Who Wants to See Kick-Ass?
February 21, 2010

Kick-Ass, a comic by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr., is also a movie due out April 16. It’s about a teenage boy who wants to be a superhero but has no powers or abilities, so all that’s left is violence and blood. One of the lead characters is Hit Girl, an 11-year-old with killer swordplay and a foul mouth. Her father, creatively named Big Daddy, is played by the biggest name in the picture, Nicolas Cage. (From being considered for Superman to this!)

Given the title and the concept of kids doing physically aggressive and gruesome things, major studios weren’t interested, so it’s coming out from the smaller independent Lionsgate, producers of The Spirit, Punisher: War Zone, and horror films like Saw. That track record doesn’t give me a lot of confidence, but I’m not the audience for Mark Millar’s works, anyway, given their reliance on juvenile exaggeration and vulgarity. This seems geared firmly for the core teen male superhero audience, although I suspect the R rating (for “strong brutal violence throughout, pervasive language, sexual content, nudity, and some drug use – some involving children”) may be a little troublesome there.

Here’s the age-restricted red-band trailer for Kick-Ass. Warning, lots of profanity and fighting, plus some sexual references.

Here’s a nice photo comparison between the comic characters and the people cast to play them. There are already two books out, a collection of the comics and a making-of.

Kick-Ass coverCreating the Comic, Making the Movie cover
Kick-Ass hardcover collectionCreating the Comic, Making the Movie

So, are you interested in the movie? Have you read the comic? What did you think?

18 Responses  
Alex de Campi writes:  

I’ve seen the trailer for this. While I’m delighted for Mark that his film is being made, I’m afraid this doesn’t really seem like my cup of tea.

James Schee writes:  

No, at least not in theaters anyway. I could see myself on a slow week spending a $1 out of a Redbox/Blockbuster Express to try it.

I did enjoy Wanted more that I thought I would though but this just doesn’t look like my cup of tea.

Roger writes:  

I actually think the movie may work better than the comic. The characters in Kick-Ass are all pretty flat and threadbare on the page, so they can only benefit by having actors breathe a little life into them.

Hal Shipman writes:  

I’m pretty put off by Millar’s hyper-violence and macho posturing, particularly at the expense of a story. And, thus, no interest in the book at all. But I did look at the earlier preview and it seem okay. Not full-price theater okay, but maybe Netflix or Redbox rental okay. But the mere existence of a red-band trailer (I haven’t dared look yet) makes me feel that I might retract that marginally positive reaction.

* which speaks of geek over compensation to me – show me you’ve actually taken a hit in a real sports game and then maybe I’ll listen to you.

Prankster writes:  

My understanding is that the filmmakers played pretty fast and loose with the comic, so if you thought it sucked it’s possible you might enjoy the movie. Or vice versa. Personally, I haven’t read it. The word of mouth has been very, very strong for this movie, but I’m not crazy about the director, Matthew Vaughn, who I thought butchered “Stardust”. Of course, that was Neil Gaiman, and this is Mark Millar–he could probably use a little butchering.

Alan Coil writes:  

Haven’t read the comic. Probably won’t see the movie because of Nick Cage being in it. I just don’t enjoy his work. I’d be slightly inclined to see the movie if the reviews were great, though.

Rivkah writes:  

Kick-Ass has grown on me with each preview, especially the one where Nicolas Cage’s character convinces his daughter to take a bullet in a Kevlar vest without whining, and she negotiates bowling and ice cream afterwards if she does. The latest full preview made it even more interesting to me.

I know I won’t be seeing it in theatres (there’s nothing I see in theatres anymore unless it’s something classic), but I’d like to rent this. Hit Girl is the kind of superhero I would have wanted to be when I was younger, actually. >_>;

Honestly, this kind of movie where people aren’t actually “super” outside of the extent of their believable abilities is far more interesting to me than a traditional superhero movie. It reveals the ridiculousness of superhero culture; the costumes, the attitudes, the fact that these are people nobody could ever possibly be.

