Five new clips from the Kick-Assmovie show us Kick-Ass, Hit Girl, and Big Daddy in bloody action, and demonstrate how Matthew Vaughn's adaptation improves on Mark Millar's original comic — by looking more like a comic book.
Superman He's Not
In the opening, we see the Empire State Building against a clear blue sky. The Superman theme starts to play in the background. In the voiceover, Dave Lizewski delivers an opening monologue similar to the one from the book. "I always wondered why nobody did it before me..."
As he continues his musing on why people don't become superheroes, we gradually pan down the building and we see the falcon-themed superhero from the beginning of the book posed like Superman. His metallic wings shoot out to the side and as Dave says, "We all planned to be a superhero..." he dives off the building...
...And lands headfirst onto a car. The music stops.
"That wasn't me, by the way," the voiceover assures us. As he briefly elaborates the mental health history of the now-deceased falcon man, we pan to a yellow taxi with the license plate, "KICK ASS."
No More Heroes
Dave and his friends are sitting in a diner reading comic books with his friends, asking why nobody ever tries to be a superhero.
"Well," says one of them, "there's the 'super' in superhero. They have powers."
Dave pulls out the Batman argument, but his friend shrugs. "But he had the money to buy all the shit that doesn't exist."
Dave laments that everyone today wants to be Paris Hilton and no one wants to be Spider-Man. "Spider-Man doesn't have a porn tape."
Dave's other friend asks, "You haven't seen 'One Night in Spider-Man?'"
Hit Girl and Creepy Daddy
Finally, we get our first look at Big Daddy and Hit Girl. Big Daddy is about to shoot Hit Girl while she's wearing a bullet-proof vest, so she'll be prepared if it happens in the field. Chloe Moretz's Hit Girl is true to the comic: a spunky daddy's girl who complains about getting shot the way most kids complain about cleaning the toilet. But where the book's Big Daddy is a brusque tough guy with a soft spot for his warped little girl, Nic Cage's portrayal is more like a sitcom father from a more disturbed universe than an ex-cop who hunts down drug dealers. He speaks to Hit Girl in an almost sing-songy tone, and it's apparent he's had no one else to talk to but his daughter in a long time. He explains with gee golly geniality that the gunshot won't be any worse than a punch to the chest. As Hit Girl starts to protest that she hates getting punched in the chest, he shoots her, knocking her backwards to the ground.
She's fine, of course, but when Big Daddy wants her to go again, she puts on a childish defiance. "I want bowling," she says.
"Bowling?" he asks, mock-incredulous.
"And ice cream."
He smiles warmly and a little creepily. "Well, young lady, you got yourself a deal." And, when she says she's going to get a hot fudge sundae, he replies with, "Good call, baby doll." Methinks there will be lots of cutesy nicknames for Hit Girl.
Now we get to see Kick-Ass's disastrous first foray into the field. This scene takes place during the day rather than at night, making his home-stitched hero suit look all the more ridiculous. He spots two guys trying to force open a car door and steps timidly out into the light.
One of them notices the fellow in the green and yellow suit just standing there staring. "What the fuck are you looking at?"
Kick-Ass looks away and stares at the ground for a moment in embarrassment, as if he only just realized how idiotic he looks. But he makes the decision to be Kick-Ass and calls out in a voice bordering on prepubescence, "Two shit-ass losers trying to steal a car someone probably worked their ass off to buy!"
As he talks to them, we see the baton he secretly grips behind his back. And, after exchanging a few heated words, he smacks one of them in the face with it. The ensuing melee doesn't last long, though, as one of the would-be car thieves pulls a knife and rather unceremoniously stabs Kick-Ass in the gut and runs off. Kick-Ass looks down at the bleeding slit in his costume as reality sinks in. He's still upright, but stumbling, trying to hold the wound closed. He makes it to the street, only to be smacked sideways by an oncoming sedan. The impact sends him flying over the car's roof and his limp body thuds to the street.
