Most helpful positive review
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Poignant touching tragedy
on 22 July 2013
I saw this by chance the other night. I am not sure what I expected - perhaps something akin to its distant relative "Kick Ass". What I got was an intelligent film that explores the complex issues of loneliness, loss and being a moral, sensitive guy stuck in the modern world. I thought the end result was a funny (truly cringe-worthy in places), violent, poignant and touching tragedy played out within a super hero context.
The story is simple and economic, and all the better for being so. It is your basic super hero origins type story but played out in a world that is all too painfully real. Rainn Wilson is perfect as Frank (the lead character), who he plays with great sensitivity and wit. In particular, the anguish of Frank's moral dilemmas is portrayed particularly well. How does a super hero decide who to dispense justice upon? Does extreme violence solve anything? Was it all worth it? Frank is no Clarke Kent or Bruce Wayne - he is an all too real chap who is struggling to cope with the hand that life has dealt him. In my opinion that makes him much more credible.
As I am a red-blooded man I appreciate the fine casting choices of Liv Tyler and Ellen Page in supporting roles (as Frank's estranged wife and Libby respectively). they both turn in good solid performances. However, for me it was the casting of Kevin Bacon as Jacques that really stands out. Mr Bacon puts in a tour de force performance as the drug dealing bad guy who hoodwinks Frank's wife and triggers Frank's descent into becoming a masked super hero. Jacque is a perfect bad guy - he is likeable, sleazy, slick, handsome and despicable in equal doses. A perverse antithesis to Frank who is none of those things. Perfect casting.
I liked this film. It is thought-provoking, intelligent, violent and darkly comic. Perhaps not a suitable choice if you're looking for mindless escapism but I'll recommend it all the same.