Nic Cage is not an action star!

    by Mattyboy122

    I don't understand how this guy appears in so many action movies as the hero. He's at his best when he's playing quirky, neurotic characters, not buff action heroes.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 2:44 p.m. CST

    the girl with the sword, surrounded by dead

    by blue1622

    OH MY GOD, HOW EDG...oh, wait. Kill Bill vol. 1 came out, what? 5 years ago? That included an anime/comic book back-story for a young girl. <p> Integrating masks into stuff we've already seen isn't innovative. Putting a mask and cape on Tyler Durden isn't going to make him more interesting.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Well, if Hancock and Watchmen don't kill the Superhero movie...

    by Smerdyakov

    this will do it. What's next, a super-hero movie featuring Klans-Man?

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 2:55 p.m. CST

    Mark Millar and fully fleshed out characters?

    by hst666

    I assume those come from Vaughan and Goldman. If not, I may pick this up in trade form. Mark Millar writes some interesting stuff sometimes, but it tends toward the superficial.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 2:56 p.m. CST


    by hst666

    I completely agree with your assessment of Cage, but is he playing an action guy here. I don't know. Have not read it.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 3:17 p.m. CST

    The Problem With Millar

    by The Funketeer

    He's working for the wrong company. He's a DC boy working in a Marvel world. I like his writing but nothing he's done at Marvel has come close to his work at DC. Kick Ass is fun and I'm looking forward to the movie but it would be nice if someone here at AICN pretended to know something about comics by talking about someone other than Millar.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Sounds like shit to me...

    by jackalcack

    ...and not the convention defying masterpiece Moriarty was banging on about. The kid getting beaten shitless and ending up in hospital the first time he goes out on patrol is straight out of Miller's Batman Year One. The rest of it, as someone else here mentioned is Spiderman without the superpowers and a huge dose of Watchmen thrown in too. In other words a mish mash of loads of much better stuff, all of which came out more that 20 years ago. Adding the word 'cunt' on every page won't change that.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 3:24 p.m. CST

    Nic Cage is a great actor in the right roles

    by hst666

    Matchstick Men, Leaving Las Vegas, Honeymoon in Vegas, Raising Arizona, Adaptation, Bringing out the Dead - all great performances. He should not be the lead in a serious thriller or an action movie, because he is way too over the top in those roles.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Nic Cage? Uh... no.

    by Drunken Rage

    Color me not there.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 4:20 p.m. CST

    If you think Millar had an ego before....

    by terry1978

    Hollywood is literally on his dick as of late...not metaphorically, either,

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 4:30 p.m. CST

    So, is the comic still running...

    by The Dum Guy

    Or can you get a hardcover compilation on Amazon or sumthin?

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 4:43 p.m. CST

    Layercake was wonderful but his second outing was

    by GQtaste

    a major backfire. I had huge expectations for Stardust and it was terrible.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 5:29 p.m. CST

    Millar is nothing special

    by wash

    Wanted (the film), as mediocre as it was at times, was a 1000x better than the comic, probably because of the director and the rewrites. I'm hoping we'll get the same here. <br><br> The art by Romita, Jr. is by far the best thing about the comic.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 5:54 p.m. CST

    "the film that will absolutely confirm his status as a cult god"


    Uhhhhh no. <p>Just like Stardust was supposed to be this generation's Princess Bride? This film will come and go with a moderate take of 80 million. It shall be forgotten a year after its release. And that pic of Cage is just fucking retarded looking.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 6:36 p.m. CST

    Great article!

    by Aeghast

    Thanks Moriarty

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 6:47 p.m. CST

    Where's Warren Ellis?

    by droog

    That someone like Millar sees his vapid wankwork elevated to big-budget while the brilliance of someone like Warren Ellis remains (mostly) unproduced is criminal. KICK-ASS isn't a risk, it's just hyped rubbish. Ellis' BLACK SUMMER would be a risk. One I'd much prefer to see.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 6:49 p.m. CST

    Invincible has SO MUCH more to offer...

