Saturday 28 May 2011

book + film: kick ass.

I've finally joined the Kick Ass appreciation group. So I'm about a year late, but whatever.

I'm a huge fan of the super hero genre. When I was teaching I once gave a presentation on graphic novels to try to get a class of disenchanted 16 year olds into books and delivered a visual literacy (i.e. being able to recognise that if a character is blonde and wears pink she's likely to be innocent and girly) using Batman and Superman as my subjects (dystopia vs. utopia). I could ramble on about how ace the X Men are and how it's a crying shame that Gambit wasn't in any of the films (this is still a very touchy subject). So Kick Ass was already doing well. I was also interested in the whole 'super hero without super powers' thing (I think this is why I also love Batman).

We watched the film first. I was hoping it was good after the mild humiliation of being IDed trying to buy the DVD (apparently I have the dress sense of a 14 year old - thanks HMV man). It certainly didn't disappoint. I loved the concept of a comic book fan boy deciding that he wanted to mimic his heroes, but not as much as I loved the fact that he wasn't actually all that good at it. I thought that Aaron Johnson did a fantastic job as Dave (snerk) the protagonist, he'll definitely be one to watch in the future.

But Johnson's talent pales in comparison to that of the amazing Chloƫ Moretz. Words cannot describe how amazing I think Hit Girl is. I think that she deserves her own full colour graphic novel and feature length film. And she's reignited my longing to have purple hair (that I'll never achieve because peroxide scares me). Yes, she does drop some pretty big bombs, but I think she's a fantastic strong female character. Nicholas Cage did a good job as her father, Big Daddy, but that's perhaps because he was being quite quiet and brooding. He was definitely not the star of their double act.

Having now read the graphic novel I will admit that the screen writers did make the story a bit more fluffy for Hollywood. The novel is, in a word, brutal, and I'm not sure that they would've been able to achieve the same audience (or certification) had they kept the original content. I do think, however, that it is a good adaptation. Sometimes you need to make some edits.

I'm not going to go into how amazing the plot was because I don't like spoilerific reviews. All I will say is that if you watch this film you should not be disappointed.

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