So, I made the mistake of watching’ Kickass 2′ on a sick day yesterday…  With’s its clear overtones of gang warfare, over-reliance on profanity, coincidence and cliché, the movie succeeded in doing what I considered unthinkable: It was actually goofier than the comic it was adapting.  A story that tries SOOOO hard to be edgy and adult almost has no choice but to come across as juvenile posing, including a character shouting “It’s not a comic book!” during the climax.  Even the novelty of seeing a twelve-year old fighting and f-bombing was negated by the actress’ being clearly 17-ish during the filming, with the whole experience best described as “tiresome.”  Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with adult language and content in the abstract, but only when motivated, which leads us to today’s query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) found the comic series to be the breaking point in his affair with the writing of Mark Millar, as well, asking: Which of your favorite pop culture stories ends up being marred by too much grim and gritty “realism?”


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. It tried to be edgy and adult?! Wow, if that was the point they really blew it, I found it totally ridiculous and thought that they succeeded. Never read the comic, so I might not get whats going on.
    My answer to the actual question is obvious one, Batman. Especially “Nolanverse” style they are pushing so hard now. Its even more ridiculous than Kick-Ass & Adam West ’66 combined, but they sell it as “gritty, cool and realistic”. Might work to elementary student, but with all the stupid plot holes, costumes and so-so acting in the movies, it just feels tiresome and narrow minded. Lack of vision in the way only Hollywood and white collar suitmen in the marketing department with their focus groups can truly master.

    • I have to agree with Malone. I LOVE Batman. Hands down my favorite franchise. The concept itself is a little ridiculous though, which doesn’t bother me. Batman tends to work best, for me, when it blends the inherent wackiness with the grim. Something like Batman The Animated Series or Long Halloween walk that line well. Even though I liked Nolan’s Batman a great deal, I find if the character is pushed too far in either direction it is no long interesting.

    • I do like the first two Nolan Batman movies, but mostly because they were a hop, skip and jump better than the Schumacher Batman films. They weren’t perfect, but I thought they weren’t too bad. The third one, however, really just lost me. It was like they decided to drop the stuff that I thought actually worked and just try to get as many random Batman elements into the movie as they could (many in name or concept only). I’ve seen it three or four times and I still don’t really know exactly what I was watching unfold.

      • I would like to add to my comment that I really like Batman too. Just not this batman thats most prominent now. Year One, Long Halloween, ´66 series, Animated series, Batman can be done in many ways and it will work quite well but the one they are pushing most is the worst one.
        They try to make Batman Call of Duty video game with tanks and guns and stuff, that will never work. Look at the new Batmobiles, they are military vehicles straight out of video game. An antithesis of what Batman would use. But its video gamey, so it will be pushed, because they want that audience: teenage boys and young adult men. Or they seem to think they will get them on board with it. Everyone else gets a cold shoulder. Batman could be a crime thriller, fun adventure like Indy, gothic horror and many more, yet they choose it to be the blandest vanilla action movie with guy in funny costume in normal, everyday modern city with some military elements. Its just sad.

  2. Does Torchwood count? Sure, it was meant to be the darker, more adult corner of the Doctor Who setting, but I think that everything from “Children of Earth” onward just kept taking one step over the line after another.

  3. Pretty much most of what Garth Ennis writes. I had so many people recommend The Boys and well when I read it so much of the message was wrecked for me by the over the top shock content.

    So much of his work seems to be acclaimed as mature or amazing but so much of it seems to feel like “OMG look how naughty this is”. Maybe it is because I did not really start reading comics until I was 20 so was really over that as something exciting but it really does nothing other than make me constantly ask why.

  4. The latest Superman film “Man of Steel”. While there was some good parts I liked about it, toward the end it just began to fall to much into the grim & gritty and was not superman for me anymore. Supes could have easily put his hand or arm over Zod’s eye’s and just punched him into unconsciousness while he figured out a way to put him back into a Krypton like atmosphere. Or they could have just left him with the other Kryptonians that were sucked into the phantom drive like was originally planned. Superman does not kill. Period.

  5. Often it’s not so much a question of being adult as being severly alergic to fun.
    My go to example is the Battle Star Galactica reboot, sure things are bad for the fleet but the way all the characters react to the situation with out even a trace of gallows humour makes them seem like emotionless automatons and is just as “unrealistic” as the goofy antics of the original version.

  6. For me, it would be Game of Thrones. Okay, it’s an HBO series, so you have to expect the T and A hanging out all over the place, which I don’t mind, but the battle scenes show a lot more gore than necessary – in fact, they show infinite gory detail like heads getting chopped in half, or the exposed bones when limbs are severed. I say it’s unnecessary because none of that gore is described in the novels. If an ex-splatter film maker like Peter Jackson can film the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy without bathing the audience in gore, the folks who are filming Game of Thrones might have shown the same restraint. I like the show and will continue to watch it in spite of all the blood and guts and not because of it.

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