There may be one less celebrity cast member on the press junket tour for ‘Kick-Ass 2’. Over the weekend, Jim Carrey took to his Twitter account and to his over 10 million followers, bashed on the film’s infamous gratuitous violence.
Carrey has been a vocal proponent for gun control especially since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last December. This has led some of his followers to question his involvement in ‘Kick Ass 2’, a film that contains a large amount of violence both gun-related and otherwise. While he did take on the role before the massacre occurred, he has since had a change of heart about the film:
I did Kickass a month b4 Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence. My apologies to e
— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) June 23, 2013
I meant to say my apologies to others involve with the film. I am not ashamed of it but recent events have caused a change in my heart.
— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) June 23, 2013
Carrey plays Colonel Star and Stripes, a vigilante who works with Kick Ass and allows his attack dog to bite the genitals of his enemies. Besides Nicholas Cage, who has a cameo, Carrey is by far the biggest star in the film. Although he didn’t trash Kick Ass 2 in general, his statement of nonsupport of the violence depicted in the film (which is basically the majority of the movie) within months of the film’s release has left many baffled.
This includes ‘Kick Ass’ comic writer and creator, Mark Millar. Within hours of Carrey’s tweet, Millar took to his blog and responded with his own thoughts about Carrey’s tweets. For the first 2 paragraphs, Millar complemented Carrey’s acting skills calling his work on the film “magnificent” and “up there with Nic Cage’s amazing turn as Big Daddy in the original”. Then he directly addressed the actor’s denouncements:
… which made it all the more surprising when Jim announced tonight that the gun-violence in Kick-Ass 2 has made him withdraw his support from the picture.
As you may know, Jim is a passionate advocate of gun-control and I respect both his politics and his opinion, but I’m baffled by this sudden announcement as nothing seen in this picture wasn’t in the screenplay eighteen months ago. Yes, the body-count is very high, but a movie called Kick-Ass 2 really has to do what it says on the tin. A sequel to the picture that gave us HIT-GIRL was always going to have some blood on the floor and this should have been no shock to a guy who enjoyed the first movie so much. My books are very hardcore, but the movies are adapted for a more mainstream audience and if you loved the tone of the first picture you’re going to eat this up with a big, giant spoon. Like Jim, I’m horrified by real-life violence (even though I’m Scottish), but Kick-Ass 2 isn’t a documentary. No actors were harmed in the making of this production! This is fiction and like Tarantino and Peckinpah, Scorcese and Eastwood, John Boorman, Oliver Stone and Chan-Wook Park, Kick-Ass avoids the usual bloodless body-count of most big summer pictures and focuses instead of the CONSEQUENCES of violence, whether it’s the ramifications for friends and family or, as we saw in the first movie, Kick-Ass spending six months in hospital after his first street altercation. Ironically, Jim’s character in Kick-Ass 2 is a Born-Again Christian and the big deal we made of the fact that he refuses to fire a gun is something he told us attracted him to the role in the first place.
Ultimately, this is his decision, but I’ve never quite bought the notion that violence in fiction leads to violence in real-life any more than Harry Potter casting a spell creates more Boy Wizards in real-life. Our job as storytellers is to entertain and our toolbox can’t be sabotaged by curtailing the use of guns in an action-movie. Imagine a John Wayne picture where he wasn’t packing or a Rocky movie where Stallone wasn’t punching someone repeatedly in the face. Our audience is smart enough to know they’re all pretending and we should instead just sit back and enjoy the serotonin release of seeing bad guys meeting bad ends as much as we enjoyed seeing the Death Star exploding. The action in Kick-Ass 2 is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. The humour, the characters, the heart and the set-pieces are all things we’re very proud of and the only warning I’d really include is that it’s almost TOO EXCITING. Kick-Ass 2 is fictional fun so let’s focus our ire instead of the real-life violence going on in the world like the war in Afghanistan, the alarming tension in Syria right now and the fact that Superman just snapped a guy’s fucking neck.
Jim, I love ya and I hope you reconsider for all the above points. You’re amazing in this insanely fun picture and I’m very proud of what Jeff, Matthew and all the team have done here.
Whether Millar’s words have put an end to the subject is yet to be seen, but he does make a point. It is rather surprising that Carrey does come out against the film after all this time. After all, as Millar indicated, he must have known about the violence while reading the screenplay as well as participated in scenes while filming the project.
Universal has made no comment regarding either statements and ‘Kick Ass 2’ is still slated to be released on August 16th in the U.S..
Do you side with Carrey and think the violence in the film should not be condoned? Or is this just another form of the same type of censorship that video game companies are going through? Will Carrey’s comments keep you from seeing ‘Kick Ass 2’? Let us know your thoughts below!