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Ambush Bug simultaneously kicks the ass of KICK ASS while getting his ass kicked...it makes more sense in the review!

Hey folks, Ambush Bug from AICN Comics here. So I had a chance to check out the KICK-ASS movie a while back (thanks to AICN's Chicago premiere held by the one and only Capone...thanks, Capone!) and have been pondering whether or not to review it here on AICN for a while now. But since Capone urged me to do so, I figured it's the least I could do to oblige with my thoughts on the film. Though I've been reviewing comics on AICN in our AICN Comics section for nine years, there have only been a few times I've come out of my comfort zone and reviewed film. When a comic book movie comes out though, I feel it necessary to speak up about these much hyped cinemasterpieces from a comic book fan’s perspective. And with the growing number of movies sprouting from comics, I think a voice from someone who grew up reading and more than likely learned how to read from comics would be a good person to lob his two or three cents into the mix.
Before I delve into the film itself, let me speak a bit on KICK-ASS the comic. I'm not the biggest fan of the book. Writer Mark Millar is a very talented guy and has written some great stuff, but as my fellow AICN Comics reviewer Optimous Douche put it, he's much more effective writing established characters as he did with OLD MAN LOGAN and especially RED SON (two comics worth seeking out) than he is with original material. My pal Optimous put it best when he said that when writing established characters, the reader has that rich back-story to mine from, and Millar's story doesn’t feel less effective because as a long time reader of these characters, we are more likely to fill in the holes in the story where character is lacking. So in a story like RED SON, character is subconsciously added into stories by the reader mainly because you already know who Superman is and that link is already established. With his more original works--take WANTED and KICK-ASS for example--you don't have that well to pull from and thus, things that connect you to the story like character and heart are absent from those comics. In their place are cool money shots and scenes that draw appeal in the same way that many, many fans react to Michael Bay's TRANSFORMERS films (which like Millar's books have tons of fans world wide, but tend to fail to line up with critical thinking).
With KICK-ASS the comic, I saw the potential for something good when I read the first issue. Millar establishes a sympathetic character from the beginning. But soon, the more you find out about the title character, the less you feel sorry for him and midway through the series, you end up kind of rooting for the guy to get his ass kicked. Kick-Ass aka Dave is kind of a fucktard. He’s what Millar thinks exemplifies today’s comic book reader and hopes that this similarity will grab the reader, no matter how depraved he makes him. Kick-Ass/Dave would rather lie to a girl to get close to her than be the real him to her. He’s a bullied fanboy who masturbates frequently, has Peter Parker non-moments with girls, and spends all of his money and time hanging in a comic shop with his even more pathetic friends. Are you liking this guy yet? I’m not. Millar spends all of this time pointing out Dave’s weaknesses that he forgets to inject some kind of anything that one can deem as likable. Dave admits that he doesn't do his super heroing because of some sense of honor; he does it because he's kind of bored, unsatisfied with his life, and kind of pathetically lusts for some kind of attention. Taking out the noble motivation that normally drives a super hero may be seen as something clever or smart to some; deconstructing the essence of a super hero and challenging all expectations one may have, but in doing so, it strips the character of all of the appealing and honorable aspects one looks for in a hero. It squelches likability. And if you don't like the main character, sorry, you've lost this reader.
Shipping delays for KICK-ASS the comic killed momentum too, but that is a comic book trend that seems to be the norm these days and one I won't bore those in search of a movie review with here. Also, the ballsy swagger that permeated this comic from cover to cover was a detriment in my eyes. Any book that has to go out of its way to exclaim how cool it is on both the front and back cover (and even a few pages in between) with huge fonted verbal hand-jobs from creators and online critics most likely is not. All in all, apart from some art from John Romita Jr. that may well be his personal best, KICK-ASS the comic failed to be the essence of awesomeness many others have touted it as.
I'm sure by now, you're expecting me to continue my negative-speak as I move on to my thoughts on the film. The thing is, simply put, I liked the movie.
Director Matthew Vaughn and screenwriter Jane Goldman did something to the script that helped make kick ass the comic into KICK-ASS THE MOVIE! This is one of the few times that I've seen a film turn out to be more entertaining than the original material. And all of the criticisms I had for KICK-ASS the comic in the previous paragraphs were taken care of somewhere through the translation process from comic to film.
The character and heart that I felt KICK-ASS lacked in the comic is right there front and center in the film mainly because of a likable acting job from Aaron Johnson. He's no Brando, but the kid did his job and most importantly made me care whether he lives or dies. If you get someone behind that dorky mask with eyes that can communicate emotion, then you can put him through the wringer that Millar does in the comic and surprise, surprise…it turns out you actually give a shit. Somewhere in those first fifteen to twenty minutes of the film, Vaughn and Goldman spackle the cracks in Millar's comic and make it all worthwhile. By the time Kick-Ass is YouTubed standing exhausted yet selflessly brave over a mugging victim against a trio of thugs, this movie had me where the comic failed. I believe it was that wonderfully filmed scene that made me realize I was going to like this film.
If you've read the comic, you know pretty much 90% of the film. It's all there. Every punch to the nuts. Every sliced off appendage. Every overly-macho line of dialog from the gangsters and comic book-esque homage-speak vomited from all of the wanna-be heroes. This is a comic book fan’s film. It appeals to the kid in you who used to wrap a blanket around your neck and jump off the bed in an attempt to fly.
I saw this film with fellow AICN Comics Co-Editor Sleazy G, who pointed out something that sets this film apart from most. The action scenes in this film (and there are many) are all filmed differently and, most importantly, well. Vaughn is such a talented and creative director that he can come up with so many ways for his offbeat characters in this KICK-ASS world to kill people without repeating himself once. From the first person shooter scenes of Hit-Girl in the dark warehouse to the straight up fight between Red Mist and Kick-Ass to the Zack Snyder-esque quick/slo mo badassery scene where Big Daddy takes out an entire warehouse of thugs, all of them were filmed in a different and most importantly vibrantly successful style.
Other quick thoughts: Nick Cage was born to play a role like Big Daddy. It's the type of role that made him a star in the first place, and the type of role he veered from circa CON AIR and has been steering clear of until...well, now with this film. His quirkiness abounds when the Big Daddy mask is off, but the Adam West-ian accent while in costume made me laugh every time.
Chloe Moretz does in fact almost steal the whole movie as Hit-Girl. Though occasionally the lines she speaks are overly cute, the final scenes with her infiltration into the mob boss' lair make you forget the name of the movie you are watching isn't HIT-GIRL instead of KICK-ASS.
The movie almost lost me in the final stand off. I won't reveal it, but the deus ex machina ordered on eBay teeters on making this less of a real world take on superheroes and more of a straight up superhero movie. I'll let you decide for yourself whether or not you think what's in the box is believable or not, but by the time it is revealed, there was so much fun that had been had so far, I was willing to roll with it.
Finally, I want to comment on the major difference between the comic and the movie. The middle fingering Millar does with the final issue of KICK-ASS (the same "why did you just shit in my mouth?" feeling you may have gotten after reading WANTED) is gone. IN the final issue of the comic, Millar goes overboard to really drive the point home that the hero doesn't get the girl in the end to a point that even made my jaded stomach turn a bit. Not so much offensive is love interest Katie's reaction to Kick-Ass' unmasking to her in the comic, as it is juvenile and guttural. Vaughn smartly steers clear of Millar's ending, and chooses to end the movie on a surprisingly conventional note. This somehow goes against the theme of the entire film as it is supposed to be "not your typical superhero story," but at least I didn't leave the movie feeling an urge to wash my hands and gargle as I did with the final issue of the comic.
Though I had a few criticisms of KICK-ASS the film, they are nowhere near as heavy as my negative feelings toward the comic. But I must give credit where credit is due. Despite its weaknesses, Millar wrote a fine blueprint comic book to this film, but it was Vaughn and Goldman who injected what was necessary to make a flawed comic into a pretty phenomenal comic book movie.

Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, reviewer and co-editor of AICN Comics for over eight years and one of the original @$$holes. Check out his comic book shorts from Cream City Comics’ MUSCLES & FIGHTS VOL.3 and MUSCLES & FRIGHTS VOL.1 on his ComicSpace page. Bug was interviewed here and here at Cream City Comics and here and here about his comic from Bluewater Comics, VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS: THE TINGLER #1-2. Look for more comics from Bug in 2010, including ROGER CORMAN PRESENTS DEATHSPORT in July, and the just announced vampire miniseries NANNY & HANK in August (and check out Jazma Online’s new interview with Bug about NANNY & HANK here). Bug’s latest comic is VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS #16: WITCHFINDER GENERAL on sale July 2010. Fanboy Radio recently interviewed Bug about it here.
Readers Talkback
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  • April 6, 2010, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Scott Pilgrim will kick Kick-Ass's ass

    by Browncoat_Jedi

    This movie is an overhyped flop to be.

  • April 6, 2010, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Bullshit

    by unkempt_sock

    Fuck Michael Cera. Maybe if he stopped playing the same FUCKING character in every movie he's in, Pilgrim would be good. But at this point it still looks like the same old shit.

  • April 6, 2010, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Good to hear that it's better than the comic.

    by Chewtoy

    Millar comes up with decent action scenes, if grotesquely over the top... but they usually manage to gut any good characterization in the process. The Michael Bay analogy is probably fair.

  • April 6, 2010, 10:23 a.m. CST

    In terms of Brit directors who like talking about themselves...

    by Mr Gorilla

    ...Matthew Vaughan is marginally preferably to Edgar Wright.

  • April 6, 2010, 10:24 a.m. CST

    Was this shot digital

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Because the commercials make the film look kind of blurry and crap looking.

  • April 6, 2010, 10:32 a.m. CST

    That was a kick-ass review!

    by YackBacker

    Awesome work, AB.

  • April 6, 2010, 10:45 a.m. CST

    Saw it a couple of nights ago...

    by Tomarru

    It's a great movie, great action scenes, likeable characters, over the top brutality. Can't really say much bad about it, if you like super hero movies, or even just action movies in general its well worth checking out.

  • April 6, 2010, 10:53 a.m. CST

    saw it last night...

    by shoveller

    and it was good, but just good... i enjoyed it and all, but all the hype surrounding it kinda spoiled it for me... i went in thinking it was gonna be cinematic crack, and came out feeling like it was merely really really good cinematic weed. Which ain't a bad thing i suppose... now where did i leave those Cheetos...

  • April 6, 2010, 10:54 a.m. CST

    Does the whole Hit-girl fight scene stuff.(somersaults etc.)

    by Righteous Brother

    Denigrate the 'What if Super heroes were real' theme?

  • April 6, 2010, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Surprised by this review

    by TrueLies

    I didn't think AICN was capable of posting a review of this film that didn't splooge all over Chloe Moretz for 10 paragraphs.

  • April 6, 2010, 10:57 a.m. CST

    I had no problem with the original ending

    by Argentino

    Do you really prefer another "hero get the girl" endind? Why? The only thing that bothers me of the comic (and apparently the movie aswell) is how it suddenly abandons the "real world" part of the premise (the most important part).

  • I'm looking forward to it, despite not liking the whole "there are no super-heroes in this world, so a kid tries to be one, and look, now there ARE super heroes in this world who act like they're super-powered! Dur hur!"

  • April 6, 2010, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Just got back...

    by satansteve

    ...and I have to say that it really was bloody good. Any criticism I had of the comic was rectified and ****(SPOILER! except for the True Lies moment)**** was thoroughly satisfied. Gotta say I agree with the Bug and say that Comic Dave was a bit of a douche but not here. Satisfying from the start to the finish. And Nic Cage is just THE badass.

  • April 6, 2010, 11:10 a.m. CST

    ****Big Spoilers***

    by Jim Bolo

    I pretty much loved 75% of the film. Cage is A FUCKING JOY to watch as Macready and Big Daddy. My problem is **spoiler** I couldn't get past his character's fate. I really felt that he and Hit Girl were the real heart of the film and to have it burned alive was just too damn sadistic. I appreciate the comic takes a different angle on his motivation (lack of) and therefore in the comic he may be more justified in being offed, but I felt betrayed by the film. Once Cage is out of the picture, the rest of it just seems like kids jumping around like sonic hedgehog. Though saying that, Cage's last lines did have an emotional wallop to them.

  • April 6, 2010, 11:10 a.m. CST

    Browncoat_Jedi

    by Dharma4

    Yes. I fully back you up in that statement. I think SCOTT PILGRIM will be much more entertaining and dazzling than Kick-Ass; and no, I'm not dissing Kick-Ass, in fact, unlike the reviewer, I'm a big enthusiast for the comic books.

  • April 6, 2010, 11:14 a.m. CST

    Seen it Sunday night....

    by connor187

    Trust me you will like it. Its funny as fuck. Although its essentially a British film, its very much aimed towards you Yanks. for instance, after Hit Girl kills a punk she says, 'What a douche'. There wasn't a fucking sound in the cinema. I looked around and thought to myself, That will raise the roof over the pond. Just an observation, take note.

  • April 6, 2010, 11:21 a.m. CST

    "A bullied fanboy who masturbates frequently"

    by Nice Marmot

    "Are you liking this guy yet?" No, but now I know why everyone at AICN likes it so much . . .

  • April 6, 2010, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Saw it, loved it!

    by shonin

    My review pretty much reads as the above, but I would heap even more praise on Hit-Girl. She is up there with cinemas pantheon of bad asses. Awesome job by Chloe Moretz and gutsy filmaking.

  • April 6, 2010, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Dexter the tv show

    by SmokingRobot

    If far, far, superior to the novels on which it is based.

  • April 6, 2010, 11:26 a.m. CST

    I can see why he was hesitant to review it...

    by Colin62

    He sucks at his job.

  • April 6, 2010, 11:33 a.m. CST

    As opposed to you, Colin62...

    by Psynapse

    Who just sucks at being human.

  • April 6, 2010, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Bolo

    by Tomarru

    I was sad to see that happen aswell, but it really did have an emotional impact, just everything about that scene worked, there was real tension and anticipation. Plus it pretty much threw the rule book out the window, not many superhero movies are willing to do that to any of the main chars. It really is a hard movie to dislike, im interrested to see its reception in the states. Only downside here is that it opened beside clash which is a much more mainstream, heavily advertised beast which kinda hopes to capture the same audience.

  • April 6, 2010, 11:46 a.m. CST

    I enjoyed it

    by damned-dirty-ape

    Right up to the point where the ebay bought item is used, which just totally changed the tone an took me away from the story. Up to that point it was at least semi realistic. I have to admit i also liked the ending in the book where the guy doesn't get the girl. I have to give vaughn and goldman credit though, they really did inject a lot more life and personality into the characters than is shown in the book.

  • April 6, 2010, 11:46 a.m. CST

    If you don't mind my asking...

    by Kevin Holsinger

    ...what exactly was the problem with Wanted's (the comic's) ending? Wesley was a supervillain who raped and murdered people. So why would him mocking comic book fans be so out of character?<p>I'm not saying that criticism of the ending is somehow invalid. Personally, I didn't like it because it seemed to come out of nowhere. It's just that when I first read the book, Wesley's words seemed totally in character.<p>My thanks in advance.