    by Immortal_Fish

    Yes, I'd like to see this in movie form. However, Invincible issues 1-13 is the next logical progression for superhero cinema IMO. Let's enjoy a little pubescent Death Wish before diving head-first into prenatal Pulp Fiction, please.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 6:50 p.m. CST

    kick ass is a damn good comic

    by Illinest

    and i recommend you read it yourself. it's unfortunate that there's a few talkbackers trying to pigeonhole it into whatever genre they think it's derivative of. It's not a comic that's violent for the sake of violence. I didn't interpret it that way at all. There's an understanding that being a superhero in the real world would be a violent exercise and violence is therefore an element of story.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 7:30 p.m. CST

    Well I guess I don't have

    by Series7

    To finish the comic now. Mort just gave away the whole thing.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 8 p.m. CST

    I second Invincible as...

    by Lord John Whorfin

    completely awesome.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 8:26 p.m. CST

    Who cares.

    by VegasRon

    Whenever I hear Cage's name attached to anything, I immediately tune out.<p> I will, however, watch the trailer to see what new wig he's sporting.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 8:31 p.m. CST

    I'm in

    by A-COD

    Sounds good, Cage owes us one for Ghost Rider. I still say the most distracting special effect in that movie was Cage's hairpiece. Here's hoping it's Adaptation Cage that shows up and not Wicker Man Cage.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 9:09 p.m. CST

    If Oscar Wao put on a super hero costume...

    by jackson healy

    ...You'd have KICK ASS! Great review, Mori. And you're right, it will be the metaphorical bookend to WATCHMEN. Millar's the best thing since early Garth Ennis (Hellblazer, Preacher). I've gotta get a hold of this script!

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 9:16 p.m. CST

    ColWTH - read Watchmen, Gaiman's Sandman, Miller's Dark Knight R

    by jackson healy

    ...pure literature!

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 9:18 p.m. CST

    ...Dark Knight Returns, and Moore's Swamp

    by jackson healy

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 9:19 p.m. CST

    ...And Moore's Swamp Thing...

    by jackson healy finish my thought! Damn enter key!

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 9:32 p.m. CST

    Droog - that's the point!

    by jackson healy

    Warren Ellis' work isn't as accessible to the general populace. As edgy as Kick Ass will be, it's basically a superhero story told through the prismatic lenses of MySpace and YouTube. Great idea for our times. Personally, I think a lot of Millar's work is brilliant (not all!). Let's hope Ellis' work, especially TRANS MET! - finds its way to the screen soon.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 10:32 p.m. CST

    Jackson Healy

    by The Funketeer

    Ellis isn't accessible to the general populace because he can end a story to save his life. Like Morrison, he's a great idea guy but his works suffer from great beginning and disappointing endings. I think he loses interest in his ideas halfway through his projects sometimes.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 11:25 p.m. CST

    Funketeer - I agree

    by jackson healy

    Sometimes it feels like Ellis bites off a bigger idea than he can chew - which is often the case. One of the reasons I still jizz to early Garth Ennis, who did know how and when to end a story -- eg. Dangerous Habits, his signature Hellblazer arc. Imo, still one of the best story arcs ever. Still, Ellis is a virtual idea factory. Let's hope they can reign it in for a Trans Met adaptation.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 1:21 a.m. CST


    by jmyoung666

    I am sorry, but just because youd id not agree with the ideas presented does not make something not literature. The Watchmen is great 20th century literature, period. <p><p> Let's face facts, anyone who dismisses a whole medium as being inferior is an insecure asshole.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 3:22 a.m. CST

    More overhypeness coming from AICN, What a Surprise

    by The Founder

    It'll make 50-60 mil tops domestically.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 6:23 a.m. CST

    I like Stardust

    by Lost Jarv

    and I'm confused about some of your criticism- It's supposed to be the Princess Bride but isn't menacing? How the fuck was the princess bride menacing. <P>It isn't anywhere near as good as The Princess Bride, though.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 6:54 a.m. CST

    The best "superhero" has already arrived

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 7:29 a.m. CST

    Time for Miller and Rodriguez to greenlight

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    Give Me Liberty.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 8:25 a.m. CST

    Millar is over-rated..

    by m_prevette

    Substitutes bad language and violence for character development or anything that may resemble structure and emotional development arcs.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 8:45 a.m. CST


    by badboymason

    If Millar has to be involved in any big-screen superhero adaptation, let it be Avengers/Ultimates, not Superman.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 8:58 a.m. CST

