Jim Carrey’s ‘Kick-Ass 2’ grandstanding helps no one but himself
By RICHARD ROEPER June 24, 2013 2:30PM
This film publicity image released by Universal Pictures shows actor Jim Carrey portraying Colonel Stars and Stripes in a scene from "Kick-Ass 2." Carrey says that he cannot support the violence in his upcoming superhero action flick Kick-Ass 2 in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. The actor tweeted Sunday, June 23, that, after shooting the film last year before the Connecticut tragedy, now in good conscience I cannot support that level of violence. Carrey added that he wasn't ashamed of the film but recent events have caused a change in my heart. Kick-Ass 2 is a sequel to the 2010 action comedy whose breakout star was the 11-year-old vigilante Hit-Girl, played by Chloe Grace Moretz. She reprises the role in the sequel, which Universal Pictures will release August 16. (AP Photo/Universal Pictures) ORG XMIT: NYET129
Updated: June 24, 2013 4:19PM
Prediction: before the week is over, Jim Carrey will announce he’s donating at least a portion of his paycheck from “Kick-Ass 2” to some organization dedicated to eradicating gun-related violence.
Because that’s the question Carrey’s going to have to answer again and again after he disassociated himself from the movie via Twitter, telling his 10 million+ followers:
“I did Kickass a month b4 Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence …
“I meant to say my apologies to others involve [sic] in the film. I am not ashamed of it but recent events have caused a change in my heart.”
Carrey was referencing the events of Dec. 14, 2012, when a 20-year-old man went on a horrific rampage at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., killing 20 children and six adult staff members.
In recent months the mercurial actor has become increasingly outspoken against gun violence as well as the legal gun culture, most notably with that insanely odd music video, “Cold Dead Hand,” in which Carrey played a creepy country singer and Charlton Heston in a spot-on parody of the cornpone music-comedy TV show “Hee Haw”— not that most people under 40 even remember “Hee Haw.”
As a character named Earl, Carrey sings:
It takes a cold dead hand
To decide to pull the trigger
Takes a cold dead heart
And as near as I can figure
With your cold dead aim
You’re trying to prove your ---- is bigger
Of course Carrey’s video had the NRA and its backers up in arms, so to speak, which of course was the point.
Now Carrey’s distancing himself from “Kick-Ass 2,” the sequel to the violent, smart and semi-controversial film from 2010 about some regular citizens with zero super-powers who don costumes and try to fight crime superhero style — and did I mention they don’t have any super-powers?
Who knows why the Sandy Hook killings were the flash point for Carrey to become such a vocal activist. To be sure, it was one of the darkest days in American history — but since Jim Carrey started his acting career, there have been far too many mass shootings in the USA and abroad to list here.
Whatever the motivation, Carrey now wants nothing to do with “Kick-Ass 2,” scheduled to open in August. Mark Millar, the author of the two books that serve as the basis for the movies, responded Sunday with a passionate blog entry in which he expressed deep admiration and love for Carrey, but also stated his puzzlement over Carrey’s condemnation of the violence in the movie.
“Like Jim, I’m horrified by real-life violence (even though I’m Scottish), but ‘Kick-Ass 2’ isn’t a documentary,” wrote Millar. “No actors were harmed in the making of this production! This is fiction and like Tarantino and Peckinpah, Scorsese 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 on the CONSEQUENCES of violence…”
As Millar notes, Carrey’s character in “Kick-Ass 2” is a born-again Christian who refuses to fire a gun. For Carrey to disavow the film at this point comes across more as disingenuous, selfish grandstanding than some idealistic statement.
The argument about violence in movies (video games, music videos, books, plays, et al.) and real-life violence will rage forever. As I’ve been saying for a quarter-century, 99.9 percent of the populace can consume these materials without acting out, so the problem is most likely with the individual and not the pop entertainment.
As a sidebar, you might recall there was a bit of a dust-up over Chloe Grace Moretz, who was just 12 when she starred as the foul-mouthed, violent “Hit Girl” in the first “Kick-Ass” movie. Some fretted: How will such a role affect the child?
Now 16, Ms. Moretz seems to be just fine, thank you.
Consider this. Jodie Foster played a child prostitute in “Taxi Driver.” Brooke Shields played a child prostitute in “Pretty Baby.” Natalie Portman played a little girl who falls in love with a hit man in “The Professional.”
On the other hand, Amanda Bynes, Miley Cyrus and Lindsay Lohan all played sweet, innocent characters on sweet, innocent TV shows and in sweet, innocent movies.
Which trio of actresses has it more together in real life — the ones who played controversial roles in hard-R movies, or the ones that played impossibly good girls in sugar-coated fluff?