Kevin Bacon has an interesting career. Sometimes he plays characters who

Roger Ebert isn't a fan of Hit Girl because she's "dark." Yet, Kevin Bacon as a child molester in The Woodsman is apparently an intriguing shade of chartreuse?

can’t fight the compulsion to stand up and dance, and sometimes he plays characters who must fight the compulsion to ummm…molest children. However, this post isn’t going to be about Kevin Bacon. Instead, I’d like to concentrate on Roger Ebert.  You know, that guy who is so bright he calls his readers “nutjob Teabaggers.”

First off, I’m not here to bash The Woodsman. I can see where many people might find it “thought provoking” or “daring.” Or, as Ebert put it:

The reason we cannot accept pedophilia as we accept many other sexual practices is that it requires an innocent partner, whose life could be irreparably harmed. We do not have the right to do that. If there is no other way to achieve sexual satisfaction, that is our misfortune, but not an excuse. It is not the pedophile that is evil, but the pedophilia.

While I find it interesting that Ebert doesn’t use the same pattern in logic to come to a Ted Nugentonian conclusion on Gun Rights, what piques my interest the most is Ebert’s fawning praise for a piece on humanizing child molesters—and sneering condescension at a world where a little girl can defend herself against drug dealers, gangsters, and the amoral dregs of society:

The little girl is named Mindy (Chloe Grace Moretz). She adopts the persona of Hit Girl. She has been trained by her father, Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage), to join him in the battle against a crime boss (Mark Strong). Her training includes being shot at point-blank range while wearing a bulletproof vest. She also masters the martial arts — more, I would say, than any other movie martial artist of any age I can recall. She’s gifted with deadly knife-throwing; a foot-long knife was presented to her by Dad as, I guess, a graduation present…

The early scenes give promise of an entirely different comedy. Aaron Johnson has a certain anti-charm, his problems in high school are engaging, and so on. A little later, I reflected that possibly only Nic Cage could seem to shoot a small girl point-blank and make it, well, funny. Say what you will about her character, but Chloe Grace Moretz has presence and appeal. Then the movie moved into dark, dark territory, and I grew sad.

So “dark, dark, territory” for Ebert is apparently only kosher when Kevin Bacon is struggling with fantasies about girls like…Hit Girl! I get it. And so, following Ebert’s earlier logic, it is not the drug dealer or the crime lord (who puts people in giant industrial microwaves for lumber and pushes the ‘on’ button) who we should hate, but their desire to do so… Hit Girl’s problem is that she didn’t feel remorse for ridding the world of guys who would give Tony Soprano a Gene Kelly aura of innocence.

Guess what, Ebert: the world likes seeing pure evil blown up, shot, smashed, and killed. And, while I don’t think child predators should be harassed upon their release from prison, I do wonder why liberals like you and Oliver Stone are always trying to put guys like Hitler “in context.” Yeah, we get it—they’re human. They’re complex. But guess what, Roger: some people do things that are so beyond the pale we call them evil. And when I see a movie where someone like Hit Girl gives society’s skid marks a taste of their own medicine, I cheer.

I suppose that’s the tell tale sign I’m a“nutjob Teabagger,” right Roger? Well…I’m fine with that if proud socialists like you are the one’s setting the definitions.

Update: Big Hollywood’s take on Kick Ass might be worth a read if you have the time.

About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.


  1. Great essay on an important subject: the conviction heroes must have to destroy the enemy, and also that enemies do in fact exist. I offer a parallel in the movie “Batman – the Dark Knight”, in which the hero cannot bring himself to destroy the Joker, played brilliantly by Ledger as one of the most evil villains I can think of in modern cinema. Batman actually saves him from death (!!!) and the audience is not given the satisfaction that you describe in your post. Here’s my theory as to why (it might make you laugh out loud):

  2. That’s one of my issues with the current “Long War” we’re in with al Qaeda types and their intellectual soul mates. We can’t even accurately define the enemy because of political correctness…so how are we supposed to defeat it? If the population isn’t given an accurate description of who and what we’re fighting, how are we supposed to keep them rallied behind the cause?

    Losers like Bill Maher are more scared of Tea Party rallies than the guys who would actually chop his head off with a dull knife if they had the chance. I live in Arlington, VA and ate dinner with some visiting Tea Party friends I met on Twitter and…they’re two of the nicest people I’ve ever met. It’s sad how guys like Maher are so detached from reality, yet they’re given a show with which to spew ignorance.

  3. The programming executive at HBO who gave Maher a show is a very sorry soul indeed. I just can’t believe the guy makes a living. Tea Partiers are going to save this country, god willing.

  4. I saw Kick-Ass this weekend; twice. I enjoyed it both times and will see it a 3rd time with my wife.

    While there were a few parts that I could see as disturbing, overall it was GREAT! This is one of the few movies out today that doesn’t try to make you empathize with the bad guys.

    Bad guys = bad guys. And they are treated as such – thanks to the “heroes”.

    It is worth seeing twice for sure since some of the shock value is gone and you can truly appreciate the action scenes. I’ll follow up with my thoughts of the third viewing after I see it with my wife.

    It is amazing the lines in the sand certain people draw when it comes to things that are considered “dark, dark territory.”

    Exit question: I wonder what Ebert were say about this – .


  5. Saw “Kick Ass” last night and I am in a state of blissful shock. It is one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time because it has the fullness of its convictions. As Travis said, “bad guys are bad guys”, and let me tell you they pay dearly in this movie. But the ruthlessness with which they are dispatched is very special and is in fact spiritual, as I wrote on my blog today.

    I am blown away by this movie and plan to see it dozens of times. Pure joy. I’ll leave the criminal-loving and effeminate Batman to those who prefer self-immolation.

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