I don’t know. It could be a flop or it could be incredibly entertaining. A foul-mouthed eleven year old or a teenager obsessed with sex and trying to prove himself through violence doesn’t bother me. Sounds … well … kinda honest to me. I’ve met fouler-mouthed eleven year olds. And her language seems more like a blunt kind of honesty than as filler. And the Kick-Ass himself sounds like most every teen I’ve ever known; dreaming of fighting against the world with more than angry gestures and glares.

This movie seems more like parody and sarcasm. Not to mention tongue-in-cheek dialog mocking the superhero genre in general? Sounds entertaining to me.

Rich Johnston writes:  

Saw the movie last month but I’m all embargoed to hell. But yes, I believe people will want to see this movie. Not a Dark Knight or Spider-Man audience. Maybe a Hellboy audience. But Kick Ass cost a lot less to make. A lot lot less. It is a moderate success, it will be one of the most profitable films of the year.

Joshua Macy writes:  

I’ve learned to avoid Millar’s comics, so no way I’m planning on seeing a movie based on one.

Thad writes:  

I liked the first couple of issues of the comic — right up until Big Daddy and Hit Girl showed up, actually. That was the point where the book took a sharp tonal turn.

It started out as a self-aware, nod-to-the-camera superheroes-in-real-life story, where Dave would try things he saw in comics and they’d turn out about like you’d expect them to if anybody actually attempted them in the real world. But once Big Daddy showed up, the book really did a 180 and turned into the very over-the-top trope it had previously been subverting.

Red Mist was a great character for a couple of issues (and his casting in the movie is perfect); he was probably the most realistic character in the whole book, a guy who plays superhero just because he wants to drive fast cars and meet girls. But then a plot twist later on turned him into yet another disappointing cliche.

Millar’s stated in interviews that Dave wasn’t even in the original plan for the book and was added when he realized he needed a “regular guy” to contrast the hyperviolent, cartoonish father-daughter team. And so there it is, that’s why the book’s so damn schizophrenic: to paraphrase The Simpsons, he wanted a story that was realistic and down-to-earth and full of magic aliens.

Thad writes:  

Ah, here’s the quote I was looking for: “a realistic, down-to-earth show…that’s completely off-the-wall and swarming with magic robots?”

ditto writes:  

I haven’t read the comic. Initially, I didn’t think that I would be interested in seeing the movie, but the trailers have been winning me over. The main reason? I think this has the potential to be a good satire.

Roundup LinkBlogging » Comics Worth Reading writes:  

[…] Sims at Comics Alliance makes fun of Mark Millar’s claims that Kick-Ass is a particularly realistic view of superheroes by looking at six particularly outrageous moments […]

Geoff J writes:  

I think this may well surprise people both in terms of quality and success. I have no interest in the book, but the film comes from a successful team and the trailers look fun, and it seems this has solved the problems that Thad mentions above, namely it’s claer from the start this isn’t realistic.

Geoff J writes:  

“Nicolas Cage. (From being considered for Superman to this!)”

It was more than considered. He was signed to do it, and when they went ahead and made Superman Returns instead, he received a multi-million dollar payout. Thus being possibly the only actor ever to earn a fortune NOT playing a superhero

Raphael Malveaux writes:  

I just finished the graphic novel. I am drooling at the prospect of seeing the movie. It will be awesome. It will be huge. The book was great and the movie could be even better. Sure, it will be incredibly violent but in a very warm and delightful way. I’ll be there on opening night in a few weeks. Yes, I do own my own costume and have come close to night patrol myself. Just a hair too lazy.

Kick-Ass: Creating the Comic, Making the Movie » Comics Worth Reading writes:  

[…] probably also won’t see the movie, out this Friday, for similar reasons. I’m sure it’s well-done; it’s just not my […]

Lions Gate Buying Summit » DVDs Worth Watching writes:  

[…] Their slate has included American Psycho, Dogma, Fahrenheit 9/11, the comic book movies Kick-Ass, Punisher: War Zone, and The Spirit, the Conan the Barbarian remake, and the upcoming Hunger Games […]


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