Luke Y Thompson is covering the Con for DHD with an emphasis on Hollywood:
Sadly, no presence of Nicolas Cage blessed us in person, stoned or otherwise, at the KICK-ASS panel. But the movie does look suitably insane for a man of his talents… and interests. Surprisingly, or perhaps not given how many people bag on Cage these days, KICK-ASS as yet does not have distribution. Movie studios passed on the project due to the mixture of bloody violence and the involvement of an underage teen, but director Matthew Vaughn believed in the project so much that he raised $30 million to produce it himself. This panel may be a true test case for the degree to which Comic-Con can help a movie. As Vaughn put it, “I feel like Maximus – if you all give the thumbs up, we might get distribution. Thumbs down, we’re fucked.”
He needn’t have worried with this crowd.
The first clip set the tone. Clouds in a blue sky. Echoes of John Williams’ Superman theme. The Empire State Building. Another skyscraper in the foreground. A guy in some sort of wing-suit, painted the USC colors of cardinal and gold, looks out over the city. Strikes a heroic pose. The people below cheer as he jumps into the air…and promptly crashes to his death on the sidewalk.
Later, kids in a comic shop discuss why nobody has ever actually tried to be a superhero.
“Cuz it’s fuckin’ impossible, dipshit!” says one.
“How come people wanna be Paris Hilton but nobody wants to be Spider-Man?”
“Paris Hilton…I don’t get it, she has no tits at all.”
“She did the porn tape.”
“You never saw ‘One Night in Spider-Man?”
Overall, this thing has a really twisted sense of humor, emblematic of comic writer Mark Millar, who also wrote WANTED. But while that movie totally altered his content to remove all superhero references, this one seems to revel in them. One of the comic-book kids ends up dressing up in a home-made costume to become the dubious “hero” named “Kick Ass”. In one scene he confronts two muggers, beats them with a bo staff, but then gets stabbed, and they get away. As Kick Ass staggers to his feet, he gets mowed down by a car.
Meanwhile, we get Nicolas Cage training his daughter to take a bullet. As he discusses how he is going to shoot her, he then does. She gets up, shows her bullet proof vest. “Two more!” he insists. She says only if they can go bowling. “Two more rounds. No wincing? No whining? We got a deal.” She nods. “GOOD CALL, BABY DOLL!” yells Cage, in that way he does.
In a later scene, Kick Ass tries to confront a mean gangster, shooting him with a taser but then getting held down. Suddenly, the villain is stabbed through the chest, as a little girl in purple wig, black leather, and a cape shows up – Hit Girl (aka Nic Cage’s daughter from earlier). Suddenly displaying crazy martial arts skills, she zooms into action, throwing things and dismembering baddies violently, all while a speeded-up version of “The Banana Splits” theme plays.
Quick montage of similar scenes, including the hilarious tagline “With no powers come no responsibility.”
Millar says he and a friend, as teens, actually planned on being heroes for real once. They took karate, lifted weights, even made costumes. “Then my balls dropped.”
The movie script was finished before the comic. “Matthew just took out the shitty parts” says Millar.
The movie is 90% done, but they won’t sell to a studio that wants to edit for content. It looks hilarious, and much more in the mold of Layer Cake than Stardust, but definitely for fans of the likes of Fight Club . Not to say it’ll be as thematically complex, but same laughs.