Monday, April 19, 2010
I Wish My DATE NIGHT could have been KICK-ASS(CC: Roger Ebert)
So, this weekend I saw two movies: Kick-Ass and Date Night. Date Night was very funny at times, mostly due to Steve Carrell and Tina Fey. The rest of the time, however, was riddled with jokes clinging to the audience for life. I really wish the script had delivered more. Besides the two main stars, only James Franco and Mila Kunis actually scored laughs in their supporting roles. I was disappointed to see William Fichtner wasted here. His fine dramatic acting skills aside, I really do think he could be funny, but just not with the material he was given. Someone else who was terribly wasted was Kristin Wiig. Theres a scene early in the movie where Fey's character is hosting a book club attended by her husband and all of her girlfriends. One of the ladies gets very over-emotional and angry about Carrell's reaction to the book. She's trying to be funny, but fails tenfold. The whole time, Wiig's character is seated directly accross from her, removed from the action. The whole bit was something that Wiig could've done, a million times better. Date Night also reaffirmed something I've been thinking for a while: Ray Liotta, for some crazy reason, isn't in good movies anymore. Its hard to believe that Liotta's brilliant turn in Goodfellas has been completely forgotten, so him not seeing quality roles baffles me. Here, Ray is forced to play another mockery version of himself. I found Ray's only laugh was unintentional. It came when Taraji P Henson's detective character walks into a restauraunt to see the Gangster bad guy of the film, and you see its Ray Liotta(since it seems only Ray Liotta can play a cheesy, viscious gangster -type). There's also a car chase scene towards the middle of the film that just may be the worst shot car chase I've ever seen. For a date night, I guess director Adam Shankman's film succeeds thanks to the talent of it's lead stars, but it could have certainly been better. (6/10)
Thankfully, the second film I saw this weekend, KICK-ASS, lived up to its name, and then some. Set in a world identical to our own, albeit with a few more pop-culture references, KICK-ASS is a funny, violent, and exuberantly fun film. The film got mostly good reviews, but the negative ones all cited the character of Hit Girl to be the the film's downfall. Roger Ebert even went as far as to call the film "morally reprehensible" and shared his worry of 6-11 year old girls seeing the film and Hit Girl's actions. First of all, Roger, I don't understand how or why and girls that age would ever be seeing this film. I know we live in a society where proper supervision is pretty much out of style as far as parenting goes, but seriously, the movie is called KICK-ASS...should be an instant red flag. Second, Roger, the film, as you so quickly dismissed, is based on a comic book. You're worried about little kids seeing this movie when the comic is on bookshelves in stores all across America. Any kid could go, pick it up, and read most of it before their parents even noticed. Finally, Roger, the final part of your review expresses your disgust over a climactic scene in the film, where Hit Girl is being pummeled within an inch of her life. Call me crazy, but I was happy they put this in the film. For a movie that sets out to show real people, without any super powers, trying to be superheroes, it would have been unrealistic and foolish if Hit Girl wasn't shown to be vulnerable, at all. The fact that she was able to get hurt, and did, reinforces that these "heroes" aren't "super", which was the point of the film. KICK-ASS was made uncompromisingly. Because of this, it remained true to the source material as any book/comic-to screen adaptation should. I really wish Roger Ebert, and other critics, could have enjoyed the film for what it was: a great fucking time.