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Jim Carrey Says His New Movie Is Too Violent

posted by Nell Minow

The 2010 film Kick-Ass, about a group of young would-be superheroes who did not actually have any super powers, was controversial for its ultra-violence and for featuring a young girl, played by then-12-year-old Chloë Grace Moretz, who used extremely strong and crude language and who was a trained killer.

Now it seems the sequel may be even more controversial as Jim Carrey, who stars, has said that he will not support the film.  In two tweets, he said that the film was made before the shooting at Sandy Hook and he now believes that the violence is excessive and inappropriate.  “My apologies to others involve[d] with the film. I am not ashamed of it but recent events have caused a change in my heart.”

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The creator of Kick-Ass, Mark Millar, responded on his blog:

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.

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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.

 

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Nancy Spady

    Mr. Millar may not have, “quite bought the notion that violence in fiction leads to violence in real-life,” but there are any number of studies that show (through functional MRIs) that exposure to violence in media over time leads to changes in the way the brain processes both violent stimuli and other stresses. I’m not an expert, but as I understand it, these changes cause the person to react less with the higher-functioning cognitive parts of their brain and more with the visceral, raw emotional areas. Perhaps this doesn’t directly lead to violence in real life, but I cannot imagine it helps. That doesn’t mean violence should be censored, but perhaps people like Mr. Millar could own up to the full impact of the media they are creating, rather than hiding behind “not quite buying in.” Big tobacco companies also sold nicotine addiction as a free choice.

    • Nell Minow

      Exactly right, Ms. Spady. And excusing it as more authentic than bloodless “action violence” is disingenuous. Many thanks.

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