So, I had the chance to see Kick-Ass over the weekend…and I wasn’t really impressed with it. Don’t get me wrong: it started off really strong, but it all kind of fell apart half way through the second act. Before I go any further, I should warn you that I am about to spoil several key plot points of both the movie, and the comic.
Let me start by saying that I really enjoyed the comic. It’s probably one of the best things Millar has ever written in my opinion, and if you haven’t read it yet, stop reading this right now and go buy it. I’ll wait for you…
…See? Awesome, wasn’t it? And the great thing is, the whole comic reads written like it was meant for the big screen. Maybe that’s why I’m so confused as to why they changed so much about the story during the second half of the movie.
The comic book Kick-Ass is the story of Dave — an average high school kid with no training, no gadgets, and no muscles who decides that he wants to be a super hero. He puts on a costume, and promptly gets his ass kicked. After months in the hospital, he tries it again, and actually saves someone. This heroic act is caught on camera and posted to YouTube making Dave an overnight sensation. When Dave ends up at the house of a drug-dealer at the request of a battered girlfriend, he once again finds himself in over his head. Luckily, a 10 year old death-dealing little girl comes to his rescue. She introduces herself as Hit-Girl, and her father as Big Daddy. This duo appears to be the real deal, as Hit-Girl was trained to be a killer by her renegade ex-cop father. Except, Big Daddy isn’t an ex-cop; he’s just another comic fan who took things too far, just like Dave. Big Daddy ends up with a bullet in the head for his trouble.
Early in the adventure, the hottest girl at school is led to believe that Dave is gay, and she takes him under her wing as her gay BFF. Dave doesn’t mind this too much, since he has a crush on her, and would do anything to be close to her. By the end of the story, Dave ends up telling her that he is not gay, and that he is madly in love with her. She ends up having her boyfriend beat Dave down in the middle of school. Then she has her friends send mean and threatening texts to his phone. Then she sends him a picture of herself in a *compromising situation* with her boyfriend. Dave really really enjoyed the picture (if you know what I mean), but he hates himself for it.
At the end of the story, Dave and Hit-Girl end up taking down a major crime boss. Hit-Girl goes to live with her mother, Dave is still kind of a loser, and “super” heroes are popping up everywhere. It may not seem like it from the above synopsis, but there is actually a whole lot of humor in the story. There is also quite a bit up heroism and emotion, but the story stays (for the most part) grounded in reality.
My main issue with the movie is that it went Hollywood at the end. They made it so that Big Daddy really was an ex-cop, they made Dave’s high school crush fall in love with him, and they put Dave on a jetpack with twin mini-guns attached to it. Which he learned to expertly operate within 30 minutes. Yeah.
The story was fine as it was without throwing in jetpacks and unlikely romances at the end. I’m not saying that I didn’t like the movie at all, because that’s not the case. I’m just saying that I wish I had waited for Netflix. Then again, maybe I would have liked it just fine if I hadn’t read the comic first.