Well, it was inevitable, really. Kick-Ass was always going to piss off the Daily Mail. If the violence and swearing weren’t enough, the fact that it was written by Jonathan Ross’ wife meant it was probably never going to get a fair hearing. But when you consider that the Mail’s resident film reviewer is Chris Tookey – a writer who delights in self-righteous moralising – the stage was set for hand-wringing of the highest order. I don’t think anyone was prepared, however, for the slew of invective poured forth from Tookey’s keyboard in today’s paper, however – indeed, it takes “self-righteous moralising” to entirely new levels, not to mention doing the same for “talking complete and utter nonsense” and “potentially committing libel”.
As readers of a comic book review site, chances are you’re all people who are more likely to like Kick-Ass than not; ergo, you don’t particularly need to read me taking Tookey’s review paragraph by paragraph and challenging a number of his assertions. Nevertheless, there’s too much about his review that I simply couldn’t let stand without comment, so what follows is a rebuking of some of those points. Be warned that the following will contain spoilers for the film, so if you’re planning on seeing it and haven’t yet, you may want to wait until you have.
(The entire review can be read on the Mail’s site – however, if you don’t wish to click through there and thus contribute to their advertising revenues, Tookey has also posted a version on his own site – albeit one that appears to date from before the Mail’s subeditors got their hands on it, as it contains a completely irrelevant and unnecessary dig at J. Ross (who has absolutely zero involvement in the film), and curiously awards the film a rating of 3/10 rather than the “one star” given in the newspaper version. Interestingly, Tookey’s site also aggregates various positive and negative reviews from assorted sources – clearly lifted from Rotten Tomatoes, as all the same extracts are used as on that site. Funnily enough, it means that one of the reviews quoted on his site is… mine.)