    "Literature" is an umbrella term anyways...

    by Chishu_Ryu

    I mean, what constitutes "literature" anyhow? Do magazines count as literature? Exploitative pulp and romance novels? Children's books? Non-fiction? Poetry?<p> I suppose the traditional academic meaning of "literature" is a story told in words. If you go with that, graphic novels and comic books aren't really "literature" are they? Lest we forget, visual art makes up about half the content of a comic book, if not more, right? <p> Personally, I'd go with the Marshall MacLuhan angle that they are all forms of MEDIA, all ways of communication. Novels, short stories, non-fiction, movies, television, radio, music, graphic novels, and comic books. Seems they all have a place in the 20th/21st Century. And whether we consider them high brow or low brow, they've all had a significant influence on who and what we are as a culture, I'd say. For my money, I think it probably took as much brain power and creativity and understanding of life and humanity for Daniel Clowes to write and draw "Ghost World" or Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neil to write and draw "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" as it took Raymond Carver or Hunter S. Thompson to write their stories.<p> Purely visual art (such as painting, sculpture, etc) and purely written art (such as poetry, novels, short stories) have been around for centuries. Comic books and movies have only been around for a short while as they were products of the Industrial Revolution. They are still new, and thus, are still growing as an art form. Perhaps when and if colleges start offering 20th century comic book history classes and sequential art as a major they'll get a little more due? <p> In the end, I suppose you have to ask, what constitutes high art? Is it the talent behind the art? Does it begin and end with the format/medium? Is it all about how accurate it portrays historical details? How much it kicks our asses? Emotional content? For me, I'd have to say in the end, it's all about emotion. But that's just me.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 9:37 a.m. CST

    When are we going to get a reboot of Rat Pfink A Boo Boo?

    by Klytus_I.m_Bored

    That shit would rock, but only if you made it real dark and gritty. And brooding. Lots of brooding.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Mori - there has NEVER been a "traditional" take on Superheroes

    by Movietool

    The ONLY thing audiences have been exposed to in regards to Superheroes are: <p>(1) Ironic Takes on Superheroes <p> (2)Deconstructionist Takes on Superheroes, and <p>(3)Some combination of the two. <p> We have NEVER had a Superhero film that uses the established conventions of Superheroes (Good guys in colorful costumes defeat bad guys in colorful costumes to defend normal citizens) without a clear wink to the audience that the filmakers understand just how silly this whole thing is. Frankly, I don't know if moviegoers would even accept a Superhero movie that took itself "seriously.*" All I'm saying is it's never really been tried. There has NEVER been a Superhero movie that has asked audiences to accept Superheroes in the same way, for instance, that a movie like Heat asks its audience to take its characters seriously. See what I mean? <p>*Dark Knight doesn't count. Nolan's take on the Joker was fantastic, but in and of itself was the aforementioned "wink," saying the comic-book version is too silly to be portrayed in Nolan's "realistic" batman universe.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 9:58 a.m. CST


    by Movietool

    Above, when I wrote <p>"that a movie like Heat asks its audience to take its characters seriously," <p>I should have written <p>"take its CONVENTIONS seriously." <p>Nolan has certainly taken Batman seriously, but to do so he had to change the conventions of Superheroes to do it.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 10:43 a.m. CST

    I want this same passion but about saving the fucking planet!!!

    by ludmir88

    frivolities, frivolities. And again that viral shit on the internet. Damn.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 11:58 a.m. CST


    by hst666

    Talk about reading comprehension problems - please tell me where I said that Watchmen was the best that 20th century literature has to offer. Oh, that's right, I did not. I said it was great. If people can praise shit by Cormac McCarthy as great literature, Watchmen sure qualifies. And I understood you perfectly. You are saying that comics do not rise to the level of literature and I am calling bullshit on that. Of course, they can and they do. What is your definition of literature, anyway? When does a novel become literature in your eyes?

