Trailer Tuesday: Kick-Ass 2
What if superheroes were real? What would it be like if someone in our all too unpredictable and vulnerable reality decided to become a masked vigilante to fight crime? It's been the subject of a handful of films, but none has really seen their reputation grow over time like the unapologetically R-rated action comedy Kick-Ass. The film, based on Mark Millar's comic book miniseries of the same name, was one of my personal favourite movies of 2010 (review here). Now three years later, it's time for Kick-Ass 2, also based on the Millar comic sequel.
A couple of years have passed since high schooler Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) first caught the public's attention after donning a wetsuit and beginning to patrol the city streets as Kick-Ass. In that time, he's been joined by other masked vigilantes like the unhinged Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey) and they've formed their own league of "superheroes".
Unfortunately Dave's old ally Chris D'Amico / Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) has vowed revenge for the death of his mob boss father. Chris reimagines himself as the gimp suit-wearing Mother Fucker, intending to become the world's first super villain. He surrounds himself with assorted costume-wearing criminals, including the towering Mother Russia (Olga Kurkulina). The threat is so great in fact that now-15 year old Hit-Girl / Mindy Macready (Chloë Grace Moretz) may be forced out of superhero retirement to stop the Mother Fucker. Hit-Girl's conflict - torn between an exciting life of crime-fighting and just being accepted as a normal teenage girl - is largely the focus of this international Kick-Ass 2 trailer.
Personally I'm a little sad that original Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughn (who also helmed the excellent "teens and superheroes" combo of X-Men: First Class) bowed out of directing this one. His replacement is not especially proven Cry_Wolf and Never Back Down director Jeff Wadlow. Vaughn is still around as Kick-Ass 2's producer, for the record.
For now, as far as Kick-Ass 2 is concerned, I'm keeping my expectations moderated. Judging by the trailers, the film will still be a lot of darkly comic, gloriously unsanitised fun. However, it also seems to be more overblown than its predecessor - which only really lost its believability in the final credibility-stretching act. I'm hoping the sequel still includes many moments of normality among the beatings, blood and bullets, because that really helped to set it apart, and suck in a sympathetic audience as superhero-obsessed as its characters.
Kick-Ass 2 releases in the United States on 16 August. The film's South African release is currently unknown.