Cobie Smulders has kicked some ass in her day. She’s handled the warring affections of Josh Radnor and Neil Patrick Harris on How I Met Your Mother, served the Avengers a reality check or two, and verbally battered a young Lucille Bluth in the last season of Arrested Development.
In the new trailer for Stumptown, adapted from Greg Rucka’s series of graphic novels, she takes the ass-kicking up a notch. The Portland-set, Portland-shot, deeply Portland clip sees Smulders 1) deploying a fire extinguisher inside of a car that’s holding her captive, 2) sending that car sailing over the Broadway Bridge, 3) stealing the car from her captors and using it to impersonate a police officer, 4) getting arrested for that, and 5) making out with the detective who arrests her (Michael Ealy of Almost Human).
In short, Smulders’s Dex Parios looks well-equipped to carry the antihero torch passed down from the likes of Walter White. The rest of the show looks a lot more Burnside Bridge than Breaking Bad, though.
“[The show is] a great excuse to show off the blue-collar beauty of Portland, which is so different from the town that Portlandia showed the rest of the world,” Rucka told Portland Monthly back in January. It’s hard to imagine anyone finishing this trailer and opening Zillow.
Gone are Shrill’s sunny streets and hip R&B soundtrack; in their place are gray skies, unpaved backroads, and Neil Diamond on cassette, thank you very much.
To that end, Stumptown joins the likes of Andrew Haigh’s Lean on Pete and Debra Granik’s Leave No Trace, recent arthouse flicks that have made a point of painting the Rose City with a lot more grit than glitter. Both of those movies tout a deliberate social conscience, and while Stumptown looks more concerned with thrills than politics, the basic effect is the same.
With Stumptown—at least in the three minutes and thirteen seconds we’ve seen—Cobie Smulders isn’t just kicking ass, she’s also kicking a hole through the portrait of Portland as twee adult playground.