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 12:02 p.m. CST


    by hst666

    You are correct, in that if you go by a strict definition of prose storytelling, than no comic is literature because of their very nature. However, ColWTH was clearly trying to identify literature as representing some quality of work. In retrospect, that's probably kind of foolish, which makes me foolish for arguing with a fool.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 12:07 p.m. CST


    by hst666

    What about Iron Man, where was the wink or changing of convention there? <P><P> And what conventions did Nolan change? The Joker? How many different Jokers have there been since 1939? A lot. Nolan simply had his take on the character.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 12:39 p.m. CST


    by Chishu_Ryu

    I have to seriously disagree with you there, friend. I believe there have been a great majority of "comic book super-hero" films that have taken their content as seriously as, say, a Godfather movie. I'll name Singer's X-Men films and even his Superman movie, Nolan's Batman films, some or all of Raimi's Spiderman movies, and I'll throw Ang Lee's Hulk in there if you don't count the multi-panels as a "wink", as examples. How are any of these films giving an ironic "wink" to the audiences? They aren't. With the exception of moments in the Spiderman movies (but Raimi has always been a humorist, and Spiderman requires humor anyways) they are all deadly serious movies. If your argument is "Why aren't they wearing colorful costumes?", well Superman and Spiderman certainly are wearing them, aren't they? The all black outfits of the X-Men in SInger's films might support your argument, but I'll even admit those mid-70's style outfits of the X-mutants were starting to get a bit silly and would have been laughable by modern standards, and even the comics agree, as the Grant Morrison X-Men issues adapted the all black outfit look. And the film "Heat" isn't exactly a black and white, good vs evil story the way most comic books are, so I don't see where that comparison fits. Anyway, I don't have all day to write here, but I do think your argument is flawed.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 2:48 p.m. CST

    The "Loom of Fate"

    by subtlety

    loom of fate? seriously?

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Iron Man itself was one big wink

    by terry1978

    It was a great flick, but this Tony Stark was fully aware of the cliches and basically swerved around them purposely. Current comics are all a nudge nudge, wink wink thing anyways...they all have that "we know how goofy this shit is, but what the hell" mindset.

  • Sept. 20, 2008, 12:54 a.m. CST


    by Movietool

    Chisu_RYU, I’m going to make two posts – one that responds to your examples directly, and then I’m going to write a novel to explain myself a little more clearly. <p>Remember my original point: irony or deconstruction or both, but NEVER a movie that treats the comic conventions seriously. <p>Singer’s X-Men Films: Sorry, but comic superheroes wear costumes. Wolverine’s is brown and orange (or yellow and blue), Rouge’s is yellow and green, Cyclops is blue and yellow, etc., etc. The line “what did you expect, yellow spandex,” says it all. It’s an absolute “up yours” to folks like me who think that maybe – just maybe, a filmmaker with enough talent and enough balls could make a superhero movie featuring superhero costumes and still work. Singer didn’t believe that superhero costumes could work. As a result, the matrix-style leather combat suits and wholly laughable helmet and cape Magneto sports are some kind of hybrid, a “wink” to the comics while saying quite clearly that costumes are just too silly to do on film. <p>And I’m not saying you or Singer are for sure in the wrong here. Maybe there really is no way to do those “mid-70’s style outfits” without coming off as silly. My point is that it’s never been tried 100%. I’ll come back to this point. <p>The less said about Superman Returns the better, but once again, Singer tells us that the comic conventions just won’t work for film. No supervillians, for starters. Then, Superman is “rounded” as a character by turning him into a creepy stalker. This is known as deconstruction. It goes something like this: It’s just not possible that someone with Superman’s powers would be moral enough to resist the temptation to use his powers inappropriately, right? It’s simply not possible – we’ve got to make it more “real,” so in Singer’s Superman world, he spies on Lois Lane. That’s not Superman. Not from the comics anyways. It’s Singer making the character his own. Putting his stamp on it. Deconstructing it. Throwing the character out the window to satisfy his own storytelling needs. <p>Raimi’s Spiderman: Organic webshooters. Once again, deconstruction. It’s simply not possible that a kid could make web shooters – so we’ll make them organic. Never mind that later in the film the kid is jumping around in a $20,000 costume. Web shooters would be too much for the audience to accept. We’ve got to make it realistic. So let’s have the Green Goblin wear a power rangers outfit, instead of simply making him a crazy genius who puts on a goblin mask. The result – a hybrid: a helmet that looks like a goblin mask. And it looked ridiculous. Raimi didn’t trust the source material. Not all the way. He thus had to change the accepted conventions of the comic. He had to deconstruct it, make it his own, give it his spin. <p>Now some will argue that the organic webshooters saved screen time. Nonsense. Raimi had an entire scene dedicated to Peter designing the costume. It’s just a matter of what’s important to the filmmaker. Raimi clearly wanted to do the costume design montage, so he did. And it’s a good scene, it really is, and it reinforces the idea the Peter is a kid – which is good. A better scene, however, and one that would have sold a much more important aspect of Peter Parker’s character – namely, that he’s a freaking kid GENIUS – would have been Peter inventing the webshooters. I know, I know, “but there’s no way a kid could afford/build/etc. Remember, I’m arguing that no one has ever TRIED TO MAKE IT WORK. Raimi didn’t either. <p>Nolan’s Batman Films: well, the entire concept here was how to make a Superhero movie without making a Superhero movie. So the entire movie was a “wink” in my eyes. Everything Nolan did in that movie was a way of saying “Here’s how Batman could ‘really’ happen.” Batman’s Utility belt becomes the leavings from a military suit. His Batmobile is the leavings from a military bridge-crossing project. The “fins” on his gauntlets are the remnants of his Martial Arts training. Scarecrow’s mask is simply a tool to scare the crap out of drug-induced criminals. Scarecrow’s costume only appears when people are under the influence of his fear drug. Nolan doesn’t ask us to accept Superhero conventions, he figured out ways that Superhero conventions could happen in the “real” world. <p>My point is that no one has ever simply treated superheros as if they already lived in a “real” world, that doesn’t need explaining. <p>Please believe me when I tell you that I LIKED X-Men, and Spider Man, and Batman Begins. I really did, and still do. But my original point still stands. None of them really tried to make a superhero movie. They mix equal parts deconstruction and “realism,” sprinkle a little irony on top, and wink their way to the bank.

