Well it’s been a few days since Kick-Ass’s release and a recent article in the L.A. Times made me want to reevaluate it for some of its more engaging elements.
Kick-Ass did provide a fun and different kind of superhero movie with a realistic spin on things (minus the jet-pack Gatling gun) in a way much different from Batman Begins-style realism.
The violence did feel extreme at some points, but it fit with the movie’s sense of showing the audience how bloody trying to be a super-hero would actually be. The title character’s attempt to stop two thugs ends with him being stabbed in the gut, which is pretty much how things would end up if a guy in a costume attempted to stop some real street thugs.
Unique and well-defined characters like Hit-Girl and Red Mist were helpful in showing how one person can be a very different superheroe. Hit-Girl is too young to really make any moral choices and goes by what her father taught her, which involves killing anyone who is a threat and showing no mercy.
Of all the superhero movies I’ve seen, very few depict a hero as brainwashed and Kick Ass brought that possibility to light. Spiderman, Batman, Superman and Ironman all accept the burden of their life and none fights for revenge. In fact, by most other superhero stories, Hit-Girl and Big Daddy — who is a clear parody of Batman —would be considered the villains because of their blatantly violent methods. Instead they are the unlikely heroes Kick-Ass uses to tear apart the genre.