Kick-Ass: B (Movie) and Proud of It

Kick Ass movie poster

I’ve watched Kick-Ass in the cinema right after it was released, and I was thoroughly entertained. I nearly titled this post “Nicholas Cage: B (Movie) and Proud of It” because the last movie of Cage’s that I enjoyed was also a self-aware B-movie, Ghost Rider.

Now, there’s a funny thing about descriptors, that is touched in Philosophy of Language; the part where the reason they had received the name no longer applies. For instance, you might have got the term of distance “foot” from a real person’s foot, but if after the measuring was done (12 inches, or 31 centimeters) the measurements had changed, you didn’t then change the “size” it refers to.

Likewise, Kick-Ass enjoys the highest production qualities, and good acting and directing. Yet it’s a B-movie, partly because it makes a conscious choice to be one. Well, I’m unsure that today any movie is a B-movie that is not aware of its status, and it’s always better to embrace it for its full potential than to succumb to it unintentionally.

The over-the-top action sequences, with the goofy music? They’d be horrible, if they weren’t intentional, and thus hilarious. The closest thing is a homage to horror B-movies in Spiderman 2, when Dr Octopus‘ surgery goes wrong. And yes, the reference I am making to Spiderman is completely intentional. The actor has a face-structure reminiscent of Toby McGuire, the actor who portrays Spiderman, and he even has a voice (at least in the films), very reminiscent of his.

You have scenes such as climbing on the wall, or jumping across a roof-top, lifted straight from Spiderman 1.

It’s a good movie, it’s an amusing movie. If it weren’t so obvious it weren’t taking itself seriously I might have not liked it half as much. Then again, at some point, trying to adhere to genre conventions, even if they are those of “Non-seriousness”, becomes a very serious and demanding business.

Not only genres that are types of stories have conventions, or tropes, but also genres that are mediums, such as films, anime, or sub-categories of movies defined by their production values, with which specific content had often been associated. Such as the classic horror b-movies, or other films the Mystery Theater 3000 had mocked; they had similar content, and similar production values, till the genre is as much the production values as the content.

Score: 8/10 amusing yet stylistic beheadings. An inversion, a satire because it’s really not (it follows all the steps) of stories like Spiderman. The parody comes from the wink at the audience.

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6 comments on “Kick-Ass: B (Movie) and Proud of It

  1. Yi says:

    I liked this movie because it was different from most other superhero movies. At the same time, I could see why you’d say it’s a B movie. Parodies rarely are A’s.

    Anyways, I’ve always liked Nicolas Cage, even if he is extremely inconsistent in his successes with movies.

    • Guy says:

      Well, I think they are B-movies on purpose. I mean, they put those winks in on purpose, winking on us. They probably spent a lot of money to make some of their effects appear “low-grade” or campy.

      B-movies originally were yes, made as a lower quality movies. But some movies, especially today, embrace the moniker, and strive to be as much “B” as they can. It’s sometimes charming.

      I sometimes like Nicholas Cage, sometimes not. How many people seem to detest him seems a bit excessive.

  2. JasonP says:

    I wanted to like this movie, I really did and it has some good points. However I just walked away bewildered because of the odd marriage of brutality and situational comedy. I also found myself most liking the main villian, which put me in a strange mindset. If the director and scriptwriter had taken it somewhere else I would have been more interested, this is also much like the opinion of Roger Ebert – which I’m too lazy at the moment to find a link for.

    • Guy says:

      Regarding the odd marriage you speak of, I think that was part of the “B-vibe” they were looking for. A lot of originally B movies tried to be serious and ended up with people laughing unintentionally…

      And yes, the evil dude is the only one who’s acting like an adult.

      Adults in adolescent media are often-time evil ;)
      As to Nicholas Cage’s character, he was probably the most immature one of all.

  3. lovelyduckie says:

    I have every intention of watching this on blu-ray soon :) but I have obligations to Trueblood and Mad Men that must be fullfilled first! I actually only recently (finally) saw inglorious bastards

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