I have read the reviews of KICK-ASS prior to watching the movie. And the reviews are so-so. Average. But I am not dissuade to watch it because I know that critics are wrong sometimes (though, some would say almost always). The movie is a homage to comic books, and its central theme of superhero. How come no one wanted to be a superhero in real life?
The story is typical of your teenage plot—an obscure teenager decided to be a superhero one day because he wants to help the underprivileged and the powerless which has always been bullied by the mighty and the wealthy. Using a costume designed for scuba diving and ordered online, off he go to his neighbourhood to scout for any heroic act. Until he accidently involved in a scuffle with big, brawny thugs. Witnesses flash their camera to the scene, and upload it directly to the net. He became an overnight sensation.
But that is just the tip of the iceberg. Later, he realized that being “unknown” [he disguise in an alias called Kick-Ass] doesn’t make him feel better; it is rather his alter-ego (Kick-Ass) that gets all the attention. He also realized that heroism entails giving up so many things like love life and privacy. It can also spawn so many other heroes, way better than him.
I was waiting for that point in the movie where the real, ordinary guy and his alter-ego Kick Ass meet in a single line. That happens, of course, but the movie did not hype it up as a highlight of the movie. Rather, the assassination scenes at the last part prove as their coup de grace revenge. It’s like Kill Bill all over, only the assassin is a female kid. Though some scenes are violently graphic, you do not cringe at the sight of it. Instead, you enjoy and laugh because you are reminded (as the audience) of your own demons that you need to kill and assassinate.
When Hit Girl smash some necks and bellies, with matching blood spewing all over the place, you wish you can do the same for that pain in the ass officemate who constantly treats you like a rag. Or that taxi driver who shortchange you with the service that you rightly deserve when you flag them down. Or that traditional politician amassing wealth in public office courtesy of our hard earned taxes.
Maybe the answer to the question why there has been not much superheroes in our midst is because they have tried and failed. That they find it hard to act heroic in a place full of shit. That the ordinary citizen do not support them. But may be I am wrong. Or the question posed wrong.
You see, it might be that we don’t have to be superheroes to achieve order in the world. All we need is for each and every one of us to be vigilant, righteous, respectful of each other so we can live harmoniously. If we follow our own good self-interest seriously, then the “invisible hand” that Adam Smith said could be the panacea that we are looking for.