  • April 6, 2010, 12:20 p.m. CST

    imo, the ending in the book works.

    by squidman

    If Dave, as you point out accurately, is so unlikeable - why should he not get beaten up at the end of the book? I think the book had a lot of solid commentary throughout, and the current trend to desire recognition and reward without the actual honor of accomplishment was one of them. This book was spot on for me on several levels. I am encouraged that you liked the movie, though.

  • April 6, 2010, 12:25 p.m. CST

    P,S, Eeeewwwww

    by Aquatarkusman

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2009/10/31/article-1224118-070349FD000005DC-530_468x598.jpg

  • April 6, 2010, 12:42 p.m. CST

    Yeah, she's 43. He's like 20 or something.

    by V'Shael

    Go figure.

  • April 6, 2010, 12:44 p.m. CST

    Well, There's Salma Hayek 43 and THAT 43

    by Aquatarkusman

    Best of luck to them.

  • April 6, 2010, 1:05 p.m. CST

    I actually think the comic is an excellent portrayal

    by moorE12

    of teenage boys. In fact I find that I can relate to Dave quiet well, especially when I think back to being that age. And yes, typical comic book guys are social retards, just look at comic-con.

  • April 6, 2010, 1:44 p.m. CST

    moorE12

    by Ambush Bug

    I gotta disagree. Look at comic con and you'll not see too many teenage boys. It's all young adults and middle age adults, sadly.

  • April 6, 2010, 1:51 p.m. CST

    my problem with WANTED's ending

    by Ambush Bug

    Basically, WANTED the comic ended with the main character breaking the fourth wall and telling the reader to get a life for wasting their time reading comics. When a book does that, doesn't that just shoot itself in the foot. It's that too cool for comic books feel that you get from a lot of Millar, Ennis, and even Ellis and Morrison's work, and definitely the vibe Marvel had towards longtime readers at the time of WANTED's release (not so much these days, thankfully). It's the bile toward those who are buying your book that was evident in the final pages of WANTED and the hammering of really crude (and somewhat racist...having Katie send Dave a phone pic of her sucking a big black cock!?!?! really, Mark? Did I just read that?) narration captions toward the end of KICK-ASS the comic that really turned me off. It really put a guttaral final stamp on the miniseries for me. Ending the story that way and going for the all shock and no substance ruins the whole thing in my opinion.

  • April 6, 2010, 1:59 p.m. CST

    Ambush Bug..

    by moorE12

    No you won't see a lot of teenagers, but you will see a lot of man children, but lets be honest, there are TONS of comic fanboys who are typical losers, maybe for every "loser" there is a regular joe type. BUT there are "those" guys. I thought the ending of Kick-Ass fit the tone of the book, he doesn't get the girl, he doesn't reap any rewards, that is why people don't dress up as heroes, and anyone that does will end up the same way. While we are at it what is wrong with the ending of WANTED, it completely fit the tone of the comic. You read the book waiting for Wesley to become a "good guy" and kill the bad guys, and finally fuck you.

  • April 6, 2010, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Sounds like you liked both endings...

    by Ambush Bug

    That's cool.<br><br> I disagree though.

  • April 6, 2010, 2:02 p.m. CST

    WANTED

    by Ambush Bug

    But breaking the fourth wall did not occur until the last panel of the book. How is that keeping with the tone of the book? Sounds like a flashy trick ending to me.

  • April 6, 2010, 2:03 p.m. CST

    Ambush Bug, thanks for the reply.

    by Kevin Holsinger

    While I read comics, I don't have anywhere near the experience you do on the subject. And thus, the larger context was missing when I read Wanted. All I saw was a douchebag displaying a different form of douchebaggery.

  • April 6, 2010, 2:11 p.m. CST

    This is the only movie I am really looking forward too this year

    by thatswhatshesaid

    Yeah, yeah. Ironman 2 and a few others will garner my attention, but I know what to expect from those. Really looking forward to something relatively fresh.

  • April 6, 2010, 2:32 p.m. CST

    The whole time I read this comic

    by Series7

    I just kept thinking, this will make a better movie. Sort of like the first issue of Nemesis, when is that movie coming out?

  • April 6, 2010, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Breaking the fourth wall..meh

    by moorE12

    I didn't find it offensive or breaking with the tone, but that is our opinion right?

  • April 6, 2010, 2:39 p.m. CST

    What the fuck?

    by Series7

    The Kick Ass kid is A, not america. And B, engaged to a 42 year old? He's only 19. <P> TMZ........where are you on this?

  • April 6, 2010, 2:51 p.m. CST

    what the fuck?

    by Series7

    And they are having a baby together already? Dude does this kid not realize the amount of poon he is about to be able to get?

  • April 6, 2010, 2:52 p.m. CST

    She's carrying his child too.

    by V'Shael

    Cougar and pregnant. I guess it takes all sorts.

  • April 6, 2010, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Jane Goldman has red hair and massive tits.

    by BiggusDickus

    I like Jane Goldman.

  • April 6, 2010, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the honest review

    by Grinning White Skull

    The KICK-ASS comic sucked for all the reasons you gave and the movie seems so much more a geek's wetdream than something that can move beyond that kind of audience. We'll see.

