Red was almost like a guilty pleasure for me. I had a really good time on my first viewing. Actually ended up seeing it a few more times after its release. Still do from time to time. I find it really entertaining. Had good action and funny dialog. It was also a kick watching the gimmick of the series: all these retired agents doing missions again. Red defiantly had re-watch ability. When hearing of a sequel, my excitement never got too high. Obviously I wanted to see it, but never had a good feeling that it would amount to much. Unfortunately, I was right to be hesitant. The movie seems hurried, aspects that made the first fun, were absent. Ultimately, it’s a simple popcorn film. I wanted to enjoy myself more, but just made me want to watch the original when I got home.
Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is committed to his relationship with Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker). He wants to keep her out of harm’s way, but she longs for more adventures. Frank’s buddy, Marvin (John Malkovich), attempts to encourage him to liven things up some. Sarah gets her wish when Frank and Marvin find themselves labeled as international terrorists. Top killers are out to get them both. These people include old friends, Victoria (Helen Mirren), the dangerous Han Cho Bai (Byung-hun Lee), and Frank’s old flame, Katja (Catherine Zeta-Jones). If they can locate a hidden weapon somewhere in Russia, their names will be cleared.
Dean Parisot directed. He’s only made a few film’s and zero have amounted too much, expect one. Parisot directed Galaxy Quest. Caught me off guard when figuring that fact out. That was hilarious, super entertaining. He uses a lot of his same qualities in whatever he works on, but they’ve never worked in anything but Galaxy Quest. The plot moves quickly, barley leaving time to breathe. It keeps going from fight scene to fight scene, and constantly moving locations without much reason. I wanted things to settle down at some point, but never did. I know a fast pace can benefit, but came off to convoluted in this particular case.
Action scenes keep Red 2 afloat, but it lacks the narrative needed to carry the movie throughout it’s close to two hours running time. The screenplay is less intelligent, and that felt intentional. Seemed focused on having the bare minimum to get from point to point, triggering another big set piece. It was written by the Hoeber brothers who have missed far more than hit. Their misses include Battleship and Whiteout. Humor is the best aspect. Defiantly not laugh out loud stuff, but good enough jokes to where you’re not just sitting stone faced. When it starts to take itself too seriously at times, that’s when the movie is at it’s lowest point.
The acting was alright, I guess. None of the returning cast had that same spark to them, save for John Malkovich. Malkovich is the sole cast member that still managed to retain their quality from Red, which leads me to believe that he is the best out of the cast. Even with downgraded material, his one-liners and overall line delivering is highly amusing. You can always count on Bruce Willis to do well with action. This movie is no different. With the character just reling on the first film, gets fairly wooden. Same can be said for Mary-Louise Parker and Helen Mirren. None of the cast members have a negative impact, but also don’t make an impact.
Combat, gun battles, and car chases are the only element that could qualify as a saving grace. The violence is more cartoony this time around as well. Gets chaotic, and couldn’t help noticing how the main protagonists brushed off all the innocent people dying while going from place to place – I know that might be nitpicking, but still. In the end, Red 2 felt rushed. It can be an enjoyable sequel. My love for the first one, however, just made me dislike it more than it deserved. It doesn’t try too hard, and that’s what bugged me; wanted it to possibly improve. Decent action/comedy, but wasn’t up to par or better than Red.