Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Hamlet in Kick-A—

Kick-A—. Dir. Matthew Vaughn. Perf. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nicolas Cage, and Chloë Grace Moritz. 2010. DVD. Lions Gate, 2010.

With the last post, the question "But what about Shakespeare in the Superhero genre of movies?" arises. If Shakespeare is present in Action-Adventure (e.g., Last Action Hero) and Horror / Suspense (e.g., The Glass House), surely he must make an appearance in Superhero films.

The answer (apart from a brief reference that I remember in one of the Iron Men films—I know I made a note of it somewhere, but I can't find it right now) is a film whose title I'm reluctant to print in full on this generally family-friendly blog: Kick-A—.

The film is more of a self-reflexive parody than a straightforward Superhero film. Our protagonist is a high school kid who's really into comic books, and he wonders why no one has tried to be a Superhero in real life—so he gives it a try. Mayhem ensures.

The opening (which I've heavily edited . . . see the family-friendly blog reference above) puts our hero in a high school classroom where he is supposed to be studying—can you guess?—Hamlet.

Beyond two brief moments in the classroom—one mentioning Act II, scene ii (the fishmonger scene) and one including a reading of Ophelia's soliloquy in III.i—there's no direct reference to Hamlet, but the film is about those who could act and who stand by doing nothing compared to those who do something about injustice, even if it means their life is in jeopardy. And if that's not Hamlet, I don't know what is!

Links: The Film at IMDb.

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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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