And indeed it did.
I really like it when films I’ve been looking forward turn out to actually be good. So many films that look good on paper (or trailer) turn out to be utter piss when I go and see them. This wasn’t one of those films.
I’ll start off by saying what I didn’t like about it, since that won’t take so long, and it’ll clear the way for the ass kissing to begin. It’s really just two things. Firstly, the main character’s love interest. It was just…too easy. He confesses he isn’t gay, but in fact is a borderline delusional who spends his time running around fighting crime, wearing a scuba suit, and who has willfully encouraged her to believe that he was a homosexual, so that she would allow him to see her naked. Does she call the police? No, she invites him into her bed… It’s not simply a character flaw, it’s a complete absence of character. And it’s one of my pet hates in films/books/whatever entertainment medium you choose: a love interest who is only there as an ancillary. She serves no purpose, has no role, and no character traits, other than to be the love interest. If you’re going to include this bollocks, at least make the love interests people, rather than cardboard cut outs.
My second criticism has to do with the ending. The “everyone lived happily ever after” ending. No. Everyone does not live happily ever after, and up until the very end, the film was doing great with that. Then it went and slapped on some incongrous happiness bullshit ending, that jarred the whole thing.
But aside from that, the film was outstanding. It never lost sight of its being a comedic film, even when it was doing intensely sad scenes (Big Daddy’s death was actually really moving…). And that worked. It was realistic, more so than Watchmen, because it didn’t take itself too seriously. The scene with Kick Ass and Red Mist cruising around New York in the brilliantly named “MistMobile” was fantastic, partly because I myself was already dancing to the (4 year old?) music.
Another highlight was the acting. I’m not a fan of Nich0las Cage. There are very few films that he’s been in that I have thought was any good. “Knowing” was a massive surprise for me, since I thought it was fairly alright. But here, he was perfect. They could have cast some action star in the role, which would have been a mistake, because aside from being dangerously unstable and having no qualms about murdering evil-doers, the character was just a regular guy. And Chloe Grace Mortez proved that child actors can actually act. Well, some of them can, at least. Never mind the morons in Harry Potter. This girl was fantastic as Hit Girl. To come in from being unknown (to me, at least) and steal the show like that is entirely to her credit.
So for those who haven’t yet seen it (and who aren’t Daily Mail politically correct types- trust me, this isn’t your sort of film), I’d highly recommend it. Probably it’ll be remembered as the best non-sequel film of the year. Whether it will be remembered as the best superhero film of the year, depends on how good Iron Man 2 turns out (and honestly, it looks pretty damn good), but it’s a real contender.