Elevate Difference

Kick-Ass

Kick-Ass, the movie, ruled. And though I thought the central character's journey was an interesting one, by far the movie appealed to me because of eleven-year-old Hit Girl. I had a big plan to dissect the movie here, but then this gal over at Jezebel totally stole my brain and wrote the most eloquent review ever. (I'll get to that in a minute.)

In a nutshell, this movie made me cringe, laugh, turn my head away from the screen in horror, and many times think, "I'm really uncomfortable with that," followed by, "I think. Am I?" For an action movie that originated in comic form, that's saying something. I usually have clear and distinct opinions about things, and use my mental arsenal of academic blatherings to back it all up. At the end of this film I knew two things for sure:

1) I liked it. It made me think. About violence, gender, and heroes.

2) I disliked intensely the parents who brought their kids (some of whom were as young as six years old) to this film. They didn't even seem distressed walking out of the theater. It was, like, no big deal that their young kids had watched a man being put into a giant microwave and exploding into bits. And now I had to feel shitty for vocalizing my love for gratuitous violence and vengeance-fueled murder because I just endorsed that ideology in front of kindergarteners. So thanks.

Anywayz.

I like super-violent films, I love comics, I love female characters, and so I tolerate a lot of crap movies and am willing to suspend a certain measure of disbelief and accept that some jerk-off was hired to "punch up" a script to sell the movie to a teen male demographic. And I know that if this movie got greenlit primarily because someone managed to get Halle Barry to play the female lead, you probably aren't gonna try to butch her up and have her wear something that would be more realistic for running after bad guys. I get that it's a business run by dudes, for dudes, and that it primarily showcases the fantasies of dudes. But for a small shining moment, we got Hit-Girl. And I am all for a sequel based totally on her.

"In Defense of Hit Girl" over at Jezebel should be read even if you never plan on seeing this movie. It's a great defense of the action genre by a feminist, and not the "it's just entertainment" or the "it's not a movie you should spend time thinking too much about" defense. And for the record, I'm a pacifist and a scaredy-cat. I've never been in a fight, nor do I plan to, but I ♥ violent cinema, especially warrior women characters. It's a thing.

I'm thinking this will make for an awesome Halloween costume, btw.

Cross-posted from Sweet Lady

Written by: Sandra Falero, April 25th 2010

Hi!

Though I do understand the obvious importance of Hit Girl as a feminist icon in a mostly male dominated space, I think your enthusiasm washes over some important issues this movie has. For one, this is ** not ** a progressive film. This movie falls in line with recent "Republican wet dreams" (this is not my line, I stole it from a blogger) like "Law Abiding Citizen" where the government is untrustworthy and corrupt and the only possible solution is to use the "Myth of Redemptive Violence" (Walter Wink) to save humanity. The only thing that works in this world is, precisely, violence and unlawful violence at that. It is morally justifiable according to these right wing products. On the other hand, while it is true that Hit Girl is a great feminist icon, people seem to be glossing over the fact that in the end, Kick Ass comes to her rescue. As inept as he is, he is still the knight in shining armour. Finally, the politics of race in this film are immensely problematic. All the "bad" characters in this film are either of colour (Black, Latinos and Arabs) or white groups that have been maligned throughout history (Russians and Italian Americans). There is only ONE "positive" character of colour and he plays a minor role in the movie. He's almost of no consequence. Just my two cents.

Thanks for the review, I'm definitely going to see it. I appreciate another perspective on the much-talked about 11 year old girl, besides "can you believe she said that?!"

And thanks for the Jezebel review suggestion.

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