What kind of loser thinks that it would be a good idea to put on a costume and fight crime? Meet Dave. He’s the main character of Kick-Ass and he’s a loser. He’s not a top student, he’s not on any sport teams, and girls think he is below their notice. Here’s a guy looking for something to give his life meaning. So inspired by his comic book heroes, he orders a wetsuit and mask off the internet and begins his career as a costumed crime fighter.
This is a very bad idea.
With no training and no plan, Dave goes out to fight crime as Kick-Ass. His first day on the job leads to a lengthy hospital stay. Any right thinking person would take that as a hint to give up. But Dave isn’t a right thinking person. He goes back into the field and thanks to the power of internet social media, becomes a sensation. From there, things escalate out of control.
I don’t want to be that guy. But I’m going to be. I read the book that Kick-Ass was based off. I went into the theatre expecting the movie to have the same tone and direction as the book. However, some significant changes have been made to the story which radically alter the message of the movie. The result is a standard superhero movie with some creative action sequences, instead of a movie that questions the very existence of costumed crime fighters. Dave, against all odds, rises up against adversity, proves himself a hero and gets the girl. I much prefer the Dave of the book, who barely manages to survive the situation he finds himself in and ends up just as much a loser as he was at the start of the book.
Kick-Ass is full of over the top violence, unnecessary swearing and few sexual scenes thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately, these are used because they are “kewl” rather than setting a scene or following a thematic theme. The characters of Big Daddy and Hit Girl are a real concern. Big Daddy is guilty of child endangerment and some seriously demented and wrong parenting. And yet this is glorified rather than condemned. Kick-Ass is shocking for shock’s sake and at the end of the day has very little to say beyond “hey look at me! I can be edgy.”
Dave is looking for purpose in his life. Something to make him special. Something that will single him out of the crowd. He feels insignificant. He creates Kick-Ass as a way to be someone, to matter. For the Christian, you don’t need to put on a costume to matter. Being a top athlete, a singing sensation, the smartest kid at school, a loyal friend, or having a boyfriend or girlfriend – these are how the world finds significance. But for the Christian, we find our significance in our relationship with Christ. Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? (James 2:5) We are significant because the creator of the universe has adopted us as sons and daughters. The king of the universe went to the cross so that we may be saved from sin. You are loved and valued by God. And because of that, your life matters.
There’s no need to put on a costumed and get beat up to find significance in life. If you’re a member of God’s family then you’re pretty significant already.