  • April 6, 2010, 3:38 p.m. CST

    by Homer Sexual

  • April 6, 2010, 3:40 p.m. CST

    Glad to hear that I wasn't the only one

    by rabidfnark

    underwhelmed by the comic. And equally glad to hear that the movie fairs better. When I read Kick-Ass I thought that the main character felt way too much like an R rated version of Ennis' Spacker Dave (more from the abortion 'Confederacy of Dunces' than the earlier 'Welcome back Frank'). Actually the whole thing had that kind of I'm-way-too-important-to-take-these-characters-seriously-you-fucking-loser type of feel to it. Same thing with 'Wanted': "This is me fucking you in the ass." Seriously? That's the way you end the book? Sigh. Go back to Wolverine...please.

  • April 6, 2010, 3:40 p.m. CST

    This looks Awesome!

    by Homer Sexual

    I never read the comics because the ending of Wanted really put me off. I am, indeed, a middle aged man...who keeps the industry alive and M. Millar rolling in $$$. I don't need to have him give me the finger, so eventhough I like a lot of his stuff, I was never gonna check out Kick-Ass. But the previews look soooo super good, I can't wait. <p> But now I'm kind bummed about the ending. Having him get beat up at the end is very "Millar" and I don't really like that, but having him get the girl is so conventional, it kind of destroys the whole point. But still...I can get past that if the rest of the movie is as exciting as it looks/sounds.

  • April 6, 2010, 3:42 p.m. CST

    Michael Cera

    by Homer Sexual

    Soon to be in the dumpster of the industry. I think we've seen that he is not capable of opening a movie. We've seen it at least twice. He's no Christopher Mintz-Plasse. <p> But that whole crew is dying a death by overexposure: Rogan, Jonah Hill and him. Used to like em all, can't stand any of em now.

  • April 6, 2010, 4:18 p.m. CST

    Really liked the comic, hero and all

    by tronknotts

    The idea that the main character isn't likable because he is dishonest towards girls that he's trying to impress and that he masturbates often is totally ridiculous. Seeing an action hero who is exageration of both the things I don't like about myself, and the things that I do, is so much better than a "noble" who is inevitably hypocritical by nature (Batman, Superman, etc). I'll tkae Travis Touchdown over Nathan Drake any day.

  • April 6, 2010, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Ambush Bug

    by Sicuv Uyall

    Maybe the endings for these books hit you a little too close to home then, huh? What the fuck HAVE you done lately??

  • April 6, 2010, 4:44 p.m. CST

    The movie does indeed improve on the comic

    by Lone Fox

    But the comic was damn good anyway, so... The ending to Wanted wasn't bile directed at the reader, it was a joke. Plain and simple. Admittedly, there are some readers who may take offence. But then, I suppose for THEM... Millar is happy for them to misinterpret it. Me too! But anyway... Scott Pilgrim looks like fuck.

  • April 6, 2010, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Oh. I forgot. Racism!

    by Lone Fox

    Katie ditched Dave to date a guy- who was black- and in order to piss Dave off she sent him a photo msg of her sucking her boyfriend off. ................... How is that racist? Good grief.

  • April 6, 2010, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Film looks great.

    by Hint_of_Smegma

    The kid playing Kick Ass though really does come across as an utter prick in interview. Not sure he'll be in the limelight for long, he's going to alienate a lot of potential fans and I'm not sure the studios will want to back a young actor who continually comes across as unmanageable and completely self-absorbed in interviews for long. Guess we'll see.

  • April 6, 2010, 5:19 p.m. CST

    obviosly....

    by joevfx

    ...the review did not understand the comic AT ALL. i don't get why he didn't like the ending of the comic. What girl in high school would go out with a guy who dresses in a scuba outfit and ha been pretending he is gay to get in her pants. answer: NONE. ALso the movie missed the entire revelation of Hit girl . her great line in the book after they kill the boss "i need a hug , my dad just died" you finally see her as just a little girl who was brainwashed. the movie totally destroyed this. I did love the movie but i hate that they crapped out at the end. way , way to hollywood.

  • April 6, 2010, 5:55 p.m. CST

    Just got back from it LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by Righteous Brother

    Loved what was in the box too, and Hit Girl does indeed almost completely steal the show.

  • April 6, 2010, 6:16 p.m. CST

    KICK ASS...

    by craaayz

    is exactly what it says on the tin.

  • April 6, 2010, 7:11 p.m. CST

    Don't you guys realize yet!

    by Boober

    This movie/comic is a TOTAL deconstruction on a "real-world" hero scenario and shows you the true power of comics in that fans actually believe it might be possible. The tip-off is when the two "loser" friends TELL YOU that "You would be dead in like a day." Then Millar proceeds to show you why comics are so powerful...you ignore the truth of the above statement and watch as a high school kid turns into an amateur vigilante without dying. Millar, laughing the whole time (with mad respect for the medium I daresay), then introduces a middle-aged man and his 10 year old daughter and proceeds to have them do things that Spiderman would stop and reply...DAAAAAMMMNNN!!! And yet comic nerds/fans STILL have angst over this being realistic due to the romantic allure and can't see it for what it really is...a hilarious satire.

