Earlier this week, Jim Carrey announced that he would be withdrawing his support for his forthcoming movie Kick-Ass 2. Using the pre-requisite medium for all important celebrity announcements (Twitter), he has stated that although he is very proud of the film, "in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence". This is a rather disappointing turn of events, especially for the movie's producers as the media junket is about to start before its release date in August.
It is fairly common knowledge that Carrey is a gun law advocate in the US, so taking a stance against strong onscreen violence is understandable as it is frequently held up as a potential cause for violent behaviour. However it is to the timing of his announcement that makes for the most interesting discussion. Carrey states in his first tweet that his change of heart was due to the tragic events that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, where 20 year old Adam Lanza killed 20 children and 6 adults, not including his own mother and himself, in one of the worst spates of gun crimes in recent years.
Kick-Ass 2, according to IMDB, was in production between September 7 to November 23 inclusive, while the Sandy Hook shooting occurred nearly one month later on December 14. The abhorrent nature of the crime is shocking, but Carrey's reasoning is puzzling. If we took the shooting out of the equation, Carrey must've been satisfied about the script in order to agree to appear in the film. So had he not seen the first film? Considering the violent nature of the previous film, including the unforgettable introduction to Chloe Grace Moretz's child vigilante Hit Girl, Carrey would have to be unbelievably naïve to think the sequel would be anything different. The comic's creator Mark Millar seems to agree with this in his response to Carrey's statement. On his website he states that the film, unlike most other modern action movies, "focuses instead on 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."
Since Carrey agreed to shoot the film, perhaps something has changed in the edit. As the cast and crew gear up for the upcoming press junket, the early cuts would be in. Has Carrey objected to the interpretation of gun violence in the finished article - something that was not in the original script? Could it be that the film has failed in Millar's intention to deal with the consequences and merely glorified the use of firearms and vigilante justice? Or has one of Hollywood's big stars simply detested the finished product and wishes to cut ties before the reviews come out? Only time will tell, but the screen violence debate is back once again in the public eye and Kick-Ass 2 may garner a lot more negative scrutiny upon its release - something studio bosses definitely do not want to hear.
“Do you think that we could find a place where we can meet, not in silence and not in sound?” - James Leeds (William Hurt) - Children of a Lesser God
Why do we go to the movies? Easy answer, to go and see a film. Sure, many go to socialize with their friends (though it would be better to have your conversations at the concessions stand and not sat in the theater right in front of someone who has paid good money to see a movie?!), but the straightforward answer, "To see a film", leads to yet another question - what type of film do you want to see?
One of the pleasures in discussing movies with my friends and colleagues is learning their different tastes in film. I'm sure you and your friends have had similar discussions. Some people are clearly driven by the recent spring of comic and cult adaptations, where movie technology and FX techniques have opened the doors to fantastical worlds and adventures that were extremely difficult to pull of 15 - 20 years ago. Others like a good laugh (something that many argue has been largely AWOL over the past few years, but that is another discussion!). A few crave foreign language movies, while many others fill their time with the latest blockbuster from the Hollywood "Dream Machine".
For me, it is to be told a great story. It doesn't matter which genre, star, writer, director - I want to see and hear a cracking story. It is really that simple. Judging by the conversations I have had with others, it seems that for so many of us this simple pre-requisite to a film is sorely missing. People I have spoken to state that they pay good money to go and see a film, yet from the moment they walk in they think that the film will suck. And most of the time, they stress that they are proved right. Is this normal? Is this how you feel when you go to the movies? If so, then this is a major concern for me and (I would hope) all the writers, producers and directors that are working today. If this continues,
people will be unwilling to pay the ever-increasing prices for movie tickets and
will simply wait for DVD. Even worse, there is a possibility of increase movie piracy.
What do you think? What are the requirements for you to turn off your TV and go to the movies? And have you ever paid good money to go and see a film, already convinced that you will be disappointed?