Kick-Ass: the Review: a review

Well I touched on this in my review of Kick-Ass itself, but it's something worth revisiting in its entirety here, since The Daily Mail's own review of Kick-Ass is perhaps the most entertaining thing I've read since Seduction of the Innocent. First off, go read Christopher Tookey's review. Yes, it's homework, but you'll enjoy it. Oh, and if you agree with anything Tookey says - don't come back.

For those blissfully unfamiliar with The Daily Mail, do allow me to explain. Like The Sun and The Star, it's a British tabloid rag and, as such, represents roughly 80% of everything that's wrong with England today - crass populist opinion, celebrity bollocks, and a growing right-wing agenda. The Daily Mail was also something of a fan of a Mister Hitler, but they don't like to talk about that. Nowadays, they content themselves with raging about immigrants, Jonathan Ross, the BBC and Russell Brand. And God forbid you should upset any of our national treasures or make a movie in which things happen and characters say stuff.

Matthew Vaughn's Kick-Ass, as the review points out, was co-written by Jane Goldman - or "wife of Jonathan Ross", as they like to describe her. Never mind all those screenplays she wrote, "wife of Jonathan Ross" is what it reads on the top of her CV. Forget Stardust, "wife of Jonathan Ross" is Goldman's sole claim to fame. As such, being written by the "wife of Jonathan Ross", Kick-Ass was never going to garner glowing praise from the Mail, but the 1/5 star review is still incredibly hyperbolic. Indeed, it harkens back to the infamous days of the "video nasties", during the heyday of which you could find The Daily Mail on the front line, calling for the banning of this, that and everything. Reading their review of Kick-Ass, Mary Whitehouse would be so proud.

"This crime against cinema is twisted, cynical, and revels in the abuse of childhood" reads Tookey's headline. Ouch. But then, I wouldn't argue against the 'twisted, cynical' bit. That's why I love it. That's why everyone else loves it. Surely Tookey gets that it's not supposed to be taken seriously, right? Nobody with half an iota of common sense could ever take Kick-Ass seriously... could they?

"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." Oh. And it's certainly not as good as the Zac Efron vehicle, 17 Again (3/5 stars - only 1 star away from being as good as Let the Right One In).

"Our hero learns nothing, except that extreme violence against criminals is cool, which is something he thought in the first place." (Well, actually, he gets beaten to a pulp every time he puts on the costume. I'm pretty sure he doesn't find it cool, and nor would anyone else in their right mind. Well, masochists aside). But the best is yet to come, as Tookey unsurprisingly targets Chloe Moretz's Hit Girl with his next moral outrage explosion:

"The movie's writers want us to see Hit-Girl not only as cool, but also sexy, like an even younger version of the baby- faced Oriental assassin in Tarantino's Kill Bill 1. Paedophiles are going to adore her." Um, 'sexy'? Really? In that purple wig, she's about as sexy as my nan.*

"One of the film's creepiest aspects is that she's made to look as seductive as possible - much more so than in the Mark Millar and John Romita Jr comic book on which this is based. She's fetishised in precisely the same way as Angelina Jolie in the Lara Croft movies, and Halle Berry in Catwoman." Seriously? I don't think anyone finds young Chloe Moretz "fetishised" or "seductive". And she's certainly no Angelina or Halle Berry. She's got crap tits for one thing. And she can act, for another. It wouldn't surprise me to see The Mail declare Moretz's involvement in the movie as child abuse or something equally stupid. Sure, she says the word 'cunt', but the whole point is that it's supposed to be ridiculous and offensive.

"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?" Damn, I hadn't realised that Kick-Ass was a documentary. Expect a movie on both those subjects to emerge next year, starring Rupert Grint and the kid off've Everybody Hates Chris, respectively.

Now, I'm not beyond a bit of moral outrage myself, but Tookey seems to be finding a bucketload where there's really very little. Admittedly, I'm writing with as much of an agenda as Tookey himself - I fucking loathe The Daily Mail and its ilk; I honestly think the tabloid press is responsible for a great deal of England's modern problems - but I'll freely admit I'm a moron. I'm not holding myself up as some sort of moral guardian, defending middle England from the likes of Matthew Vaughn, Jonathan Ross, Jews and immigrants. Me, I'm not being paid to write this trash - and certainly not under the pretence of wholesome "family reading".

Down with this sort of thing.

*Well, my nan is hella hot.


  1. If this is how the British media think of Kick-Ass, OMG what will our prudish American media come up with.

    I wrote a review as well. Check it out.

  2. The moral guardians are freaking out about it here in Austrralia too. Nice article!

  3. Rock the hell on. People so misunderstanding something, it's amazing.