  • April 6, 2010, 7:40 p.m. CST

    Dave not getting the girl is a funny ending

    by Tall_Boy66

    It's unconventional. The whole setup of the final scene of the comic is supposed to be the big Peter Parker reveals himself to Mary Jane who says she has loved him all along (Bendis did a good issue of USM #12, I think, or 13). It's supposed to be leading you that way, then it's "FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE!" and he gets the shit kicked out of him. Of panel, of course, but it's just funny. Dave is a loser and even though he goes through all of these amazing superhero adventures, he still gets the crap kicked out him emotionally and physically. Like I said, funny. Not predictable.

  • April 6, 2010, 7:45 p.m. CST

    Boober, AICN comics hate satire

    by Tall_Boy66

    Seriously, any time someone puts out a book that makes fun of comic book conventions, AICN @$$holes get all upity about it. They can't stand that someone would actually have something satirical to point out about a medium that is inherently silly. Show some love for a 70s B-lister and make them a light and brighty hero? They love it. Have a laugh? They hate it.

  • April 6, 2010, 7:48 p.m. CST

    sorry, didn't mean comics medium was inherently silly

    by Tall_Boy66

    I meant the superhero comic medium is inherently silly. You can play it straight, or you can have fun with it. Either one is totally valid, but you shouldn't believe BECAUSE comic books superheroes are about people who represent the better part of human nature means that every single comic SHOULD be about superheroes who represent the better part of human nature. Real life superheroes wouldn't work, and it wouldn't be perfect, and a lot of shit would go wrong. That's what Kick-Ass the comic is about. But because it doesn't have the radioactive spider or someone realizing their inner strength and yadda yadda yadda, they hate on it. Also cause it's Mark Millar.

  • April 6, 2010, 8:48 p.m. CST

    Boober>Ambush Bug

    by MrSean

    I saw a screening of the film last month and I am a MASSIVE fan of the comic. I was disappointed about some things from the page NOT being in the film and it does lose the sense of 'reality' (for lack of a better term) that the comic presented. Some scenes that come to mind that differ from the comic (SPOILERS)- HIT GIRL's mum being dead, the electrocuting of the testicles torture, BIG DADDY is a cop/not an accountant, how BIG DADDY funds their alternate lifestyle selling mint back issues, Red Mist being somewhat redeemable, HIT GIRL snorting 'something' before the final confrontation, 'tunk' and BIG DADDY getting his head blown off. The implications of BIG DADDY lying about their origins just to have his ten-year-old daughter as his sidekick is tip-of-the-iceberg fascinating and KICK-ASS's fail when revealing his sexuality is so 'real life'. The film would have been VERY dark and bleak had they translated the comic directly, so (with box office and sequels and the like in mind) I understand why they did it. In fact, the parts that work best in the film ARE the parts lifted straight from the pages. That said, it's gonna kill at the cinema and the HIT GIRL scenes are uber-cool and bound to raise the craziest controversy this side of LEON. I loved this version of KICK-ASS. It won't surpass my regard for the comic book, but I'll definitely watch this again (and again). I have to say, though, the SPOILER ALERT jetpack-machinegun in the finale was pretty weak...gimme HIT GIRL's blades/flame thrower and KICK-ASS's batons any day!

  • April 6, 2010, 9:20 p.m. CST

    WOW..so many people pissed about WANTED

    by moorE12

    Did the ending of the comic really hurt your feelings that much? Is this what Star Trek fans felt like after Shatner told them to get a life?

  • April 6, 2010, 9:59 p.m. CST

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJ5tEUfk5vE

    by avenger0102

    Hey check out this ad for Brocast They're on iTunes under Bropodcast

  • April 6, 2010, 10:42 p.m. CST

    Line Up, Pedophiles!

    by tydur999

    ooh, the last time i jerked off to a hot chick kicking so much ass, it was uma! but now, wow, they've made it WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY sexier with this totally hot 11 year old chick! awww man, the orgasm is gonna be fucking wild and...yes...KICK-ASS! at least that is what the majority of you cretins are thinking and don't fucking lie about it. well, at least you're straight pederasts; if Hit-Girl had been Hit-Boy, i'm betting you fucks would have gone "meh", i'll wait for it on netflix.

  • April 7, 2010, 12:46 a.m. CST

    Comic Vs. Movie

    by Trekkie_Vixen09

    Good review! Reading a comparison between the comic and the movie helped me to figure out why I couldn't enjoy the comic as much as I did the movie. I know I went ass backward, seeing the movie first then reading it, but most of the time when I do that (read the source material after seeing the movie), I usually like the material as much as the movie, and it's not the case this time around.

  • April 7, 2010, 12:53 a.m. CST

    WANTED

    by George Newman

    the ending doesn't exactly make you want to flip back to the beginning and start reading again.

  • April 7, 2010, 1:03 a.m. CST

    tydur999

    by titpunch

    Way to project, douche. It's the unlikely nature and inherent offensiveness that makes me like hitgirl, an elderly or crippled superhero would have a similar effect, just without the "cute". You fucktards pointing the pedo-finger need a long look in the mirror. And stay the fuck away from my kids.

