Now I don’t mean to use any harsh language, but Roger Ebert has proven himself to be a fuddy duddy. A 1/5 rating for Kick-Ass? Really? Now I hate to be the writer to make all the “Kick-Ass lived up to the name” references, but it can’t be helped, Kick-Ass truly did kick ass. It is just baffling that a comic book movie that can be legitimately compared to The Dark Knight and Iron Man in terms of quality would receive the lowest rating possible.
Let’s go over Mr. Ebert’s review. He seems to be thrown off by the high levels of violence in Kick-Ass, especially the violence by 11 year old Chloe Grace Moretz as Hit-Girl. Ebert seemed particularly offended that Hit-Girl got the crap beat out of her by a grown man. It was, admittedly, a little uncomfortable to watch a grown man pummel a little girl, but it fit in with the semi-realistic nature of the movie. Small children do not have the mass to fight fully grown gangsters in hand to hand combat. Look at this image from the Kick-Ass graphic novel and tell me the violence was not to be expected.
Yet, Mr. Ebert had no problem whatsoever with the over the top violence and gore in Kill Bill, even though that featured a young girl in a schoolgirl outfit named Gogo Gabari fighting with a spiked ball on a chain who was violently killed. In fact, Ebert gave Kill Bill a rating of 4/5.
Now I’m not trying to bring down Kill Bill, I thoroughly enjoyed both movies, I am just pointing out that Roger Ebert’s stance on violence against the youth seems to be a little uneven. It seems that Mr. Ebert is more likely to give somebody like Quentin Tarantino some leeway in reviews, while coming down hard on lesser known comic properties. This is truly a shame, as Kick-Ass could be starting a trend of great movies based off of less mainstream comics with movies like The Losers and Scott Pilgrim coming out.
Kick-Ass did not try and hide the nature of the movie. It’s name is Kick-Ass, of course there is going to be violence, especially since it is a semi-realistic view of what would happen if somebody dressed up as a superhero and tried to fight crime. They would most likely get their ass kicked. Even the trailer opened up with a man dressed in a falcon-like costume falling to his death. Kick-Ass did a great job mixing in humor into what on the outside seems like a pretty bleak world. Even Mr. Ebert had to admit that the movie started off hilariously. I was lucky enough to attend an advanced screening of Kick-Ass, and the entire audience was reacting to every scene. Almost everything that happened in the movie elicited some sort of reaction from the crowd, whether it was laughter, gasps, or appreciative oohs. The end, which Mr. Ebert claimed was dark and made him sad, still got a great positive reaction from the audience, and nobody could stop talking about Kick-Ass on their way out of the theater. I believe that is a far larger sign of a great movie than a review by Roger Ebert. In the end, a movie that draws that kind of positive reaction from the general audience is sure to be remembered as a good one. If you are interested in seeing a good movie, I highly recommend Kick-Ass, but be warned, it features violence and strong language, hence the “R” rating. Duh. Humor District gives Roger Ebert a rating of Looks Like a Woman and Kick-Ass a rating of 4/5.