By Olu Alemoru, Staff Writer
Whether it hurts or bolsters its box office in the wake of star cast member Jim Carrey’s public disownment of the film through his June tweet, “Kick-Ass 2” delivers a heavy dose of its now trademark nihilistic violence, a good deal of X-rated humor and — if you can believe it — a moral tone about societal hope in the face of the abyss.
Following on from the original three years ago, Aaron Johnson and Chloe Moretz reprise their roles as citizen crimefighters Kick-Ass and Hit Girl, while Christopher Mintz-Plasse becomes a super-villain who takes on a profane moniker.
Based on the comic book series created by Mark Millar and artist John Romita Jr., original co-writer/director Matthew Vaughn (with Jane Goldman) flips over to the producer’s chair on this one handing over the reigns to Jeff Wadlow.
Meanwhile, Carrey, who plays reformed Mafiosi Colonel Stars and Stripes, lit a fuse when he tweeted to his 10 million followers that — having filmed the movie a month before the Sandy Hook massacre — he could not in all good conscience support the movie.
“My apologies to others involved with the film,” he added. “I am not ashamed of it but recent events have caused a change in my heart.”
In an effort to avenge his father’s death, having taken a ride on a bazooka and blown to smithereens, Mintz-Plasse hires an army of villains to do battle with Johnson’s good guys. Having grown into a headstrong teen, Moretz defies her guardian, Sgt. Marcus Williams (Morris Chestnut), to carry on her crime fighting and regularly skips school to train for deadly combat.
Recently Chestnut, along with Donald Faison, who plays crime fighter Dr. Gravity, gave their assessment of the film, Carrey’s comments and why everybody wants to be a have-a-go hero.
How did you each relate to the film?
CHESTNUT: I have a daughter Chloe’s age so it was real easy for me to relate. The film doesn’t take itself very seriously and they all had a lot of fun doing stunts and comedy. I was the only one not kicking ass; hopefully I’ll get to do that if there’s another film.
FAISON: I’ve always wanted to be a superhero in an action movie, so this is a dream comes true. In all of these superhero movies, the hero has a moral code that they live by, but in Kick-Ass that isn’t the case. Here it’s a case of survival on the streets, but they still try to fight crime and that’s a more realistic version of what vigilantes would be.
I don’t think we’ll ever see a Superman in the sky, but if that did happen I think we’d send the Army, Navy, the Marines and Air Force after this person. In Kick-Ass, you really feel like these people are in a city where they are really trying to make a real difference.
What do you think of Jim Carrey’s comments?
FAISON: It’s a comic book movie; I think that’s what everyone needs to understand. Jim is allowed to have his personal point of view. We warn everyone that the title is called ‘Kick-Ass 2’ and it’s an R-rating. So, if you’re not a fan of violence don’t go and see it.
But don’t be crazy either. Over a billion tickets have been sold for ‘The Avengers’ and that’s a violent movie whether you want to believe it or not. In ‘Man of Steel,’ they destroyed Metropolis.
CHESTNUT: I respect anyone’s opinions about what they say or feel. I didn’t walk in his [Carrey’s] shoes and have his experiences. I do feel that movies and music have the power to slightly influence a person’s decision, but I don’t think that is going to encourage them to do something unless it’s already in them.
How did you get the role?
FAISON: My buddy [Jeff Wadlow] directed the movie, but he made me audition for studio purposes and Matt Vaughn so they could see what I could do.
CHESTNUT: I got sent the script and jumped at the chance, having just come off playing a character in a TV show that took himself very seriously.
What do you think of Chloe Moretz?
FAISON: She’s a very talented young lady. She knows exactly what she wants to do and how to execute it. She’s very impressive to watch; I knew I wanted to be an actor in action movies, but I didn’t know how to do it. There are very few people like her and it seems she’s set up for longevity and is not just going to be a child actor.
CHESTNUT: Nearly all my scenes are with Chloe and just watching her work I could she was a great talent, a real pro. I had a great time; I was scared though because I thought she might kick my ass.
Get ready for the return of Kick-Ass and Hit Girl. Universal Pictures