  • Sept. 20, 2008, 12:55 a.m. CST

    And because I just can't let it go . . .

    by Movietool

    Now, get prepared for a book. <p>First off, don’t think I’m disrespecting the work of filmmakers like Raimi, Nolan, or Singer (with the exception of Superman Returns, which was a turd from top to bottom.) <p>I think all of those directors are very good, and outside of the aforementioned SR, they’ve all made good Superhero movies. But my argument that there has never been a superhero movie that took the superhero convention seriously holds. <p>First, however, lets look at something Terry1978 said that’s very true: Even the actual COMICS don’t take their own world seriously anymore. Most popular comic writers are either big-time television & movie writers who (even if they believe themselves to be true fans of comics) are slumming it (Kevin Smith comes to mind) or are writers such as Millar who have always intended to use comics as a springboard to get into movies or television. <p>Millar sells the movie rights to his comics before they’re even on the shelves, for goodness sake. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I think it’s a clear indicator that many modern comic book writers have little interest in respecting the source material and much interest in putting their marks on these characters in order to make a name for themselves. This is Frank Miller/Dark Knight syndrome, and it’s a discussion for another thread. <p>My point is that the writers, and Millar especially, seem almost embarrassed to be writing superheroes, and as a result, we have a constant stream of nudge-nudge, wink-wink moments in their work. This attitude is sadly present in the comics nowadays, but it has ALWAYS been present in the movies. ALWAYS. <p>Back in the “good-old days” of comics, there was humor, yes. There was even, I’m sure, and occasional inside joke. But stll, the comics took themselves and the situations their characters were in seriously. The comics did not question why the heroes dressed in skin-tight, colorful outfits. They didn’t question the logic of how a man could run faster than sound, how a teenager could build web-shooters, the exact mechanism by which a man from another planet could fly or why any of these people would wear a colorful costume. <p>These things were given, they were simply accepted because for lack of a better word, they were cool. That’s all that mattered: Was it neat? Did it spur the imagination? Was it amazing? Was it spectacular? Was it larger than life? If the answer was yes then it was possible. <p>It didn’t matter if it was logical that Peter Parker, a poor kid from New York, somehow found the precision instruments and millions of dollars it would take to invent webbing fluid. All it took was the knowledge that Peter Parker was a kid genius. The comics didn’t try to explain the fantasy – they assumed that the reader WANTED TO BELIEVE IT. <p>Why does a superhero dress in a colorful costume? Because he’s a superhero. No more explanation is necessary. Why would it be? The point was to watch Superman twist a tank in half, not spend pages explaining the motives behind his fashion choices. <p>These are the conventions I’m talking about. Not whether the “take” on a certain character was valid or not, but whether ANY filmmaker has ever simply had the confidence to NOT QUESTION the CONVENTION. To put the fantasy front and center and say to the audience “I believe it, every character in the movie believes it– so should you.” <p>This is subjective, of course. And I’ll say this before I keep blathering on: John Faverau came VERY close with Iron Man. Richard Donner came even closer with Superman. But ultimately, there was still enough “wink” in their respective films to justify my argument. <p>That