You know those super-cool, highly stylised movies that completely glorify violence, that you come out of thinking "yeah, I could totally be an assassin!" and you're picturing yourself skulking around the city after dark, kicking in doors and giving bad guys the death stare before cooly dispatching their asses one by one?
No? Just me then.
Movies that fall into the category of making-you-want-to-be-an-assassin: Kill Bill, Charlie's Angels, Nikita, Pulp Fiction, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Zatôichi, the Bourne series.
But before I saw any of these there was Leon (or The Professional, as it was known in Australia), starring babe-in-the-making Natalie Portman as an orphan child who takes up with her loner neighbour after her family are slaughtered by a maniacal drug lord. Leon is possibly my most favourite film ever; and not just because I was a little in love with Jean Reno and the soundtrack featured Björk. I remember stumbling out of the arthouse cinema at the top end of Bourke street, blinking in the still-bright daylight, feeling different somehow. Indestructable. Cool. A little bit...goth.
And now there is Kick-Ass, the story of a high school geek who decides to become a self-made superhero, kitted out in a green wetsuit, Timberland boots and home-made ninja sticks.
The movie has blown away a whole load of comic book conventions, not least by introducing a 12 year old hit girl called, you guessed it, Hit-Girl. She reminded me a lot of Mathilda in Leon:
There's been a lot of hoo-ha about her use of the c-word in this film. I am not sure if it is my almost complete desensitisation to such language or testimony to Chloe Moretz's pitch perfect performance that it barely registered on my shock-scale.
Pre-teen killing machine uses a few bad words? Whatevs.
Controversy aside, Kick-Ass is great big colourful fun with a dark streak, and treads a fine line between highly stylised action flick and low-fi geekdom. Oh, and he helped: