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Friday, 14 May 2010

Hit Girl Kicks Agent Romanoff's Ass


I've recently been to see Kick-Ass and Iron Man 2. I enjoyed both, but Kick-Ass is the better movie. And it's the violent frolics of these two characters which makes the difference.

Ironically, these frolics seem 'wrong' in each movie (indeed, Hit Girl blows the lid off so many cans of worms you could write a book about it) yet might have fit better if they'd been swapped between characters. After all, an 11 year old girl should not have the combat skills to dispose of a highly trained secret agent.

Both movies are about super heroes. The 'lead' in both is a male role with some superhuman physical quality, 'supported' by a strong and aggressive female with no such aid. So far, so predictable - the 'wow' factor better be in the action and weird science. But in Kick-Ass the 'wow' comes when lead role is subverted - because he's an incompetent dreamer, regardless of his super-human ability - by the real (deeply flawed, psychotically aggressive and extremely violent but thankfully well-meaning) super hero: Hit Girl.

Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughan says Hollywood wouldn't fund Kick-Ass. So he got it funded in the UK, which gave him greater creative freedom.

The result may be that Iron Man 2 is 'everything a super hero movie should be'. But Kick-Ass gives us Hit Girl. And gives the super hero genre an almighty kick in the arse.

Cue the ongoing resurgence of the British film industry?
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