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First Look: Jim Carrey in Kick-Ass 2

The Kick-Ass comic book series—penned by super-scribe Mark Millar—is a grounded (no super powers here, folks), simple and fantastic comic that looks at the life of a teenager obsessed with fighting crime even though he doesn’t necessarily have the chops to fit the bill of super-hero. And, that’s the appeal of the series.

The first film adaptation, directed by Guy Ritchie protégé Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake, X-Men: First Class), was an ultra-violent stab at the heart of vigilante justice that delivered a kinetic package of action-comedy with tinges of real drama wrapped in a bow of blood and buckets of fun.

While Vaughn is not directing this time around—sadfaceJeff Wadlow is taking the reigns. Wadlow cut his action film teeth on the under-appreciated Never Back Down (essentially a stylistic re-imagining of The Karate Kid) so he has the talents to keep the aesthetics of the first film in place.

carrey-thumbBut, the most interesting element of this sequel is the casting, as Jim Carrey, who seemingly campaigned for a role in the film during an appearance on Conan’s comedy tour (see video above).

Carrey will join Kick-Ass 2 as Colonel Stars and Stripes, a similar simpleton who wants to combat crime with his own unique style and fashionable-questionable garbs.

Carrey, who tried breaking away—unsuccessfully—from his one-note, over acting artifact has seen his box office draws dip lower and lower as audiences have grown tired of his overly-played gaffe. But, I smell something here, and it smells like a comeback.

While Kick-Ass certainly contains some elements of Carrey’s past hit, The Mask, it remains to be seen if Carrey can dial down his bravado and garish techniques to bring some much need humility to his character, and subsequently his career. He needs to steer away from the wind-bending, Gumby-like persona he’s adopted to all of his on-screen characters should he try to become a box-office star again.

Adaptation and maturing is a process that lens itself to success in Hollywood—and for that matter any art form—but Carrey just can’t get it yet.

But, I’m rooting for him to do so. He dialed it down in The Truman Show—though not much—and he recieved award nominations for it.

He’s a gifted character actor and it’d be a waste to see him go deeper into the territory of an Eddie Murphy (a man willing to convulse and contort his body for seemingly any kind of script with the right price tag attached, yet, as you’ve seen with Dreamgirls, with a little dialing down, magic happens).

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