Matthew Vaughn‘s Kick-Ass opened almost exactly nine years ago, and two years after the launch of the big-time MCU with Jon Favreau‘s Iron Man. The superhero virus had been spreading and growing for a couple of years, but was still at a relatively nascent stage. But something happened when I sat down with Kick-Ass. I enjoyed the panache, but at the same experienced a primal WTF response.

I got and “enjoyed” it as much as my sensibilities allowed, but at the same time it seemed obvious that the action-movie realm was suffering more and more from a basic erosion of building-block craft. Kick-Ass told me that a fundamental indifference was manifesting on the part of screenwriters, directors and producers to properly setting things up and thereby allowing people like me to enjoy superhero crap.

Last night I re-read “Geek Apocalypse,” a Kickass review that ran on 4.1.10. And I almost chuckled as I said to myself, “Yep, that was the concern back then, and you were right, of course. But if only you knew how things would manifest over the next nine years. And how completely beside the point and almost sentimental your complaints would sound in the context of 2019.”

Key paragraphs: “So I loved Chloe Moretz in Kick-Ass and the audacity of having an 11 year-old midget-sized girl murder dozens of bad guys with pistols and knives and swords, and I was also able to half-enjoy, at times, the suspended idiocy and self-referential absurdity that director Matthew Vaughn uses to explain away all the stuff that wouldn’t otherwise work and in fact would choke a horse.

“We’ve come to a point in which the comic-book sensibility that allows Moretz’s Hit-Girl to rule and bust all kinds of heads is ruining action films. It’s been doing this for years, of course, but I was really fuming about this last night. ‘Where does this crap end?,’ I was asking myself. ‘What’s next — a five-year-old action hero? How about a cat — not a cartoon cat Felix but an actual Siamese or Abyssinian or Tabby who shoots Glocks and beats the shit out of human hitmen and drug-dealers who are ten times his size and outweigh him by over 200 pounds? Why not?’

“It’s gotten to the point that I’d like to arrest and incarcerate every last geek-pandering filmmaker and every last pudgy-bodied, ComicCon-attending comic-book fan and truck them all out to re-education camps in the desert and make them do calisthenics in the morning and swear off junk food and straighten their heads out about the real value of great action movies, and how their stupid allegiance to comic-book values is poisoning the well.

“I’ve come to truly despise comic-book action flicks, and particularly the metastisizing comic-book sensibility in mainstream movies, for a reason. By this I mean the total disregard by comic-book filmmakers for setting up the rules and the reality system in which amazing things might happen within the world of a film. Just telling the audience ‘hey, it’s a comic-book thing’ doesn’t cut it.

“I am ready and willing to buy anything when I sit down for a movie. I will accept any bullshit premise you throw at me (even the idea of opening a small door, crawling through a mud tunnel, becoming John Malkovich for five minutes and ending up on the New Jersey Turnpike) as long as you allow me to buy it. Set it up for me…please! All I ask is that you pour the cement and bolt down the structure beams before making the film.

“All the comic-book guys ever seem to say is ‘look, man, it’s an empowerment metaphor…it’s cool to watch and it’s funny and has great CG…isn’t that enough?’

Again, the whole “Geek Apocalypse” article.