- Starring: Bruce Willis (Die Hard), John Malkovich (Transformers: Dark of the Moon), Mary-Louise Parker (RED) and more.
- Directed by: Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest)
- Synopsis: “In “RED 2,” the high-octane action-comedy sequel to the worldwide sleeper hit, retired black-ops CIA agent Frank Moses reunites his unlikely team of elite operatives for a global quest to track down a missing portable nuclear device. To succeed, they’ll need to survive an army of relentless assassins, ruthless terrorists and power-crazed government officials, all eager to get their hands on the next-generation weapon. The mission takes Frank and his motley crew to Paris, London and Moscow. Outgunned and outmanned, they have only their cunning wits, their old-school skills, and each other to rely on as they try to save the world-and stay alive in the process.
- Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence, action, some language and drug usage.
- Must-Watch Trailer:
I feel like this is the 8th or 9th “sequel” review I have written this year, and, with so many sequels comes the greater chance of disappointment and redundancy. DC comics’ RED hit theaters in 2010 and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the likes of Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman and more run around proving that even in retirement, special agents such as they were still to be taken as “extremely dangerous.” The idea of a sequel appealed to me for the characters alone (John Malkovich’s eccentric Marvin being one of them).
Not directed by the first film’s director Robert Schwentke (who, ironically, directed this weekend’s OTHER wide release R.I.P.D.), RED 2 comes to audiences under the directon of Dean Parisot who brought the hilarious parody-of-sorts Galaxy Quest to the big screen. With the cast continuity of the returning characters (Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, Helen Mirren, Brian Cox, John Malkovich) alongside newcomers Anthony Hopkins, Byung-hun Lee, Catherine Zeta-Jones (all welcome additions) and more, RED 2 contains some fun comedic moments and remains a fun, however not-so necessary sequel.
Fun is the only word that comes to mind. Who doesn’t enjoy seeing slo-mo Helen Mirren dual-wielding guns in a super fast vehicle handling business, or John Malkovich pulling a massive gun on a guilty-til-proven-innocent bystander who just so happened to look at him the wrong way, or Mary-Louise Parker’s shy yet subtle approach to taking out the bad guys and joining the gunslinger lifestyle, or Bruce Willis trying to battle with bullets all the while trying to arrange a simple date for he and his girlfriend? I mean, see? It’s all the little fun elements of the first that are carried into this sequel sufficiently enough to keep the complaints of plot holes and predictability at bay.
The characters truly are the strength of this film. Even when the actual threat in the film seems lost amid the story, the characters keep you entertained as the cast truly seemed to enjoy every moment onscreen. If the cast had been comprised of different actors, I venture to say that I wouldn’t have even cared to watch it. Plenty of action, fun jokes, recurring elements from the first and new characters to enjoy, director Dean Parisot reaps the benefits of a well-produced first film and rides on its coattails with this sequel that could have been much better.
It is not better than the first, but it passes in being entertaining. To quote a friend: “It’s no Lone Ranger!”
See it in theaters if Pacific Rim or Despicable Me 2 or something else exciting just isn’t playing in your area. If not then, whenever you catch it on tv it will be worth sitting on your couch to enjoy.
My Score: 3 out of 5 stars for RED 2
(Remember, to read this review of mine and over 250 more, check out THE ARCHIVE of movies I have reviewed anytime. Know before you go…or rent…or buy!)
Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!
–T, The Focused Filmographer