Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Kickassia. "Is it possible to parody parody and make it good?"

Forward: Reviews will always be coming out on a Wednesday unless stated otherwise

We're back to doing reviews, let the trumpets be herd, and what better way to start reviews again then with a fan film. For those who don't know, a fan film is a movie made by film enthusiasts to tell some sort of story. They tend to have a budget of $0 and low production value and this is no exception. To celebrate the second anniversary of their site's launch (, the reviewers that contribute to the site (along with several others) decided to create Kickassia, and the final result... Well...

In regards to the story, I'm going to be directly quoting the IMDb page dedicated to Kickassia's plot because I can't write anything that would do it justice, while I will elaborate on points (aka, spoilers), this is just the summary of the plot:

"The Nostalgia Critic, internet guru of bad movies, discovers the existence of the Republic of Molossia in the Nevada desert. He rallies his fellow reviewers and media enthusiasts and invades, taking control of the micronation. Declaring himself President-for-Life, he assigns government posts to his friends and renames the realm Kickassia, the most nonsensical country in the world. The Nostalgia Chick, gloriously parodying Sarah Palin, is named Vice-President and spends her days cheerfully attempting to kill off the Critic to take his post. The Minister of Trade wants to bargain with other nations for goods and trading old video games. The chief science officer performs research on a stomp rocket, and the newly designed Kickassian flag is held aloft by a very unhappy human flagpole (because they can't figure out how to use the real one). But it soon becomes apparent that the Critic has turned into a complete despot whose idea of a productive day involves sitting on the couch watching old television shows. When they discover that he's wired the entirety of Kickassia with 20 tons of dynamite, his friends realize that they have to try to find a way to remove him from power before things go horribly wrong."

Did I mention that this plot is dumb, but dumb in a good way. If you read the title of this review, you would see that I asked "Is it possible to parody parody and make it good?", the answer being: yes... kinda. The way the movie is written is that what its parodying is their own content, which is evident by the names of the characters being their internet persona's. The Nostalgia Critic and Nostalgia Chick, Angry Joe, Linkara, Mars Girl, JewWario (to which, while late, I am dedicating this to as he passed away earlier in the year), Cinema Snob, all of whom are the characters and persona's they use online for their content, and as a result, it actually makes the writing and the jokes very clever and hilarious in a dark humor way. Each of the jokes are stabs at their own content along with the content they review (a example being the Nostalgia Critic taking up the persona of M Byson) which something that you can see the moment you look at the poster that was made for the film.

The comedy also extends to the cameos that are laced throughout the story and for the most part, they are well done. Board James (Angry Video Game Nerd (who does have a movie coming out, I should get around to doing that when I can...)) teaching the rebels how to play Risk was hilarious, Little Miss Gamer and the "homage (???)" to Captain N was hilarious, "Goggles" (I'm using quotes because I'm not sure who Goggles is or if its her full name) and the answering machine was, while predictable, still funny. I'd have to say that the worst cameos was (while the joke was still funny) the cameos used in the "revival" of Santa Christ (someone who I'm not going to explain, look that one up yourself) purely because the cameos themselves weren't funny but the joke after.

Cinematography wise, you can tell this was shot on a small budget (assuming there was one to begin with). The camera work isn't the greatest, the camera itself didn't produce that clean of a image, lighting wasn't great, the animations were poor, but I think these work to the films advantage (well, the animation at least). People don't expect blockbuster quality filming in fan films. When we get that, great. If not, then nothing was lost. Most directors of these types of projects try to get as many aspects of the cinematography as close to actual Hollywood films as possible. Whereas here, they make use of what they have and seeing as most of them were probably just starting out at the time, it still looks reasonably well. I think the animation is probably the worse aspect to this but the animation adds to the comedy. You know the effects are cheep, hell some of them were ripped from 8-bit/ 16-bit games (I can't tell what era or what game, if any at all, but still).

There is a sense of self awareness to this film, a subtle destruction of the forth wall if you would. Probably the best example of this is the fact that Doug Walker, the writer, editor and director of the film, also wrote a Nostalgia Critic (his character) review of the film and trashed it in the standard Nostalgia Critic fashion. Kickassia as a whole feels like its a type of film that the people who are performing in it would trash under any other circumstances, which adds to the humor of the whole project. If your going into this thinking that it will be good when comparing it to Hollywood films, then your going to hate this film, but its good because of how bad it is because its awfulness makes it better (if that makes any sense). Next week, in memory of Robin Williams, Aladdin. 

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