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The Dickies' "Banana Splits" Theme & Other Reasons to Love Kick-Ass, The Movie & Its Soundtrack

Posted by Billyjam, May 12, 2010 11:10am | Post a Comment

There are many memorable scenes in the wonderful recently released film Kick-Ass, but the two that stick in my mind most are the first big fight scene featuring the young superhero Hit Girl with its kick-ass accompanying music (the "Banana Splits" theme), and the scene in which the wanna-be superheroes Kick Ass and Red Mist are riding in their souped-up super-ride enjoying their fave song on the car's booming sound system ("Crazy").

At surface the latter scene, which comes just past the half-way mark in the 110 minute movie, looks like it is simply regurgitating that well worn Hollywood scenario in which, typically, two or more guys are in their ride singing along at the top of their lungs to that song (the song that makers hope defines the movie). We've seen it in Wayne's World and million other movies since. But in the refreshingly unique Kick Ass this scene is subtly different.

For starters, Red Mist (played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse) is doing something a superhero is never seen doing; he is smoking a joint, and while driving ("A little weed takes the edge off things when I'm on patrol," he assures his abstaining fellow costumed wanna be superhero riding shotgun). And soon after, as Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" starts playing, the two "costumed vigilantes," looking at once ridiculous and hilarious, do a stupid but highly entertaining seat dance, grooving their heads and upper torsos in unison to the 2006 hit.

The power of this scene, like the rest of this comic-book comedy-action flick, is that it lets the viewer in on the joke, and the strength of Kick Ass is how it allows us in on all the shortcomings of its characters. For example, as we follow the Kick Ass character (played by Aaron Johnson) we clearly see that when he is, in all earnestness, patrolling the dangerous streets of New York, he is just a harmless teen in a costume who could get beaten up at any moment. Of course, the only real superhero in this flick is the tween Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz, just 11 when the film was shot), who steals the film.

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