argument, you remember, is that there has never been a Superhero movie that accepted the conventions of superhero comics and taken them seriously. <p>HST666- We’ll start with Iron Man: <p>Like I said – it came really close. REALLY CLOSE. I had a big silly grin on my face from start to finish of that movie, mostly because it was gleefully absent of “wink.” <p>But . . . <p>The Mandarin. You see, they hinted at the Mandarin in that movie, and so I have to withhold judgment until I see how The Mandarin ends up being portrayed. The Mandarin, for those of you who may not be familiar, is a classic arch-enemy of Iron Man. He wears ten rings on his fingers, which use ultra-advanced alien technology to give him incredible powers, such as ice blasts, impact blasts, matter re-arrangers, and lots of other cool powers. He’s a scientific genius and martial arts master, who wears a colorful costume. <p>Now what are the chances that we’ll see that version of The Mandarin? Pretty low in my estimation. They may give us a martial arts master. They may even go so far as to have him actually wear ten rings. It would blow my mind if they actually had those rings be some sort of ultra-advanced technology that allows The Mandarin to fire ice blasts and other such powers. But I’d be willing to be my life that the technology will NOT be alien. And The Mandarin will NOT wear a colorful costume. <p>And Why? <p>Because no one believes a modern audience will buy it. And I made this concession before : THEY MAY BE RIGHT. It’s possible that people just won’t accept those bright costumes. It might just be too much – too silly. <p>But . . . <p>Richard Donner’s Superman. They didn’t change the costume one bit. It’s an absolute spot-on recreation of the comic-book costume. Furthermore, the movie NEVER ATTEMPTS IN THE SLIGHTEST TO EXPLAIN IT. You simply see Superman fly out of the Fortress of Solitude. That’s it. He’s wearing a costume. And although there are a few clever and funny lines about it (“Like a big blue-bird!” “Say, Jim, that’s a bad out-FIT!”) The film simply asks its audience to accept that this is how Superman looks when he’s protecting innocent lives. You see, he’s a superhero, and superheroes wear costumes. <p>And so many other things about Donner’s Superman are just like that. Superman flies. Why? Because he’s from another planet and our Yellow sun gives him powers. For this reason, Donner’s Superman comes the closest to being a “serious” superhero movie. <p>If not for Luthor & Otis. <p>There it is, the great failing of Donner’s Superman. In the comics, Luthor is a supervillain. Supeman’s arch nemesis is a SUPERvillian, just like Iron Man’s arch nemesis. In Donner’s Superman, he was a criminal, yes. A genius, yes. But a Supervillian? No. <p>And why? Well, not having been a part of the decisions behind the writing of Superman, I don’t really know. But I can understand how the studio thought that people simply wouldn’t accept Gene Hackman dressed up in green and purple. And they might have been right. <p>My point here is that it’s NEVER been tried. Not 100%. EVERY SUPERHEROMOVIE to date has made concessions like these.

  • Sept. 20, 2008, 1:32 a.m. CST

    too bad the bad guys are over the top


    why can't this kid fuck up and crash a murder in progress and get hurt while trying to get away- then he wakes in a hospital, and he's very upset knowing that he doesn't know who they are but surely they know who he is. Too much to ask for I guess. The Bad Guys have to be wickedly unreal and over the top and that's just sad because well shit the material would be aces above whatever it is now if the bad guys were representations of what real world bad guys are. But no we have a Suki/ Young portman chick with long swords chopping gang members up.

