This Weeks Review: Kick- Ass the Comic and the Movie!
First off...One of my favorite things about reading literature is seeing it through the eyes of my own imagination. But not just through my eyes alone but seeing it through other’s eyes as well. That is why I LOVE to read stuff before the cinematic incarnation of the printed ink is made.
I remember reading through V for Vendetta and Watchmen then catching the director's take on the old Mad Moore's Masterpieces. I loved Frank Miller's 300 and was majorly jazzed years later that a film incarnation would ever be made based page for page from the novel. Even with a few frustrating yet still entertaining changes thrown in the film was just as rewarding as the comic. Not all of them have been gems, I remember scrambling to finish Michael Crichton Book "Sphere" before it was an all star cast motion picture only to hate not just the last few chapters of the book but also watch the boring part of the novel painful portrayed on the big screen.
Now as much as I love reading the source material, I’m not one of those purest who thinks the film can never be made into a movie unless it drips every comic panel and or word from the source material. I for one have seen films that are ten times better as a movie than they ever where as a piece of literature. The biggest example for me would be the movie The Crow; which would happen to be my all time favorite adaptation of a comic. James O'Barr's popular but overly dark graphic novel was not nearly as tender and sentimental as its film counterpart. The fact that director Alex Proyas bothered to not only name the title character but give him a heart as well, Elevated the essence of the story even greater than the source material.
So when it comes to Kick-Ass my nerd need to read the source material first was no exception. But it almost didn’t happen. I cut it pretty close. I read the last few pages the day before the film came out. So…what did I think? I rather enjoyed the comic more than I thought. At First, I was apprehensive to read Millar’s comic. In the past I’ve found Millar’s need to be a little more violent in a Nihilistic way to be at the very best distracting and unnecessary for the usually cool premise to work. Which is why I was not a big fan of the comic Wanted; which I feel is the comic equivalent to Vanity Fair (the novel without a hero not the magazine). I didn’t really like any of the characters at all. But the movie was good …heh.
Back to Kick-Ass! As I started reading I was pleasantly surprised. Yes it was violent and not for young kids…but the lead character was relatable and the proper amount of Nerdtastic to hold my interest. Once more as a comic, It did not try to take itself too seriously and though it had a lot of blood it was the kind of over the top blood one finds in zombie George Romero movie. To me it was not at all realistic to me. Its pop cultural references and its self-awareness to the comic genre were very refreshing to read. Not only was the comic somewhat warning its readers of the craziness of dressing up as a pajama wearing vigilante but it also gave us the over the top fun of the Super Hero world.
Now for the movie, I liked it. I liked it as much as the comic. It had all the same kinds of things the comic had and even toned down the violence a little so as to allow for the story to unfold even more. Could I do without the vulgar Hit-Girl..sure but I think the whole thing should not be taken so seriously. It was fun.
So how does it compare to other comic film incarnations? Well, it’s way better than any Fantastic Four film but not nearly as good as Iron Man or The Dark Knight. Yeah, that’s a pretty big gap. So it’s more between Wanted (the film) and yet not as good as Watchmen (the film or the comic).
In the end, I just want my art, whether in book, comic or celluloid form to be Good. Kick-Ass (the film) gets 3.40 paws out of 5.
But what do you all Think?