Review – RED 2

RED 2 Poster

Hey, remember that Bruce Willis action movie with old people that everyone liked but everyone forgot about?  Well, the sequel is here.

Along with Willis, most of the original cast is back, including Helen Mirren, John MalkovichMary Louise Parkerand Brian Cox.  Joining them are Catherine Zeta Jones, Anthony HopkinsLee Byung-hun, David Thewlis, and Neal McDonough.

Frank Moses (Willis) is enjoying retirement, living a dreadfully normal life with his young sweetheart (Parker) who longs for more of the adventure she experienced the first go-round.  When Marvin (Malkovich) falls victim to a car bomb and the government comes after Frank about his connection to a secret  Cold War mission called “Nightshade,” it looks like she is going to get her wish.  Next thing you know, they’re trying to save the world and avoid getting assassinated by various governments in the meantime.

I remember very little about the first installment in this lesser known DC Comics property.  I remember enjoying it and that Bruce Willis’ house was killed during the opening number.  Yes, an inanimate object can die.  The sequel is pretty similar.  It’s fun and lots of stuff gets blown up or shot, or shot and then blown up.  John Malkovich is crazier than ever and reminded me to wonder why he isn’t in more movies these days. It also promises to be just as memorable as the first.

Frank is stuck between the crazy, dangerous world of his past and the safe but dull future he’s trying to provide for Sarah, despite her insistence that danger is better.  Everyone, in fact, seems to have a better idea of how Frank should be handling his relationship than he does.  This is made clear many, many times and seems to be just about as important to the plot as is saving millions of people from dieing a horrible death.

I had a lot of fun watching this action flick as it clipped along at a decent rate.  The first big action scene with Bruce Willis is pretty impressive and as entertaining as Bruce Willis pulling off impossible feats of winning against stacked odds should be.  It’s just the thing to cleanse the pallet after having recently watched the atrocity that is A Good Day to Die Hard.  Or maybe that was just so bad that this movie seems better than it is.

If you can forgive, for a moment, that the ideas and plot are by no means fresh, the movie itself is fun and funny, though not original by any stretch of the imagination.  Most of the actors, from Parker to Hopkins, look like they are having a good time and that’s somewhat infectious even if the vehicle they’re riding is in need of a tune up. Willis seems a little too tired or self aware of his schtick though and he never quite musters up a classic performance.

You’ll have surely forgotten it by this time, save, perhaps, for a memorable scene or two.  But while it’s on the screen, by all means, much away on that popcorn and enjoy the moment.

Mrs. Hamster Says:

“A better Die Hard than the last actual Die Hard.”

My Rating:  Three out of Five Hats



RED 2 shoots into 2,900 theaters July 19