Reviewed by: Sheri McMurray
VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer
Every time you buy a movie ticket or rent a video you are casting a vote telling Hollywood “That’s what I want.” Why does Hollywood continue to promote immoral programming? Are YOU part of the problem? Answer
Should I save sex for marriage? Answer
My boyfriend wants to have sex. I don’t want to lose him. What should I do? Answer
How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer
What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer
|Featuring:||Nicolas Cage (Damon Macready / Big Daddy), Chloe Moretz (Mindy Macready / Hit Girl), Aaron Johnson (Dave Lizewski / Kick-Ass), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Chris D'Amico / Red Mist), Elizabeth McGovern (Mrs. Lizewski), Lyndsy Fonseca (Katie Deauxma), more »|
|Producer:||Marv Films, Plan B Entertainment, Adam Bohling, more »|
“I can’t fly. But I can kick your ass.”
an adaptation of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.’s Kick-Ass
Sequel to this movie: Kick-Ass 2 (2013)
I usually don’t quote other reviewers and film critics in my posts. I try to take you from the secular world and focus on the reasons a Christian should or should not want to see a particular film. I try my best to count the swear words and take note of any language or behaviors that might sneak up on an unsuspecting Christian and send out an alert to you so that you can make a calculated moral decision as to whether you and your family might find a movie appropriate to view or not.
For “Kick-Ass,” I am making an exception.
So much controversy has already surfaced around the amount of foul language (uncountable and mind-bogglingly spoken by children under, over and around the age of 12) and murder (also, bloody, appalling, abusive slant on any Tarantino film) references to and visions of sex (and I’m talking teen sex, not adult, which I found inappropriate to view as a parent), as well as drugs in the film “Kick-Ass,” that my table has already been set.
The thing that should stand out to a Christian is that this time, with this film, we are not the only ones voicing our strong concerns. This time the uproar is coming up from the secular world, as well.
The plot, such as it is, has something to do with a gangster (Mark Strong) who operates a powerful New York drug-smuggling ring. His young son, Chris (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), yearns to prove himself a worthy inheritor of the family business. Meanwhile, Chris’ classmate Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) is a skinny, hapless high schooler, suspected of being gay by the girl he most desires. He is focused on winning the attention of this pretty girl named Katie (Lyndsy Fonseca).
Mindy Macready (Chloe Moretz) is a cute, petite, foul-mouthed pre-teen, schooled in the art of weaponry by her vengeance-obsessed father, Damon (Nicolas Cage). Just for practice, her Dad sometimes has her wear a protective vest and shoots at her, so she’ll know what it feels like to take a bullet. He also has no problem with her language. I wonder if that makes him the “cool Dad?”
Mindy’s bullet wielding Dad—who later transforms into his own superhero, named Big Daddy—is a former cop who holds a longstanding grudge against the gangster-father of Mindy’s nerdy friend Chris.
Despite no discernible physical agility or superhero skill, Dave decides to don a homemade bright green and yellow costume and go into the crime-fighting business. Mindy believes she can do some damage, as well, with her Dad’s blessing and the right super-hero-esque weapons belt in pink and wig of purple. These two pint sized avengers eventually go on to become Hit-Girl and Kick-Ass, the salvation of a drug-and-violence-plagued New York City.
All of these players' paths eventually cross, in a manner which, while perhaps dramatically satisfying, is completely regrettable. Like most films making a bid to become a billion-dollar franchise, “Kick-Ass” tries too hard to shock us with language and vulgarity, too many characters and too many plot threads. If you’re not predisposed to this brand of fanboyish, back-story-clogged mayhem (the film is based on a comic-book series by Mark Millar and his characters already established by that genre), you’ll likely find yourself very confused. If you are a parent, I suspect you will want to run screaming from the theater. What these characters represent as possible role models to this generation has sent up red flags, not just to the Christian community, but to those in the secular realm as well.
In interviews, the cast has defended the script’s abusiveness and foul language as “not to sweat it, folks, it’s just good fun and fantasy, and we would never talk like that in real life.” Sure, guys, we know that… but the potential millions in the viewing audience that are teens and pre-teens are looking for role models, even though they may not be consciously thinking in that direction. So these characters, if allowed to become popular enough by the public’s forgiveness of the just-fantasy angle, have the acrid responsibility to the adults who may be looking at a future of chaos in a household of kids spouting the f-bomb and kicking-a** on authority at every turn.
As Kenneth Turan of the L.A. Times has said:
“You pay your money, you pick your poison.”
Christopher Tookey even stated in the Daily Mail of this film:
“One of the most disturbing icons and damaging role models in the history of cinema.”
He went on to state what I feel is paramount, as well:
“The reason the movie is sick, as well as thick, is that it breaks one of the last cinematic taboos by making the most violent, foul-mouthed and sexually aggressive character, Hit-Girl, an 11-year-old.
Played with enormous confidence by Chloe Moretz, she’s the most charismatic character in the movie. She may not realize it, but she has been systematically abused by her father, brainwashed and turned into a pint-sized [monster].
She believes that her vigilante dad (played, simplistically, for laughs by Nicolas Cage) is a hero just as much at the end as she did at the beginning.