  • April 7, 2010, 1:19 a.m. CST

    "Before I delve into the film itself..."

    by BurnHollywood

    YADDA YADDA "...been reading/watching/collecting for years now..." YADDA YADDA "...what this comic/book/show means to me..." YADDA YADDA "when I heard they were making a movie, I could hardly contain my excitement..." YADDA, YADDA, YADDA, YADDA... Seems to be the bane of this site...

  • April 7, 2010, 4:57 a.m. CST

    Hit-Girl? GSG?

    by The Dreaded Rear Admiral

    Hmmm, maybe next up will be a live-action version of Gunslinger Girl? Why not go for it? You've seen one tweeny-bopper kill a bunch of bad guys, get a whole squad of them!

  • April 7, 2010, 5:44 a.m. CST

    The characters HIT GIRL and BIG DADDY kinda defeats the porpose,

    by AsimovLives

    Seems like the characters of HIT GIRL and BIG DADDY kinda defeats the porpose of all that realistic aspect of the comic. Unless the whole porpose of those two are to make even more evident and hammer the point of how lame and inept the protagonist is.

  • April 7, 2010, 5:52 a.m. CST

    Not getting the girl ending is a good idea

    by AsimovLives

    Again stresses the point of how stupid and derange in a real world all the idea of a guy dressing up and fighting crime as a super-hero really is. Really, what kind of girl in her right mind would actually fall for a geekoid idiot who dresses up in a deranged notion of viligantism bullshit? And would you actually want to go with a girl who would like that?<br><br> Hell, even the Nolan's BATMAN movies had Bruce Wayne lose the girl by her own choice because it's just too weird and screwed up to get romantically attached to a guy who dresses up to fight crime. that KICK ASS tried to go one step up in the ladder of realism but goes for a "boy gets the girl" route in the end is kinda disapointing. Seems the filmmakers made the mistake of falling too much inlove with the protagonist, to the deteriment of the whole point of the story.<br><br>I can already hear the sound of disapointment from the audiences when the ending cames when i will watch the movie.

  • April 7, 2010, 9:20 a.m. CST

    titpunch

    by tydur999

    bullshit. i can already see you searching on youtube for the hit-girl scenes, all lubed up and ready to go. oh yeah, from the way you describe your "attraction" for this character, it sounds like you should stay the fuck away from your kids.

  • April 7, 2010, 9:21 a.m. CST

    rear_admiral

    by tydur999

    exactly. or, maybe next time, they should make it a 5 year old. or, even better, an infant!

  • April 7, 2010, 9:22 a.m. CST

    But seriously

    by Series7

    The actor who plays kick ass is a 19 who is engaged to a 42 year old lady who is having his baby. She's already got 2 and beaten cancer twice. That Lifetime movie is ultimately more interesting then Kick Ass.

  • April 7, 2010, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Anyway, This Just Sounds Like MYSTERY MEN Meets HOME ALONE

    by tydur999

    let's see. a bunch of average doofuses who think they're super heroes? check. an annoying brat who sadistically tortures grown men? check.

  • April 7, 2010, 11:07 a.m. CST

    MYSTERY MEN was another atempt at comic desconstruction

    by AsimovLives

    ... and despiste some good ideas, it failed. For some reason, most filmmakers don't seem to understand that to desconstruct a genre, and to satirise it, you can't do it with kid's gloves. You have the be harsh, you have to be merciless, and you have to go all the way. You can't do deconstruction while at the same time hoping you can go all formulaic on it at the same time.

  • April 7, 2010, 11:41 a.m. CST

    Why the endings of Wanted and Kick Ass work

    by Huey_Freemans_afro

    Hi, guy. Long time reader, 1st time talker. TOTAL SPOILERS: 1) Wanted, amongst other things, is a bit like A Clockwork Orange and They Live (because I hate to compare to The Matrix.) Wesley becomes a despicable villian who murders and rapes random people, yet you've somehow rooted for him. At the end of the story, he essentially becomes part of the Illuminati. Think about that for moment. He's one of the masters of the world who keep the ignorant masses controlled through the media (apparently including comics.) Wesley is mocking you for rooting for him while you're still a slave to the system. If you were offended by the ending, then you just didn't get it. 2) Kick Ass: I wanna start off by saying that Dave wasn't that dislikable a guy. He did take a beating to save someone's life and run into a burning building to save... a cat. He beat the odds by surviving the mob, but was totally ravaged by high school. It was a punch in the gut for me too, but he kinda deserved it. His tactics with the girl were completely pathetic. Lone Fox is right. There was nothing racist about it. Teenagers can just be very cruel. Also contrast this with Hit Girl putting 2 bullies in the hospital on her first day of school.

  • April 7, 2010, 11:44 a.m. CST

    And let's stop the Mystery Men comparisons

    by Huey_Freemans_afro

    This isn't accurate either, but I would sooner say Superbad meets Kill Bill.

  • April 7, 2010, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Here is another take on the movie

    by joevfx

    http://sexfoodandcomicbooks.com/reviews/category/movie

  • April 7, 2010, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Matthew Vaughn > Mark Millar

    by TheWaqman

    as long as this film takes huge liberties with the comic then I'm game. I've been hearing great things about it.

