Universal Executive Calls Kick-Ass 2 ‘Often Offensive’


I have been following the controversy surrounding Jim Carrey’s withdrawal of support from Kick-Ass 2 with great interest, not least because it speaks to the concern and debate that has surrounded movie violence for years. Now the issue has grown a little bit stranger – and in my view, more cynical – as a Universal executive referred to the film as ‘irreverent, dark and often offensive.’

The comments come from Simon Hewlett, Universal’s executive vice president of marketing, after he showed footage of Kick-Ass 2 to exhibitors at CineEurope in Barcelona. While he did not directly reference Carrey’s strategic withdrawal, he did claim that Kick-Ass 2 is a ‘bigger, badder, more ballsy adventure.’

Carrey’s comments popped up earlier this week, with the star (who plays Colonel Stars and Stripes in the film) claiming that he could not support the level of violence contained in the film. Carrey referenced Sandy Hook as the reason behind his decision – and indeed, the star has been outspoken on his pro-gun control stance.

Mark Millar, the original creator of Kick-Ass, responded to Carrey’s comments in a blog post, questioning why Carrey did not seem to have a problem with the film when he received the script eighteen months ago. I kind of wonder about that too.

Jim Carrey has every right to change his mind, but this whole sequence of events really does awaken the cynic in me. Carrey’s announcement came a mere two months before Kick-Ass 2 premieres, and now the vice president of marketing at Universal is claiming that the film is simply an even more badass version of the original? Why does this smack of drumming up false controversy in order to sell a movie? Carrey, by the way, plays a character that is a Born Again Christian who does not believe in the use of guns. Hmm.

In any case, we’re likely to continue to talk about it, and go see Kick-Ass 2 when it reaches theatres on August 16. Is it as violent as they say it is? You have to buy a ticket to find out.