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Kick-Ass (2012)
Shut up. Kick-Ass.
Filmmaker(s): Matthew Vaughn

Dave Lizewski is an unnoticed high school student and comic book fan who one day decides to become a super-hero, even though he has no powers, training or meaningful reason to do so.

Kick-Ass (2012)

Drawing One’s Self

I saw this fellow’s last movie. “Stardust.” It was an idea full of potential but lacked coherence, soul. It took you a world (two worlds) that were puddles created by each craft. This is less incoherent, but still has no intent, no imperative in the world. Imagine a world in which imagination has no force. The irony is that the story is about a kid who simply by wishing made a world that would have him in it as a superhero.

So as a movie, leave it alone. But as an example of what I call clever folds, it is a gold mine.

Take the effect I just mentioned: dorky kid sits in front of a computer and masturbates every night. We are told that his fantasies can get pretty rich, and then we — maybe — enter one of those fantasies. Just so this particular device doesn’t get old, we have him occasionally give us a voice over talking about the nature of the superhero and the unlikeliness of the fantasies.

Mixed into this fantasy are two standard movie devices that often host inner folds: the boy is dying and imagines his life as it might have been. In that future, he has a comic named after him, that his friends (and girlfriend) read in a comic store. The story then emerges from the pages.

Oh yeah. The big fold can come from that thread; the kid imagining a world, wherein he is dying and further imagines success, wherein a comic exists that drives his actions. Or alternatively, we have a meek man, a cartoonist who is making a comic that has the story that impinges on our kid’s world.

We can have each of the comics generating the other, or both. In this second comic we have our impossibly rich and powerful villain, surrounded by dozens of cartoon guards, fodder for the ten year old.

This is a powerful idea, a story, and better a cartoon being created in the story and governing part or all of the story. Here we even have the cartoon “come to life” to give us some backstory. It is all powerful stuff, and could have been pulled off with a director that understood the nature of worlds. You have to have forces that drive things; otherwise it is all just a bunch of scenes that involve the same people.

It is probably impolite to mention the fact that the star of the fantasy is a ten year old girl with the biggest body count, most bloody deaths and foulest mouth. There is some dangerous and uncomfortable stuff here in terms of sexual tropes draped over this kid. The impolite mention is to notice that this is in the context of a teen body creating a sexual fantasy. We see tissues flying into a wastebasket. Definitely squirm material.

I have never seen a Marvel production that was worthy of recommendation. They just have this uncinematic, oppressive notion of how worlds work. Apparently knowing this, they formed Marv Productions to handle edgier stuff. They should try another tack.

Posted in 2010

Ted’s Evaluation — 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


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