Saved by the 10 Year-Old
A woman has asked Kick-Ass to talk to her abusive boyfriend into staying away from her, so he's heading to Razoul's apartment for said talk. A big fellow wearing headphones stands guard outside the door. "What are you supposed to be," he asks the approaching Kick-Ass, "the Green Goblin?" But he lets him in to see Razoul.
Inside the apartment, Razoul is playing video games on a big screen TV while a girl in a trashy red dress sits on the back of the couch watching. His entourage sits around, a crew of big guys, any of whom look more than a match for Kick-Ass. "I'm looking for Razoul."
"I'm Razoul," says the girl. She puts her hands on each of her fake-looking breasts and rolls them together, "Can't you tell by my big titties?"
Kick-Ass' eyes momentarily follow the motion of her breasts. "I'm a friend of Katie's."
This prompts Razoul to identify himself and Kick-Ass explains, calmly and rationally, with no trace of bravado in his high-pitched voice, that Razoul can't see Katie anymore, what with all that roughing her up business. Razoul, incredulous, asks Kick-Ass what he plans to do about it. Kick-Ass replies if Razoul doesn't comply, "I'll come back and break your fucking legs."
"I'm here now," Razoul menaces. "Why don't you do something about it now."
So Kick-Ass tases him in the face.
As he recovers, Razoul pulls a knife, but as soon as we think we're in for a repeat Kick-Ass' first adventure, a knife blade appears through Razoul's chest. His body drops and we get our first look at Hit Girl in costume. This isn't the Zorro wannabe from the book; in fact, she more closely resembles Stephanie from LazyTown. She wears a purple bob-cut wig and a muted school-girl skirt over her PVC bodysuit. Her utility belt is pink and reads "HG" at the clasp, and in lieu of katanas, she wields a staff with serrated knife blades at either end. She's at the same time frightening and strangely adorable.
She pauses for a moment to select her next victim with a game of "Eeny meeny miny mo," and she's off, tumbling through the room and killing with incredible speed while a hyper twee chorus plays in the background. It's not as violent by half as the scene from the book. Even if more blood is added in post-production, there's more stabbing here than slicing, and the only body part that comes off is one fellow's leg.
One of Razoul's cronies, who's been in the bathroom this whole time, emerges and, spying the carnage, brings out his butterfly knife, flipping it around.
"Oh!" Hit Girl says brightly. "I have one of those!" Only, when she's done flipping hers around, she throws it through his chest.
The girl in the trashy dress is the last to go. Hit Girl pins her to the apartment door and from the other side, we see two bloody blade slide through the door. The door guard watches the blades in shock and pulls off his headphones. "What the fuck?"
The trailer gives us a few more glimpses of Matthew Vaughn's comic additions. Red Mist appears, not looking the serious, mature hero, but a guy who uses way too much hair gel (seriously, his red and black dyed hair defies gravity), and little lighting bolts hang from is mask. Hit Girl gets a few moments of bad-assery. She can change her gun clips with a flick of her wrists, and manages to kill a man by stabbing a knife attached to a rope through his gun hand and then pulling the rope so he shoots himself. And the fully costumed Big Daddy is an odd cross between Christopher Nolan's Batman and Christopher Nolan's Batmobile.
If the standing ovation Millar's fans gave is any indication, folks who liked Kick-Ass the book will probably enjoy the movie. But even if the Kick-Ass comic wasn't your thing, the adaptation may still be worth a gander, provided you can accept the basic premise that a kid from our world wakes up one morning and decides to be a superhero. Vaughn's additions, and casting choices like Clark Duke as one of Dave's foul-mouthed friends, make the Kick-Ass footage funnier and more visually interesting than the corresponding scenes from the source material. And Vaughn's movie has more affection for the superhero genre itself, while still demonstrating how unhinged people would have to be to try it out for themselves.