Her attitude towards him doesn’t mature, which makes her pathetic, rather than cool. The fact that many people who see the film are going to think she is cool is one of its most depressing aspects.”
I asked a couple of people who did not have kids with them about their reaction to “Kick-Ass” and its cast of characters. The consensus was that the movie brings kids into the adult world way sooner than they need to be there. They also stated, every last one of them, that they definitely would not allow their kids to see this movie—ever. That means not now or rented or to buy later.
I have also cruised the net looking at polls, and every one I have viewed where the question was asked: “Would you take your kids to see this movie?” ~ The ‘no’ votes were up in the 90% marks! These were not polls or interviews from other Christian sites. They are from main stream net areas such as CNN, Fox and online news agencies like L.A. Times, Chicago Sun Times and Arizona Daily Sun, to name a few.
I can’t help but quote respected secular film critic Roger Ebert, who states it perfectly referring to “Kick-Ass”:
“A movie camera makes a record of whatever is placed in front of it, and in this case, it shows deadly carnage dished out by an 11-year-old girl, after which an adult man brutally hammers her to within an inch of her life. Blood everywhere. In one scene, she faces a hallway jammed with heavily armed gangsters and shoots, stabs and kicks them all to death, while flying through the air with such power, it’s enough to make Jackie Chan take out an AARP membership.
This isn’t comic violence. [It’s so realistic that…] these men, and many others in the film, are really stone-cold dead. And the 11-year-old apparently experiences no emotions about this. Many children that age would be, I dunno, affected somehow, don’t you think, after killing eight or 12 men who were trying to kill her?”
One more quote just to prove my point, that we Christians are not the only people concerned about this film. Dana Stevens, of Slate states:
“The director, Matthew Vaughn, pointed out the hypocrisy of those who criticized his movie’s use of profanity while ignoring its violence: ‘I was like, ‘Does it not bother you that she killed about 53 people in this film?’ … I’m like, ‘Would you rather your daughter swore, or became a masked vigilante killer?’ They’re going, ‘Yeah, I don’t know.’ Cogently put, sir. But this critic, for one, is going, ‘Yeah, it does bother me that Hit Girl, and her fellow amateur superheroes rack up a body count in the high dozens.’ In the course of this zany romp made for the high-school set, human bodies are microwaved, crushed in trash compactors, skewered, bazookaed, and burned alive. And, yes, it’s comic-book violence and deliberately over the top—but since “Kick-Ass”’s whole premise is that comic-book violence, when enacted in real life, has real consequences, it seems a strange choice to layer Tarantino-style splatter onto the Y.A.-novel setting and play the whole thing for laughs.”
One of Satan’s main goals is to turn people away from trusting in the Bible and the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We must be very careful not to trust in our own feelings or understandings when they do not agree with God’s word. This sadly happens to many adults and children.
Make no mistake about it, Satan will always become something that will look ok, such as in a fantasy book or movie, and appear like it’s all in fun or perhaps for laughs and really isn’t anything to be concerned about. But be warned, that this is the best smoke screen Satan has going for him. Just when you or your kids let down that guard and believe the lie, that’s when Satan gets a grip.
Satan is the father of lies. He is cunning at the task of twisting or misrepresenting the truth. Also a cool perpetrator of many forms of deception, like films or books which seem to make sense because they weave lies with the truth, like masking the essence of a film such as “Kick-Ass” as just fantasy and humor, when in truth it will eventually lead to more of the same smut and violence—a way for Satan to enslave the impressionable minds of the youth.
But, by far, the most malicious form of a lie is using something good to bring about ultimate evil. To illustrate this, imagine Satan on a fishing expedition. Like a seasoned fisherman, he will not attach a hook to the line and toss it in just like that. He knows that most fish just won’t voluntarily bite on an exposed hook. So, he will consider the type of fish he’s after, and will “dress up” the hook accordingly: a flashy lure for some fish, a worm (real or plastic) for others, a fly for yet others. Does he do this because he wants to feed or entertain the fish? Of course not! He wants to feed himself. The seeming good that may come from him is intended for your ultimate demise.
So beware, all you fish out there, remember there is only ONE Fisherman who will take you and care for you—body, mind and soul, and That Man is Jesus Christ. Know the truth well, for it will set you free. Know Him Who is Truth, for He will help you see past the wily deceptiveness of Satan. We need to know what God’s word says; abide by it for the sake of our very souls.
I add, in closing, this very important point to parents. “Kick-Ass” is NOT your family-friendly superhero movie. This is NOT even a funny parody of superhero dramas, such as “Spiderman” or “Batman.” This is NOT FUNNY! It is serious smut and an offensive way to expose kids to the aggressive, repellent, perverse behaviors we as parents have been fighting in a super way for decades to filter OUT of their lives.
The director of “Kick-Ass,” Matthew Vaughn, himself stated that he made this movie for a particular audience, and he also stated that the people who won’t go see it are the one’s who find it offensive, so my answer to that is ~ I hope and pray the crowd who finds it offensive is vast enough to push this horrifically mortifying dud into obscurity!
Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Extreme
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.