The Daily Mail vs Kick-Ass: the review

The Daily Mail verdict on Kick-Ass is in. It doesn't appear to be very keen on it....

We promised we’d update you on this once upon a time, and the moment is here. The Daily Mail – a week after giving the family-friendly and perfectly fine Nanny McPhee And The Big Bang a five star review – has been let loose on Kick-Ass. Er, it doesn’t seem to like it very much.

We’ve picked some key segments for the review, and it’s surprisingly how close some commenters came to the Mail’s opinion on the movie. Extra marks for everyone who suggested that the words ‘Jonathan’ and ‘Ross’ would make the review, by the way. You were entirely correct, even though he had nothing to do with creating the film.

So then:

“It deliberately sells a perniciously sexualised view of children and glorifies violence, especially knife and gun crime, in a way that makes it one of the most deeply cynical, shamelessly irresponsible films ever” (does it sexualise children? As has been pointed out, the fact that Hit-Girl is so young if anything takes that angle out of it?)

Ad – content continues below

It doesn’t like Hit-Girl at all, either:

“The reason the movie is sick, as well as thick, is that it breaks one of the last cinematic taboos by making the most violent, foul-mouthed and sexually aggressive character, Hit-Girl, an 11-year-old.”

It goes on to say:“One of the film’s creepiest aspects is that she’s made to look as seductive as possible – much more so than in the Mark Millar and John Romita Jr comic book on which this is based. She’s fetishised in precisely the same way as Angelina Jolie in the Lara Croft movies, and Halle Berry in Catwoman.” (We’ve got to say, we didn’t find her seductive at all. Er, not quite sure what to make of that comment, as the thought hadn’t even crossed our mind.)We found the inclusion of the following line horrible and outrageous, although that may just be our opinion:“Do we really want to live, for instance, in a culture when the torture and killing of a James Bulger or Damilola Taylor is re-enacted by child actors for laughs?” (What the hell has that got to do with Kick-Ass? They remain two horrible, horrible crimes. But to our knowledge, neither has been linked to any film at all?)The review concludes with a one-star rating, and it closes with:“And in Hit-Girl, the film-makers have created one of the most disturbing icons and damaging role-models in the history of cinema.”The Daily Mail is absolutely entitled to its opinion, of course. But most of us, even before we’d seen the film, would have put money on a review of this ilk, and a one-star rating.And that’s the problem. Because the Mail is perfectly entitled to ask questions of the film (and it’s got high quality writers who are capable of doing that), and to raise issues related to it.But let’s not pretend that this is a bottom-score movie (under a headline of it being ‘a crime against cinema’) primarily because you don’t like what it’s about. And, as we’ve suggested before, if the issues of Kick-Ass are to be debated – for let’s face it, the red band trailers are easily available to all and sundry, and that’s worth talking about – then grown-ups and objectivity are required. The Guardian, for instance, tackles the film with measure here.You can read the full Daily Mail review here. And while not everyone at Den Of Geek argues that Kick-Ass is a five-star classic, we’ve not met anyone yet who’s seen the film who comes close to giving it bottom marks.Do let us know if we’re wrong.See also: