Sunday, 4 August 2013

Kick Ass v X Men

I watched, at the weekend, the first X Men, followed by Kick-Ass. I remember when the first X Men came out - it seemed fresh, at the time, with a serious cast (Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan; an excellent Rogue, played by Anna Paquin, and nice turns from James Marsden, Famke Jansenn, Hugh Jackman, et al.) It had quips, and wit, and wasn't too full of itself. But now, after the slew of portentous superhero movies that have come after it, it seems to have lost some of its lustre.

Unfair, perhaps; but far more exciting, sweet, involving and clever was Kick-Ass, starring Aaron Johnson, and with the unforgettable Chloe Moretz as the super-cool eleven-year-old foul-mouthed assassin, Hit Girl. Even Nicholas Cage managed to be good. It has a fabulous conceit (for those of you who don't remember, it sees a geeky boy try to become a real life superhero, only to become embroiled both in organised crime, and in a revenge plot led by Hit Girl's father.) The direction is sparky and aware of its comic-book status; the violence, though perhaps extreme, is leavened by the fact that we know it's all a silly dream.

Unfortunately, there were trailers for Kick-Ass 2 in the ad breaks. It looks like the film has become more of a straightforward action movie. Let’s hope that Johnson’s endearing goofiness, and Moretz’s totally ice cold moves, endure; that it won’t become yet another boilerplate, doom-laden action flick, whose momentous images leave nothing behind when you’ve finished watching. Let's remember that in real life superheroes don't exist; so they may as well make us laugh.

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