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My Life At The Movies: Kick Ass

As I stood beside the altar the melodic chants of days gone past echoed in my ears. The air conditioner struggled to simulate a bearable temperature, and my rented tuxedo worked overtime to soak up the sweat. My head waved about frantically to see where the bride was, and then a single thought entered my mind, “John is becoming a man.” Now, this is not to say my boy John was not a man before he got married, it’s that he was further becoming the man only he could be. In reality my friend John is the greatest man I’ve ever known, primarily because he has been there to teach me the rules about being one.

There are rules to being a man, rules that when followed, solidify any male into the “league of men.” It’s this idea of following a set of rules to become an honored individual that makes me love “Kick Ass.” Kick Ass despite not being a movie about the rules of manhood, is still a movie about the rules of being a ‘superhero’. Three types of superheroes in fact: the vengeful warrior (Big Daddy); the human weapon (Hit Girl); and the seeming nobody in tights (Kick Ass).

[The Steps to Becoming a Superhero]

Step 1: Take the Risk and Put on the Suit: Initially, you’re just another Dave Lizewski, an everyday geek that’s too afraid to ‘get the girl’. However, if you want to be a costumed crime-fighter you have to don the gloves and punch a gangster. [Warning: Don't expect you're first fights to be successful or painless].

Step 2: Find a Cause: In order to avoid slipping into becoming an average pedestrian or arrogant super-villain you need to find a cause. At first, the simple desire to win a girls attention may suffice, but if you’re going to stay on course you’ll need greater depth. Never fear, other superheroes do exist, find an experienced one and honor their wisdom.

Step 3: Get the Girl: Though she may not be the world you’re born to save, she will become the only one able to save you. Recognize that although you are now well trained and on the sacred path, this path can not be walked alone. A real superhero is one because they love the world they fight for, and fight for the girl they love.

Step 4: You Will Lose: Although you follow the light, and are valued as an ‘Atlas’ holding up your world, victory is never guaranteed. Darkness does exist, and it will either consume you or defeat you. You are a superhero after all and there are those who won’t allow it. You will suffer defeat, but stay strong and see Step 5.

Step 5: You Will Win: This is the final step, the step that makes the hero. The thing you want to show your girlfriend, but may have lost amidst the shadows, is finally at hand. That’s right, victory! Not the type you’re paid for, not the kind that comes with medals, the sort that only a superhero can attain… the triumph over suffering and self.

You’ve been humbled, and you see that the dark world you wanted to save is now the apathetic place that doesn’t know they need you. You’re a superhero, you’re a man, and this isn’t a misguided adventure in patriarchy it’s just my life at the movies.

Jon Godfrey


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