Kick Ass And The Wank Bank

I watched it last night and was amused. Highly amused. I still closed my eyes for the absurd violence, just like I did for The Watchmen which I also loved, but that’s just the way it works with me. When you think visually like I do, you don’t need added gratuitous violence swimming around inside your skull.

Anyway! I do recommend the movie. And if you go here there is an interesting break down of the movie, including major spoilers, but a good read/review. I am being lazy and linking to that because she basically covers loads of my thoughts on the movie. She had a different take on certain aspects of the movie, the biggest of which is this:

Hit girl is an 11 year old hit girl trained by her father. She is absurdly talented and violent. Kick ass, on the other hand, is a dorky teen who wears a green wet suit and regularly gets his ass kicked trying to do good and save people. Admirable but ultimately useless. They eventually meet and are thrown into situations together, like hit girl saving his useless ass several times. At the end of the movie though, things take an odd turn. Even though she is superbly trained and far superior to kick ass on ever level… he ends up saving her ass not once, but twice. I found the fact that the female character, even though more competent than the male character, needs rescuing to be… well… dumb. Man saves woman? Bleh. But this is where the above review is interesting. Ms. Kate Harding, feminist extraordinaire has a different take that made me go “Huh. Maybe.” So, enjoy.

And that little aside brings me to something I noticed at the beginning of the movie which I found to be interesting. When the main character, Kick Ass, is explaining how lame and boring his life was before he became a super hero, he includes in the explanation that he wanks. A lot. Many, many deposits in the wank bank.

I have an issue with negative connotations to wanking and that doing so says something negative about your life. Later on in the movie he is managing to get laid spectacularly by a stunning girlfriend and there is no mention of wanking. Apparently the two are mutually exclusive.

My issue with the negative connotations of masturbation probably have a lot to do with the inherent shame that is instilled in a good majority of people raised in Christian homes. Hell I think most major religions have a dim view of masturbation. This angers/baffles/frustrates me. It your own body and there is shame associated with pleasuring it? Exploration of it is a negative? A no no? How? It’s the one object in life that is truly yours. There are no consent issues (unless there is some seriously fucked up mental issue that I am unaware of), no STI issues, no risk of unwanted pregnancy, no risk of emotional damage (unless you’re taught it’s negative and that you should be ashamed). It’s just you enjoying your body. Granted there are exploitation issues to be considered surrounding pornography and what actually gets a person off, but for simplicity sake we’ll stick to plain old private masturbation.

I have several girlfriends who are open and honest about masturbation, exploring their own sexuality by themselves and it’s discussed between us regularly. The glaring difference between these women and others that I know? They waited longer to have sex, were WAY more confident and knew what they wanted and didn’t compromise. I fail to see the negative side of that.

I could go on and on about the ridiculousness of shame being associated to masturbation. I could also go on and on about what a load of bullshit it is that Kick Ass used the fact that he wanked regularly to define how lame his life was before he turned into Kick Ass, the super hero who got his ass kicked.We’ll all get bored with my ramblings. Here’s a summation. Masturbation = YAY. Masturbation =/= lame. Sex with a partner and personal masturbation are not mutually exclusive.

Now. One last point. When explaining how lame his life was in terms of wanking profusely, he explained what sets him off. Like his hot teachers lovely big boobs. They were lovely and they were big. All well and good – normal hormonal teen right there. Then he explains just how sad he is and how just about anything will turn him on and it cuts to a shot of his computer with tribal African women whose breasts are exposed, as they often are.”Though, to be honest, it doesn’t take much to set me off.”

I am sorry, back the fuck up. Are we seeing a worrying social commentary here? His teachers cleavage is a valid turn on, which he admits turns into a teacher fuck student fantasy, but fully bare African womens breasts turning him on is indicative of just how little it takes to get him going?

I am quite sure that this little aside went largely unnoticed by most but it says a LOT. About how sexualized western women are, how desexualized African women are, how white women seem to hold more sexual worth in our western society, etc. I was actually offended that a shot of bare breasted African women were used to demonstrate how little it takes to turn on the main character when just a hint of tit from a white woman was a valid and understood turn on.

This social commentary makes me go WTF.

Also… oh to have a less sexualized society. Wouldn’t that be a trip?

Yes I realize this is barely a review of Kick Ass… it’s more of an aside. But still… I found it fascinating what it says about our society.

As for Kick Ass? Grossly violent, cute, funny, entertaining, vaguely disturbing, not for everyone, thoroughly enjoyed it.