Jim Carrey decries the violence of Kick-Ass 2, Mark Millar responds

Despite starring in the upcoming Kick-Ass 2 movie as the born-again hero Colonel Stars and Stripes, Jim Carrey has renounced his support of the movie on Twitter because of the film's level of violence.

Carrey tweeted yesterday:

I did Kickass a month b4 Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence. My apologies to e

— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) June 23, 2013

I meant to say my apologies to others involve with the film. I am not ashamed of it but recent events have caused a change in my heart.

— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) June 23, 2013

One presumes Carrey knew what he was signing up for when he accepted the role, but he's entitled to his opinion, he's entitled to change his mind, and good for him for apologizing to the folks making the film for how his beliefs may cause problems for his co-workers.

Kick-Ass creator and writer Mark Millar responded on his blog with a massive post, as is his wont, but here's the main bit:

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.

Hmm. I think Millar goes off the rails a bit when he talks about Kick-Ass 2 being "TOO EXCITING," but I still appreciate it's a polite, measured response to a movie's star disavowing himself of his film. I don't think that there's anything in Carrey or Millar's words that sheds new light on the debate about violence in media (and it would be super awesome if you could avoid getting into it in the comments, because no one has ever changed anyone's mind on the Internet ever), but it's an interesting development for Kick-Ass 2. More importantly, I do think it's nice that two people on opposite sides of a potentially combustible argument can be calm, polite, and even gracious while stating their viewpoints. There's not enough of that nowadays.