  • Sept. 20, 2008, 2:10 a.m. CST


    by Chishu_Ryu

    Wow. Okay. I see your point. Although, I would re-classify much of what you're calling "winks" as "concessions."<p> I suppose a lot of that goes back to Tim Burton's 1989 BATMAN, a definite turning point for comic book movies. Here, I think Burton made the first real "comic book" movie by not trying to fit the hero into a real world scenario and really used the comic book roots as an influence, where perhaps the first few Batman stories by Bob Kane from the early 40's (where Batman was alone and actually killed people and was a true enigma) were the main influence. The Joker was a true villain in the comic book sense, unlike the Lex Luthor from the Donner film. However, in keeping with your argument, you could say Burton went too far in re-imagining Gotham City as some "other world" instead of putting Batman in a real New York City-type location, casting a non-super hero type of guy in Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne, and putting Batman in armor as opposed to the traditonal blue and gray spandex out fit. I think every super hero movie since Burton's 1989 film has taken inspiration from this and thus made such concessions in transcribing the heroes and villains from comic book page to big screen. While I have absolutely no problem with this, I can see your argument. Although maybe you could say The Wachowski's SPEED RACER is a film that said "f**k you" to real world concessions and just made a flat out anime-style film that kept the spirit of the original cartoon's seriousness and zaniness. Although it wasn't originally a comic book.

  • Sept. 20, 2008, 7:31 a.m. CST

    Fantastic Four Was Closer Than Superman

    by Red Lantern

    These movies did ask the audiences to accept the conventions of the Superhero genre. Unless you are counting deviation from the source material in any way, like the origin of Dr. Doom in the movie version. They all had the costumes, they all had the powers, Reed Richards was a genius, etc. Also the good Hulk movie, unless it is really important that a Gamma bomb is the origin, and I don't really see it. Same with the Abomination. The army had classic Hulk comic weapons to boot. FF was closer than the Hulk movie sure, but FF felt to me like a Comic Book movie. You could also throw Sin City up there.

  • Sept. 21, 2008, 10:33 p.m. CST

    See I think Spidey 2 grew up Comic movies along with Ang Lee Hul

    by Stormwatcher

    But I hated Spidey 3 and prefer the Hulk remake although in some ways its not trying to be profund but actually truer to the comic source. pulp plain and simple. TDK best thing ever about something I care about.

  • Sept. 21, 2008, 10:35 p.m. CST

    ANg Lee shoulda directed Fantastic Four.

    by Stormwatcher

    You know it. From the Ice Storm with the shoutout to classic FF, to how he handles intricate family relationships, its the perfect thing for it.

  • Sept. 23, 2008, 12:55 p.m. CST

    movietool good insight

    by joe b

    And I think the problem is inherent to the medium. The comic book was designed from the start to reorient our perception of these "worlds", with drawing coloring and motion abstracting us one level from "real" life already. And then the logic of how situations and events correlate are rearranged in terms of panels and page turns. The elements medium determine the ability to bridge our world to the abstracted world of the comic. In film, we live in the shadow of the postmodern and deconstructionist revolutions, and so most films now are not so much about story as about hashing out competing philosophies of how to fold the audience into the narrative. The winking and irony in superhero films are another symptom of these trends. How can we close the distance in the film between a highly abstracted and unrealistic arrangement of a world and the all too realistic expectations of the audiences groomed for grit and self reference? It's all so clumsy.

  • Sept. 23, 2008, 2:24 p.m. CST


    by hst666

    Just because something has been changed does not make it ironic or deconstructionist, so you basic point is invalid. <p><p> Spiderman 1 and 2, Iron Man, X-men 1 and 2, Batman Begins, and the Dark Knight have not been deconstructionist or ironic. Have there been changes? Absolutely, but those were based upon judgments about what would work on screen rather than on the page. <p><p> To replicate every last detail of a comic book story on screen would be poor filmmaking. Spiderman 2, Iron Man, and the Dark Knight are all true to the spirit and most of the flesh of the source material. Were some things changed? Of course! Movies are a different medium from comics, just like they are a different medium from novels. Some things lend themselves to more direct recreation adn others do not. And I want to hear the voice of the director when I see these films. <p><p>As an example of another story that was changed considerably, I would point to Blade Runner. Ending substantially different from the book. The book was great. However, a straight adaptation of the book would have been boring.