CinemaCon: Universal Previews Kick-Ass 2, 2 Guns and R.I.P.D.

Universal Pictures opened the second day of CinemaCon with extended looks at three major 2013 comic book adaptations, including R.I.P.D., 2 Guns and Kick-Ass 2.

R.I.P.D., set for release on July 19, stars Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges as deceased police officers who, in the afterlife, are summoned to represent the “Rest in Peace Department,” and organization dedicated to apprehending evil souls hiding out on Earth in an effort to escape judgement.

Primarily a montage of scenes, the footage shows Reynold’s still-living Nick Walker arriving at a massive SWAT raid. He’s killed and suddenly the world is frozen in the middle of the action. He walks through a bullet time environment to the outside world where a swirling vortex is waiting for him in the heavens. Unable to stay behind, Walker is lifted into the mouth of the vortex.

Instead of a heavenly afterlife, Walker is met by Mary-Louise Parker’s Procter, a law enforcement bureaucrat who explains the situation — that Walker is one of the best law enforcement agents that ever lived and that he’d be invaluable as a member of the R.I.P.D. — and then pairs him with another one of history’s greatest lawmen, an old west sheriff, Jeff Bridges’ Roy Pulsipher.

There’s a definite “Men in Black” tone to the film, balancing quite a bit of humor against the action and offering lots of back and forth dialogue between Walker and Pulsipher. One scene has them both attending Walker’s funeral from a distance and Pulsipher, even though he’s trying to calm Walker’s nerves, just talks about how his own funeral was a matter of a coyotes picking apart his skeleton.

One of the repeated gags throughout the film seems to be that, when they’re on Earth, no one sees Walker and Pulsipher as they actually look. Instead, Walker is played by James Hong and Pulsipher is played by Marisa Miller.

“You’ll notice you’re pretty durable,” Pulsipher tells Walker at one point, just before he forces them out the window of a high-rise building. They land just fine, but Walker is annoyed and throws Pulsipher into an oncoming bus as the scene cuts away to the world’s view of a gorgeous blonde woman getting hit.

2 Guns, meanwhile, stars Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg and the footage largely played up their back and forth. At first, both men believe the other to be a criminal but, after they steal $40 million, they learn that they’re both undercover and are somehow being set up. Washington’s Bobby Trench works for the DEA and Wahlberg’s Marcus Stigman is a special forces operative.

Playing over a cover of “All Along the Watchtower,” the footage offered a lot of action and quite a bit of Washington and Wahlberg getting on one another’s nerves.

Moving into Kick Ass 2, the presentation played up the team aspect of the Jeff Wadlow-directed comic book sequel. In it, Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Kick-Ass and Chloe Grace Moretz’s Hit-Girl are approached by a larger community of wannabe superheroes, led by Jim Carrey’s Colonel Stars and Stripes. Carrey plays the part as grinning (but likely unstable) gun nut in makeup that makes him look a good 10 to 15 years older.

“Yeah, there’s a dog on your balls,” he laughs at one point as he sicks his German Shepherd on a bad guy.

While the heroes assemble, however, Christopher Mintz-Plasse is making his own team of villains. Now calling himself The Mother F—er, he vows vengeance against Kick-Ass for what happened to his father in the first film.

The footage led into an intense fight sequence wherein Hit-Girl (not in her costume) is on the roof of a moving van filled with bad guys. They try to shoot her, but she dodges, moving in and around the car, knocking off her foes one by one as the car speeds down the highway.