By Redfield 17 Comments
I’m a wise-ass skeptic that likes to go into things with a certain amount of knowledge about what to expect. So when it comes to movies, especially massively hyped films such as The Lord of the Rings, Watchmen and most recently Kick-Ass, I made sure to read the source material before even considering watching the film adaptations.
Usually this is a very bad idea, since it gives me the right tools to nerd-rage rather than just sit back and watch the film and judge it by its own merits. Lord of the Rings are awesome, and except for the exclusions of Tom Bombadil and the last third of the Return of the King they are as good a translation I could ever want. Watchmen was actually a surprisingly competent film, only lacking certain aspects that were obviously considered too complicated (read; clever/original) for the average movie-goer to understand.
However, when it comes to more mainstream books and comics I am a lot more suspicious. I no longer watch the Harry Potter movies simply because I love the books too much to let the movies taint my image of what the imagery is supposed to look like. In this case I can’t really say the movies are awful, they just don’t live up to the books combined with the wondrous colors of my imagination.
The Spider- Man movies were an entirely different thing however, and while I didn’t care for the slapstick and the overly nerdy Peter Parker that Sam Raimi gave us, the first two Spider-Man-movies were at least very entertaining films. They honored the legacy of the character, while providing a plot that was reasonably similar to that of the comic book. My only problem was that there were never really any consequences to Peter slipping on his mask and trying to save people. There was always a dark tone in the comics; an atmosphere of despair and pointlessness. The movies never had that once Peter donned the suit, and to me all that would have been fixed if they had just added Gwen Stacy in the first film, showing the classic “you can’t save everyone” scenario that still haunts Peter in the comics to this day. Sadly Gwen Stacy remained unused until the third movie, or at least her name was used for a character that bared no resemblance to the actual character (say for the blonde hair). Spider-Man 3 was much like Fantastic Four-movies and the recent Wolverine-movie, a god awful movie that rather than try to make a serious attempt at a good story, just decided to make a horrible defacing of the character. The action was divided by a jokes that make the ones in the first two look like strokes of genius, and the character’s were reduced to card board cutouts of the real things.
This brings me to my big dilemma, namely the movie Kick-Ass, based on the comic book by Mark Millar bearing the same name. I’ve wanted to see the movie for a long time now, but decided to read the comic before doing so just to know what I could expect from the movie. Immediately I realized something was wrong. My friends who had already seen the film kept talking about how “funny” the movie was, saying the laughed all the way through it. After spending an hour with the comic, I didn’t see it. How could this seemingly dark and gore-filled story ever be “funny”? I read the movie’s synopsis on Wikipedia, immediately realizing how you make it funny, by completely missing the point of the story that’s how. I’m really conflicted, since my friends won’t respect my opinion unless I see the film, yet I don’t know if I really feel up for seeing a mockery of one of the best stories I’ve read in a very long time. My question is simple; with my history with thess adaptations, should I take the leap and pay to watch Kick-Ass, or let my friends call me dumb and live with one of the best books I’ve ever read sitting untarnished in my comic shelf?