  • April 7, 2010, 1:37 p.m. CST

    Superhero movies without superpowers

    by ebonic_plague

    I don't know why, but I can suspend my disbelief to accept a bulletproof guy who can fly and lift cars, far more than I can accept regular people in costumes fighting crime with sticks and wire-fu. Even the parts in Watchmen (the comic, not that ridiculous music video) where Laurie is supposed to fight off a dozen muggers, I just didn't buy it. I guess I just don't buy the central premise of Kick-Ass either. I'll stick to superheros with actual superpowers, or at least the realistic deconstructions (like Special or the one Vern just reviewed, Defendor) rather than these movies where only the heroes have inexplicable Matrix powers and everyone else is normal.

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  • April 7, 2010, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Imo a major Mis-reading of comic characterisation

    by sHapesHiftinLizard

    He does not become a superhero to get attention, nor does he do it because he is bored. the panels depicting him playing computer games etc, are there to show you he has no great tradegy in his life that created his dseire. He wants to become a sh because he desires a role in life that is meaningful and does some good, hence the line 'Why do people want to be Paris Hilton but no-one wants to be Spider-man?' Yes, he gets caught up in the attention after the fact, but that is a big diff to him wanting to be a glory hound in the first place. the attention is unexpected and he gets caught up some of the superficial aspects of it, only natural, only human, realistic like the book purports to be. this, combined with the fact that the guy gets up again to do the job, after a major ass kicking/accident, makes him a very likeable admirable character in my eyes. Re: ending to Katie and Dave..I agree that the phone photo was out of place, but for slightly diff reasons, it's not the kind of photo somone sends as revenge, in fact it's the kind of photo someone tried to send to get revenge on the person in the photo. But...the scene in school when she does a complete 360 and gets her new bf to punch Dave, that worked, that was realistic too. I have not seen the movie yet, so don't have an opinion on the change made to that particular ending.

  • April 7, 2010, 1:59 p.m. CST

    ok, i ****ed up one sentence back there...

    by sHapesHiftinLizard

    'it's not the kind of photo someone sends to show off as a kind of revenge, it's the kind of private(parts) photo someone else tries to steal to post around, to get revenge on the actual person in the photo.'

  • April 7, 2010, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Huey Freeman

    by tydur999

    yeah, you're right. let's stop the comparisons. "mystery men" was a consistently entertaining and hilarious film (though sadly far ahead of its time, which is why it bombed; release that film now and watch it crack $200 million) whereas "Suck-Ass" is vaughn eating millar's shit, shitting it out, and then serving it up to the audience.

  • April 7, 2010, 4:57 p.m. CST

    This movie is great

    by baaba_pappa

    do yourself a favour and see it in a full theatre, most fun you'll have all year

  • April 7, 2010, 6:12 p.m. CST

    tydur999

    by Huey_Freemans_afro

    I was going to debate you on this. But then I some of your other posts. It's obvious you've never read Kick Ass. That and you are kind of a douche.

  • April 7, 2010, 9:46 p.m. CST

    Huey Freeman

    by tydur999

    whatever, man. you're the douche if you don't like "mystery men". but then, you probably haven't seen it, have you? it came out 11 years ago, and i bet you still hadn't grown pubes yet. if, indeed, you ever will.

  • April 7, 2010, 10:47 p.m. CST

    Looking forward to this

    by Cruzboy

    I haven't read anything of Millar's except Ultimates and that was fantastic! Such a shame Loeb fucked it afterwards. Going to see this movie tomorrow night though, hopefully it will kick as much ass as everyone says. Nice review also, didn't realise there were people on this site that could review something without swearing repeatedly.

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  • April 16, 2010, 2:43 a.m. CST

    It took four or five issues to NOT like Dave?

    by loodabagel

  • April 16, 2010, 3:15 a.m. CST

    It took four or five issues to NOT like Dave?

    by loodabagel

    (Spoilers abound) I figured that out midway through the second issue. He is NOT a decent human being. In the second issue,when you see the emotional and financial turmoil he puts his Dad through, every iota of sympathy you have for the character should be gone. The reader's sympathy lies not for Kick-Ass, but for the people around him. Try as he might, this kid can do nothing but make things worse. Regarding his out-of-costume life, you can either get your pants in a bundle about him being Millar's critique of the common "comics public" OR you can take solace in the fact that you are nowhere near as pathetic as this kid. It's easy to view Kick-Ass as another criticism of superhero culture, but is it possible that it's just about an idiot kid getting the shit kicked out of him? The movie's treatment of the Dave/Katie relationship was also a little too ridiculous to handle. Lying about being gay to get closer to the girl, yeah, that's not morally reprehensible at all. Even assuming there's some superhero fetishism going on, we're supposed to accept that she goes from attacking him to fucking him in the span of two minutes? Most people aren't that forgiving, let alone teenage kids. Their relationship in the movie is more ridiculous than that stupid jetpack. The jetpack, ugh. I see no reason why that was at all necessary. It was dumb and excessive in all the wrong ways. The more I think about it, the more I didn't like the movie. There were some parts that I really liked, I tried to appreciate it as it's own thing, separate from the source material, but it all falls apart so horribly at the end, I can't forgive it.

  • April 16, 2010, 3:36 a.m. CST

    The movie versions...

    by loodabagel

    Of the characters certainly are more likable, but I feel like they missed the point of the comic in the process.

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