Friday, July 19, 2013

RED 2 Packs A Summer Blockbuster Punch

By Darlene Donloe

If you saw RED, you’ll be happy to know that the sequel, RED 2, offers up even more of the fast-paced fun. Not taking itself too seriously RED 2 delivers on its campy, stylish and over-the-top antics. It’s a high-octane

In RED 2, opening nationwide today, once again the films centers on a group of former CIA assassins who are retired and extremely dangerous. This time the rag tag, superior government agents try to save the world from a nuclear bomb in this second adaptation of Warren Ellis' acclaimed DC Comics graphic novels.

This time, Frank reunites his elite team of operatives to a global quest through Paris, London and Moscow to track down a missing, next generation lethal device that can change the balance of world power. 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 super weapon. Outgunned, Frank and his crew have to rely on their cunning wits, old-school skills and each other to save the world.

 (l-r) Anthony Hopkins, Bruce Willis, 
John Malkovich and Mary Louise Parker

Bruce Willis is back as Frank Moses who used to be a hired gun for the CIA. Along with Marvin (John Malkovich), and Victoria (Helen Mirren), Frank's specialty was carrying out contracts that the government didn't want the public to know about. These days, Frank and his old gang are all retired, but the powers that be are still concerned that they know too much.  This time they hire Victoria to kill Frank.  If that were not enough, one of Frank’s former colleagues, Han Cho Bai (Byung Hun Lee) is also out to kill him. Along for the ride and for all the shenanigans is Mary Louise Parker, who plays Frank’s girlfriend, Sarah.  Convinced their life is getting stale, Sarah nudges Frank to get back into the killing business. She, too, would like to become one of the bad guys, much to Frank’s chagrin

With a cast as charming as this, it’s know wonder why RED 2 works. Willis is Willis. No need in him being anyone else. The Willis thing is working for him. Malkovich is hysterical as the off-center, but clear as a button Marvin, who happens to be Frank’s best friend.  Anthony Hopkins joins this cast as Bailey, a scientist who has developed a weapon of mass destruction that can go undetected.  Because he knows too much the government squirreled him away for about 30 years. Lee is an internationally known actor and martial arts expert, who brings a spark to the film. But, Helen Mirren steals the movie. Not only is she stunningly beautiful, her role is physical and calls for wit, acting and a lot of action. Mirren nails it.


RED 2 is a roller coaster ride. In this summer blockbuster you don’t know who is a bad guy and who is a good guy. You don’t know who is playing whom. And just when you think you’ve figured it out – there they go changing the whole thing again.

RED 2 is so much fun. It’s a summer popcorn movie. Now, to be sure, there is a lot of gratuitous violence in the film, but it’s overshadowed by the film’s humor.

The best part of this film is watching veteran actors ham it up on scream with flair and style. Brilliant!

RED 2, directed by Dean Parisot and written by Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber, stars Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Mary Louise Parker, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta Jones, Byung Hun Lee, Neal McDonough and Brian Cox.

 Byung Hun Lee

Summit Entertainment Presents A di Bonaventura Pictures Production, RED 2, Running Time: 116 minutes; RATED PG-13 for pervasive action and violence including frenetic gunplay, and for some language and drug material.

On the DONLOE SCALE: D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likeable), O (OK) and E (excellent), RED 2 gets an O (OK).

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