Roger Ebert or Harry Knowles: Choose Your Side
I find it interesting that Roger Ebert can write retrospective praise for films like Birth of a Nation and Triumph of the Will, yet give Kick-Ass a single star pan mostly, it seems, because he finds the contents of the film "morally reprehensible." I haven't seen the new comic book movie (that would be Kick-Ass for those ignorant of cinema history) so I won't even say it's not comparable to the older films. And I won't comment on the issue at hand, which has already sparked a response from Harry Knowles, of Ain't It Cool News, as well as further commentary from other blogs. I don't feel the need to defend Kick-Ass even if I had seen it due to TK's excellent piece on the film's violence controversy from yesterday.
But as it's now a matter of critic vs. fanboy critic, I've decided to quote a few of the reactions around the blogosphere:
- Vadim Rizov at Independent Eye:
Sympathy for the angel or devil? Both -- just because a movie aligns itself with things that are even worse and uncensorable doesn't let it off the hook, but it's impossible to imagine "Kick-Ass" warping more adolescent minds than, you know, underage viewings of "Fight Club."
- Paul Tassi at JoBlo.com:
It was kind of strange to read both of these pieces by the two critics and actually kind of disagree with both of them to a degree. I don't believe you should dismiss a movie based on "moral outrage" over the theory that it's going to corrupt kids who shouldn't be allowed into the theater in the first place. I also don't think kids seeing an 11-year-old killing and cursing is much different than say, seeing Neo from The Matrix doing the same thing.
- Jeffrey Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere:
My response to Ebert, of course, is that he's not hopelessly square at all -- he's sharp and shrewd and never misses a trick -- but (and this is a big "but') by the laws of the comic-book action realm Kick-Ass isn't morally reprehensible, it's just "whoaa, dude!" But if you don't get that realm you'll never get that feeling, and people like Roger will look at you on the street like there's something really and truly wrong with you.
- John Lichman at Idiot Savant Online Too:
While a majority of the internet has cried foul for daring to not like this movie, it's good to hear from a critic what he did not enjoy. Especially compared to someone saying said critic is wrong by comparing Kick-Ass to the director's cut of Payback in the first run-on sentence/paragraph.
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