Kevin Bacon has an interesting career. Sometimes he plays characters who
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.
Update: Big Hollywood’s take on Kick Ass might be worth a read if you have the time.