Hit Me, Baby

Chloë Moretz as ‘Mindy Macready’ (aka ‘Hit-Girl’) in “Kick-Ass”As a curious completist, I’ve become so used to watching crappy/mediocre movies, that when a genuinely good one comes along, it’s quite a shock to the system… especially when it’s an adrenaline-fuelled comedy-action flick like Kick-Ass (2010). For those who don’t know, this film tells the story of a geeky teenager, ‘Dave Lizewski’, who sets out to become a real-life “superhero”, despite his total lack of powers and/or fighting prowess. His modest attempts to make the world a safer, happier place lead him into the crossfire between a disgraced cop-turned-ace-vigilante named ‘Big Daddy’, and a dastardly drug lord named ‘Frank D’Amico’. Big Daddy is aided by his deceptively sweet-looking eleven-year-old daughter, who fights alongside him under the moniker ‘Hit-Girl’… and this is where we get into choppy waters, morality-wise…

Chloë Moretz as ‘Mindy Macready’ (aka ‘Hit-Girl’) in “Kick-Ass”Hit-Girl swears like a docker, and kills bad guys without a pause for thought, or a shred of remorse. She’s a sociopathic killing machine in knee-high socks. She’s also one of the funniest and most sympathetic characters in the whole movie! Quandary. Personally, I wasn’t that amused by her potty mouth, but I wasn’t especially offended by it either… in everyday life, I cringe every time I hear a parent swearing in front of their kids, but Kick-Ass isn’t about the “everyday”… it’s a cartoonish fantasy, and so I make allowances in my brain.  Chloë Moretz, the actress who plays Hit-Girl, was also keen to stress the distinction: “If I ever uttered one word that I said in Kick-Ass, I would be grounded for years! I’d be stuck in my room until I was 20!” Apparently, while she was filming, Moretz couldn’t even bring herself to say the film’s title out loud, instead calling it “the film” in interviews and “Kick-Butt” at home. Bless. The same dissociation goes for all the bloodshed too… in real life I’m a pacifist, and if this had been a gritty “true life” tale about a young girl stabbing some random old woman for her shopping, then I would have been horrified… but I’d argue that it’s the sheer extremity (and implausibility) of Hit-Girl’s actions that makes them so hilarious. Particularly since the whole point of Dave’s character is to demonstrate that if you did attempt to mimic the behaviour of comic book/movie characters in the real world, you’d most likely end up breaking every bone in your body. So, I don’t think we really have to worry about her being a bad “role model” for the younglings, no matter what some reactionary rags may claim!

Chloë Moretz as ‘Mindy Macready’ (aka ‘Hit-Girl’) in “Kick-Ass”As far as her gender goes, Jane Goldman (co-writer of the screenplay) says: “We just really wanted Hit-Girl to be a character who, in a sense, simply happens to be an eleven-year-old girl, in the same way that Ripley in Alien could have been a guy but the part happened to be played by Sigourney Weaver… She’s a feminist hero by token of the fact that she pays no attention to gender stereotypes… she doesn’t want special treatment because she’s a girl.” To be honest, I did find the later scenes where she’s lost the upper-hand and is being beaten down by D’Amico slightly disturbing… but then, he is the Big Bad, and we are meant to hate him… so I guess it was justified within that context, because it makes you more invested in seeing him get his rightful comeuppance. And even though the eponymous ‘Kick-Ass’ gets top-billing, I don’t think anyone watching the movie is left in any doubt about who the real “superhero” here is…

About Dee CrowSeer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action. He/him.
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