It had slipped my mind that last weekend while Anne was out of town, as part of my Festival of Dubious Movies, I also watched Kick-Ass.
In its comic-book form, this was the title that finally made me realize that I mostly don’t like Mark Millar’s writing. It’s not sarcasm-over-a-layer-of-caring like Warren Ellis (_Transmetropolitan_). It’s not dark and compelling like Frank Miller in his heyday (_Elektra: Assassin_, The Dark Knight Returns). It’s not dense like Alan Moore (_The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen_), or deep and beautiful like Neil Gaiman (_Sandman_). It’s not convoluted and mystical and self-referential like Grant Morrison (_The Invisibles_, Doom Patrol). It’s not clever (even if it never quite delivers) like Brian K. Vaughan (_Y: The Last Man_, Ex Machina). It’s really just middle-of-the-road superhero comic stuff–the sort of thing that Geoff Johns (_Green Lantern_) or Brian Bendis (_Avengers_) do, and do pretty well–but with a big old helping of super-violence.
Mark Millar is the comic book world’s answer to Alex from A Clockwork Orange. I don’t even bother to look at anything he does anymore.
Anyway, I did watch the movie, and actually kind of enjoyed it. Yes, it was absurdly violent, but some of the details they changed from the original gave it more humanity, more empathy, than the comic book ever displayed.
I wouldn’t want to spoil things for anyone, but the comic book chooses to make Big Daddy’s death a result of pointless bad choices on his part. At a certain age, I probably would have thought that much more impressive than I do now, but now it just seems cruel, and all it brings to the story is a sheen of nihilism that I find banal and unattractive.
Have I mentioned that I don’t find Mark Millar worth reading?
It’s still not a movie I would care to see again, or really recommend, but it’s not actively bad. And Nicholas Cage finally found the part he was born to play: a knock-off Adam West portraying a knock-off Batman. It’s at least as weird as his performance in Vampire’s Kiss.