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Post-modernist films are characterized by self-referentiality, pastiche, intertextuality, and parody (Hill 2000, p.93). The features of post-modernist films may be identified in a film’s plot, casting/characterization, form, or visual theme. Post-modernist films may also play like a collage of stereotypes and tropes and may mix different types of media. A closer analysis of the film Kick Ass helps to identify its integrated postmodernist traits.
The film Kick Ass provides a fine parody of superhero films and the genre. The film comments ironically on the superhero genre and the conventions it encompasses. It has spoof written all over it. Frederic Jameson (1988, p.15), identifies both the use of Pastiche and parody as a significant characteristic in post-modernist art. He notes that “one of the most significant features or practices in postmodernism today is pastiche” (Jameson 1988, p15). He notes that both pastiche and parody involve the mimicry of other styles and particularly the stylistic twitches of other styles. In her article, Linda Hutcheon argues that post-modernism main interest is parody. She references the use of parody in postmodern architecture to stress her point by stating “parodic references to the history of architecture textually reinstate a dialogue with the past and inescapably with the social and ideological context in which architecture is and has been both produced and lived” (Hutcheon 1986, p.181). Kick-Ass pokes fun at the entire superhero genre. The film encompasses its parody through the humor it employs within key stages that demystify the invincibility of a superhero. For example, the film parodies from the superhero film Spider-Man. While Spider-Man is able to take giant leaps across buildings, Kick-Ass almost attempts to do the same but inescapably gets terrified and retaliates. Unlike in other superhero films where the
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