Friday, May 14, 2010
KICK-ASS (2010) - because the collective posterior has already been pummeled beyond repair
Young Chloe Moretz, in her role as Hit-Girl, presents a rather futile dilemma to paedophiles the country over. Namely, they would like nothing more than to finagle their way into her heroic spandex, due to her ability to stomp ass up and down the highway, yet stand to get beaten into a pile of chickenhawk mush should they try anything "fresh". It is this catch-22 (or make that catch-11, with all apologies to Joseph Heller, or Mike Nichols for that matter) that keeps these diaper sniffers at arms length and, resultingly, maintains the illusion of a "safe" performer/audience relationship.
The failing of the film (apart from the script being haphazard and shitty) is that it revolves around a title character, namely "Kick-Ass", who is an annoying schmuck that models himself after Peter Parker. We are supposed to believe that Mr. Ass, despite being played by some Calvin Klein underwear model, is the biggest nerd in the history of the world. He can't so much as walk down the street without getting his face pummeled, and female contact is but a beautiful dream repeatedly being snuffed out by a pyre of self-concocted loserness. His golden ticket out of this ghetto of lowly self-esteem is to become a super hero himself, since, as he puts it, "what if someone decided to fight crime while wearing a costume?" (keep in mind I tend to paraphrase for emotional effect).
Well, Mr. Ass, there is already an army of said crime fighters roaming the streets, "upholding the law", as it were. They're called COPS. PIGS. The fucking OINK PATROL So, your license plate has a dent and a chickenshit ticket needs issuing. Who comes to the rescue? Well, the boys in blue, of course; armed with bureaucratic initiative and armor piercing rounds, ready to uphold the law at a quota's notice.
Since Mr. Ass' reason for existence is effectively rendered moot, and since he is also a giant pussy that doesn't stand a chance in affecting this urban society's forward trajectory into an abyss of rampant hopelessness, this leaves Hit-Girl and her father (that snakeskin jacket dude from Wild at Heart) to take care of beeswax the old fashioned way; cutting people's fucking limbs off. After all, you don't really need your lower extremities if you're gonna be tossing salads in the big house for the rest of your life.
Another superhero is eventually introduced (played by the McMuffin guy from Superbad), and, interestingly, he is also a fake superhero like Mr. Ass, but from the other direction. Instead of a poseur with good intentions, Mr. McMuffin is a poseur with bad intentions; an evil decoy used to lure Mr. Ass to his doom. The McMuffin character attempts to be an interesting, Watchmen-lite deconstruction of the superhero mystique, in the sense that Kick-Ass establishes the "useless pussy in spandex vowing to serve good" paradigm, to which McMuffin contradicts with a "useless pussy in spandex vowing to serve evil" paradigm, thereby throwing the audience for a spandex-clad fruit loop; two birds of a masked feather flocked together, indiscernable to the naked eye.
HOWEVER, a useless vagina is still a useless vagina, regardless of intentions, and it is the superhero that continues unabated through swaths of danger, a noble samurai unswayed by menace or obstacle, that eventually hopes to add some sheen to humanity's rusting moral compass (by way of cartoonish John Woo-isms). It is Ms. Moretz, trained from birth by the fake Elvis with the mustache, that purely embodies this resolute force, and does so with a playful panache and a plethora of F-bombs (not to mention a well timed cunt missile). In addition, Hit-Girl is musically accompanied on her quest by not only The Dickie's "Banana Split Song" and Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation", but also a snippet of Ennio Morricone's "For a Few Dollars More theme". So goes our post-Tarantino universe. Either way, at least SOMEBODY is showing some balls.
If Kick-Ass proves to be a launching pad for Ms. Moretz as this decade's new breed of action hero, let me suggest teaming her with Zombieland's Abigail Breslin; a Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude Van Damme pairing for a new generation. The film could be called "Dirty Harriets", involving two new F.B.I. trainees who have had enough of the limitations of our justice system, and decide to take the law into their own hands; not as badged sadists in the pork officer tradition, but, rather, two young moralists bound by a collective empathy. These new breed of heroes could inspire not only 13-year-old girls, but also jaded cynics of an older vintage, providing a most unlikely communal melding of psyches.