Crockett and I went to see Kick Ass Tuesday night. I'd proposed a date night and he was amenable, provided that it included either The Avett Brothers or Hot Tub Time Machine. The Avett Brothers were sold out and we were far too old and unstoned (it was 4/20 in Boulder CO!) to try to find a scalper. When we arrived at the movie theater I trumped his Hot Tub Time Machine request with my desire to see Kick Ass and the fact that I paid for dinner - I'm surprised he didn't see it coming, honestly. I was determined to see it for two reasons. 1) I lurve me some superheroes. 2) From what I'd heard of Hit Girl, I was pretty sure she had a good chance of replacing Coraline in my personal stable of girls-I-wanna-be-when-I-reverse-grow-up girls.
You guys? I cried. I cried during Kick Ass, and not just once. I cried for probably half an hour of the movie.
If you're not familiar with the movie, here's what's public knowledge from the previews. It's based on a culty comic book that no non-comic book nerds have ever read. We start with a very nice, geeky boy Dave somewhere in New York City wondering why no real people have busted out the superhero persona. It's possible, right? Sure, a little suicidal, but when you're a bored 16 year old, what else do you have to do? Dave orders an exceptionally cheesy green and yellow neoprene suit off the Internet, does the obligatory 'you talking to ME?' poses in the mirror, and heads out to kick some ass. In the spirit of why be original when being prosaic will be equally effective and require less work, he chooses the super hero name of Kick Ass.
It turns out that Kick Ass is not, in fact, the only game in town. From the previews you know there is a cockatiel looking kid with fancy toys named Red Mist and a father/daughter team named Big Daddy and Hit Girl. It's all very exciting, and if the previews didn't make you want to go see it, I think you're broken somewhere inside and should probably seek professional help.
WARNING: I'M ABOUT TO SAY THINGS THAT WILL GIVE AWAY PARTS OF THE MOVIE YOU DO NOT WANT GIVEN AY IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN IT AND PLAN TO. IF THAT'S THE CASE, SCROLL DOWN TO THE OTHER LONG AND INTRUSIVE CAPITALIZED SENTENCE UNDER THE PICTURE OF RED MIST.
If you, like me, want the movie to be all Hit Girl all the time, you'll be disappointed. She and Big Daddy don't make an appearance until after Kick Ass goes out on his first ass kicking adventure. His first attempt at crime stopping comes when he sees muggers he's familiar with trying to steal a car. He pulls his clothes off - he's been wearing his superhero suit as underwear every day just in case - and proceeds to get beaten so badly that the majority of his limbs are shattered and need to be reinforced with titanium and his nerves stop responding to impact. After an unspecified period of time, he gets let out of the hospital and returns to school.
They never truly address that Kick Ass's original point - that normal people can be superheros - is now completely invalidated as far as he's concerned. When he tried to fight as a normal person, he got trounced and bad - it's not until he's part Wolverine and part that kid in my elementary school class who would run into walls screaming 'it doesn't hurt' that he starts to have some success. His success, of course, comes in the form of a viral video.
Now Hit Girl and Big Daddy show up - in the form of him shooting her in the chest. She's wearing a bullet proof vest and he wants to her know what it feels like - you know, so that when the bad guys aim a gun at her she won't be scared.
She and Big Daddy reach out to Kick Ass, welcoming him to the fold, but while Kick Ass is all about stopping petty criminals, they have a bigger goal. Big Daddy is an ex-cop, and went to jail when Hit Girl was just a fetus after being framed by the criminal kingpin Frank D'Amico. Something bad happened to Hit Girl's mom (I don't know what, I had to pee shutUP), and Hit Girl was raised by Big Daddy's cop partner while Big Daddy served his time.
Despite the obvious difference in costumes, D'Amico confuses Big Daddy (who has been taping himself killing D'Amico's men and sending the tapes to D'Amico) and Kick Ass. D'Amico's son brilliantly deduces that the way to get a superhero to trust you is to be a superhero yourself, and Red Mist is born.
A tangled superhero love/hate web thing starts happening, and it ends with the death of Big Daddy and D'Amico, leaving Red Mist as the cranky antihero for future installments.
OK - I THINK YOU SHOULD BE FINE NOW. NO MORE SPOILERS, I PROMISE CROSS MY HEART HOPE TO DIE STICK A NEEDLE IN MY EYE.
Let's just get this out there - Hit Girl is not ok. She is not a well adjusted child. She does not have a particularly healthy relationship with her father. She kills people and she uses the word 'cunt' without even wincing. She is damaged in more ways than most adult superheroes, and that's before the trauma the movie inflicts on her. She has capital letter bold italic ISSUES. She is, in my humble untrained opinion, a sociopath.
The story line that she and Big Daddy share is so much darker than Kick Ass's origins. Even when Kick Ass gets hurt (which I'm assuming you can conclude happens occasionally since he's a regular dude in a wetsuit fighting crime), it's in a light sunshiny way. When Big Daddy asks Hit Girl what she wants for her birthday, she says something girly like 'a pony'. When she sees the look of disappointment on his face, she says 'I'm just fucking with you, daddy. I'd like a couple of switchblades.' She takes bullets to the chest and kills people to please her father. It's more than a little disturbing, because she (unlike the other characters) isn't truly making her own choices.
I know that it's a movie based on a comic book, and I know that there are people out there who will think I'm taking this too seriously. 'Chill out, Emma. It's just a movie.'
I am chill. I fucking LOVED this movie. Yeah, I cried - Hit Girl's entire storyline made me cry. I am going to be Hit Girl for Halloween (just putting that out there now - the rest of you can do it too if you must but we'll always have this blog post to prove that you copied me). I love Hit Girl in all her sociopathic-daddy-issues glory, and you should too.
emmanation rating: that wedding cake from Like Water For Chocolate that was extra delicious because of all the tears in it.