Kick-Ass 2

When the first Kick-Ass hit theaters, it came under fire for its copious and unapologetic violence. With about two months to go until the release date, it appears that Kick-Ass 2 will get more of the same. But this time, some of the criticism is coming from a rather unexpected place.

Star Jim Carrey has hit Twitter to publicly denounce the violence in the film, saying he “cannot support” it in the wake of Sandy Hook. Shortly afterward, Mark Millar, who penned the movie’s comic book source material, issued his own measured response to Carrey’s announcement. “Jim, I love ya and I hope you reconsider,” he wrote. Hit the jump to read both of their comments.

Carrey took to Twitter to explain his decision not to promote Kick-Ass 2.

For his part, Millar made his feelings known in a lengthy reply on his website.

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.

The rest of it can be read here.

Whether or not you agree with his arguments, Millar’s disappointment is understandable. Carrey’s decision rather sucks for everyone involved with Kick-Ass 2, since they were no doubt counting on his big name to help sell tickets. Plus, it can’t be pleasant to hear a former colleague blast something you worked on together.

On the other hand, it’s tough to fault Carrey for standing up for his beliefs, even when they intrude on his career at an inconvenient time. And it may ultimately be for the best that Carrey’s bowing out of the publicity tour now, rather than trying to grit his teeth only to spark even more controversy later.

Discuss: Do you agree with Carrey’s decision? Do you think it’ll stick?

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