Kick-Ass

Don’t be fooled by the hype: This crime against cinema is twisted, cynical, and revels in the abuse of childhood

Published on Daily Mail.co.uk, by Christopher Tookey, Last updated at 11:32 PM on 01st April 2010.

Millions are being spent to persuade you that Kick-Ass is harmless, comic-book entertainment suitable for 15-year-olds.

Don’t let them fool you. Kick-Ass has been so hyped that it is certain to be a hit. It is also bound be among the most influential movies of 2010. And that should disturb us all.

It deliberately sells a perniciously sexualised view of children and glorifies violence, especially knife and gun crime, in a way that makes it one of the most deeply cynical, shamelessly irresponsible films ever …. // 

… The biggest problem of the movie, creatively speaking, is that it has pretensions to intelligence but is profoundly, irredeemably bone-headed.

It starts as though it’s going to expose the huge gulf between comic strips and reality, but ends up reducing the real world to the most morally fatuous kind of comic strip.

A worthwhile satire on comic-book culture might criticise the idiotic way it uses sadism and voyeurism to entertain, with no thought of the social consequences … //

… Movies such as City Of God, Innocent Voices and Johnny Mad Dog have treated the issue with sensitivity.

But in Kick-Ass, childish violence of the most extreme kind – hacking off limbs, shootings in the mouth, impalings and fatal stabbings – is presented with calculated flippancy, as funny, admirable and (most perversely of all) sexually arousing.

The film-makers are sure to argue that there’s nothing wrong with breaking down taboos of taste – but there are often good reasons for taboos.

Do we really want to live, for instance, in a culture when the torture and killing of a James Bulger or Damilola Taylor is re-enacted by child actors for laughs?

The people behind this grotesque glorification of prematurely sexualised, callously violent children know full well that they are going to make a lot of money, and they’ll get an easy ride from the vast majority of reviewers, who either don’t care about the social effects of movies or are frightened to appear ‘ moralistic’ or ‘judgmental’.

The truth is, of course, that all critics moralise and make judgments, whether they realise they are doing so or not. So please don’t be misled. Kick-Ass is not the harmless fun it pretends to be.

Yes, it’s lightweight and silly, but it’s also cynical, premeditated and mindbogglingly irresponsible.

And in Hit-Girl, the film-makers have created one of the most disturbing icons and damaging role-models in the history of cinema. (full text).

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