Jim Carrey Denounces Violence In 'Kick-Ass 2'; Mark Millar Has Something To Say About It

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by Kevin Jagernauth
June 24, 2013 9:20 AM
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A big part of summer movie madness isn't just the films, but the press hoopla that precedes them, with stars traveling the globe and high-fiving fans and journalists everywhere to help drum up support for their blockbuster. But one curious absence from the festivities over the coming week will be Jim Carrey, as he's publicly declared he won't be making the rounds for "Kick-Ass 2."

"I did Kickass a month b4 Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence," Carrey tweeted over the weekend. "My apologies to others involved with the film. I am not ashamed of it but recent events have caused a change in my heart." 

In the comic book sequel, Carrey plays Colonel Stars & Stripes, a rough and tumble costumed vigilante who forms Justice Forever, a band of heroes that Kick-Ass is recruited into. And in the trailers thus far, Carrey looks to have really relished the part, biting into it with a wacky accent and bringing his larger-than-life personality to the proceedings, albeit in a way that suits the tongue-in-cheek mega violence of "Kick-Ass." However, it seems the actor is still reeling from Sandy Hook, and perhaps it's no surprise given his vocal advocacy for gun control (watch here), and certainly creator and writer Mark Millar is a bit confused, but respectful, but still kinda confused about Carrey's stance. Here's the full statement he posted on Millarworld.

First off, I love Jim Carrey. When producer Matthew Vaughn and director Jeff Wadlow called me up and suggested we do a conference call with him to talk about the sequel to the 2010 original I was genuinely excited. Like you, I love Eternal Sunshine, Man on the Moon and The Truman Show. Carrey is an actor like no other, an unpredictable force of nature who brings a layered warmth and humanity to his work as well as that unstoppable energy he's always been renowned for. He had lunch with Matthew around the time of the first movie and dug it so much he appeared that night on Conan O'Brien DRESSED as Kick-Ass, singing a duet with Conan dressed as Superman. Vaughn and I made a mental note to work with this guy as soon as possible as we're both huge admirers.  

Cut to almost three years later and I'm sitting in a screening room in London watching what I think is one of Carrey's best-ever performances. I'd seen Kick-Ass 2 in many forms, but this was the absolute final cut complete with opening titles, music and a terrific post-credit sequence you're all going to love. I couldn't be happier with this picture. It's as good as the original and in many ways BIGGER as it expands upon the universe and really takes things to the next level. There are a lot of stand-outs in the sequel, every actor really firing on full cylinders and an amazing script that moves like a rocket. But Carrey in particular is magnificent. He's never done anything like this before and even from the trailer, with his masked dog sidekick specially trained to munch criminal balls, you can see that something really fun and special is happening here. Colonel Stars and Stripes is so charismatic and all his scenes are up there with Nic Cage's amazing turn as Big Daddy in the original... 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.  

Thoughts? Opinions? Is Carrey being too sensitive or admirably sticking to his....ahem....guns? Does "Kick-Ass 2" have anything to do with Sandy Hook? Do movies have anything to do with real-life violence? Weigh in below... and oh yeah, here's another posted for "Kick-Ass 2." [BBC]

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9 Comments

  • SCOTT | June 26, 2013 12:34 PMReply

    Jim carrey is liberal asshole who needs a spanking from Quentin Tarantino.

  • Glass | June 24, 2013 5:48 PMReply

    Any insight into Jim Carrey's person shows he's a total wackjob, so...

  • Zinjo | June 24, 2013 5:25 PMReply

    It is called marketing kids! What better way to get your message out than through controversy. Jim didn't slam his film or divorce himself from it like other actors have done, he instead embraced it and then used the announcement as a platform to preach gun control. Pretty savvy if you ask me...

  • JenT | June 24, 2013 4:27 PMReply

    1.maybe still do press & red carpet for the movie, then in a calm cool yet serious, calmly state your Change of Heart! that way you can contine the MUCH needed converstion about EVIL REALIFE & ANY somewhat solution!?
    2.I Love & Snuggle Jim too! I have never forgot How Jim won a Bike in a contest HE never entered! Thats God, Whom Ever &/or What ever God is, May We All STOP FIGHTING for 'our' way & just Love each other, Like God Loves US! Blessings too All, Jen in Tulsa, OK
    ps Jim, I have a Script & not one Gun is in it! :)

  • berk | June 24, 2013 3:33 PMReply

    He's just mad because Captain Vaccination beats his character in a fight.

  • Sean | June 24, 2013 1:16 PMReply

    They're loud, stupid, fun movies. But there are no emotional ramifications within the film for the characters. Hit-Girl kills people and feels nothing. So don't bullshit us on that level Mark.

  • cirkusfolk | June 24, 2013 10:35 AMReply

    Jim is just like all the other movie stars against gun violence that have a career filled with gun violent movies that they made millions on. Ok we'll maybe Jim is the exception, but if he ever has another film come out with guns after this "change of heart," I'll call him out.

  • Francesca | June 24, 2013 10:13 AMReply

    Haven't seen the movie, I can't judge. I don't think violence in movies fuels violence in real life but a sequel filled with nonsense violence just to please the younger audiences would be pathetic, so I guess we should wait and see.

    P.S Mark Millar, please check the names and correct, that Scorcese is horrendous. ;-)

  • welshevs75 | June 24, 2013 9:55 AMReply

    Disappointed with Jim on his comments on this, particularly as his last film The Incredible Burt Wonderstone featured him actually drilling himself in the head as part of his illusionist's act along with many other nonsensical violent acts that could be copied.
    Of course that was a comedy, but the tone of the first Kick-Ass was supposed to be comedic too (although dark in places) and I'm sure the sequel will be of a similar tone.
    A great response from Mark Millar though, particularly the line about Superman snapping someone's neck!
    Perhaps Jim has seen the finished film and thinks it's a bit of a dud and he's quickly trying to distance himself from it...hope not though as I was really looking forward to Kick Ass 2

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