The Kick-Ass franchise cannot seem to escape controversy. The original Kick-Ass had difficulties from certain groups for giving Chloe Moretz lines that included the c-word. Now Kick-Ass 2 has one of its stars, Jim Carrey, actively condemning it because the level of violence in the film.
Carrey took to Twitter to declare that he would not be supporting Kick-Ass 2 because of the Sandy Hook shootings that took place last December. Here are the direct tweets:
Carrey plays the vigilante Colonel Stars and Stripes in Kick-Ass 2 – and in fact, that character is a Born-Again Christan who refuses to fire a gun.
Mark Millar, the creator of the original Kick-Ass comic books, responded to Carrey’s withdrawal of support in an extended post on his blog, expressing mostly confusion as to Carrey’s sudden change of heart:
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.
While the topic of film violence vs. real life violence is a very fraught one – and I have my opinions on the subject – I think that Millar has some good points. No one attached to Man Of Steel made noise about the sheer level of destruction that Superman causes. As Millar points out, the Kick-Ass franchise often depicts what really happens when someone gets beat up. This seems about as false a controversy as the original one over an 11-year old using the c-word to describe a bunch of male goons – before she kicked their asses. It seems more a case of ignorant censorship than anything.
What Carrey means when he says that he ‘cannot support that level of violence’ is unclear – will he not be participating in any of the Kick-Ass 2 campaigns? No interviews? Perhaps no paycheck? That would be surprising.
We’ll see what effect Jim Carrey’s withdrawal has on Kick-Ass 2 when the film hits theatres in August.