The new red-band ‘Kick-Ass 2’ preview shows just how far the new film is willing to go

SAN DIEGO – The thing that I take away each year from San Diego is that it doesn’t matter how much you plan or how hard you work to organize things. When Comic-Con wants to beat the crap out of you, Comic-Con will beat the crap out of you, and all you can do is smile, take it, and hope you make it through.

This morning was a perfect example. What should have been a nine-minute bus ride took 55 minutes, so by the time I arrived at the Convention Center, I had less than ten minutes to the scheduled start of the Universal panel I was moderating. I wanted time to say hello to everyone, chat a little to break the ice, organize my questions. Nope. I ran in, ran backstage, ran upstairs, put my bag down, and then walked out onto the stage, still scattered from the crazy ride over.

Thankfully, the materials that they brought for “Kick-Ass 2” today speak very loudly for the film. While the first ten or fifteen minutes of this one feel very much like an extension of the first film, once it starts to establish its own voice, it is that rare sequel that actually seems determined to shake things up and really push the characters in new directions.

We had a good panel today. With more time, I would have loved to ask more questions to Donald Faison and Lindy Booth, who play Dr. Gravity and Night Bitch in the film, but there was a lot to do, including a live satellite hook-up with Chloe Grace Moretz, who is stuck shooting “The Equalizer” in Boston right now.

As with “Riddick,” the footage that screened in Hall H today had to be scrubbed a bit because of just how far “Kick-Ass 2” seems willing to go with its characters. The version we have embedded above now is the no-holds-barred version of that material, and should give you a great idea of what to expect when the film arrives in theaters in August.

I’m heading to New York next weekend to speak with the cast some more, and we’ll have those interviews for you as soon as we can. For now, enjoy this footage.

“Kick-Ass 2” is gonna break some bones starting August 16, 2013.