EDITOR'S NOTE: Film Fans features local residents reviewing the movie of the week: Red 2. Want to be a film fan? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
3 stars out of 4
If you enjoyed the first “Red,” you will definitely enjoy this movie. Most of the original characters are here — minus Morgan Freeman — and there are even a few new additions to add to the fun. The only character that seemed out of place was Catherine Zeta-Jones as a Russian agent/former love interest of Frank (Bruce Willis), and an unwanted competitor of Sarah (Mary Louise-Parker) who is now married to Frank. Some sparks between the two and the intent is there, but her character just doesn’t seem to fit.
John Malkovich is as entertaining as ever, and Helen Mirren is better than ever. There is also the added talents of Anthony Hopkins, well used in the role of the evil Dr. Bailey who created a doomsday device some years ago that he wants to detonate, and that the team is trying desperately to find and deactivate. A stand out job is also done by Korean actor Byung-hun Lee as yet another bad guy who is hired to kill Frank and whoever else gets in the way. No doubt he will have his own action movie soon.
All-in-all, there is more action, and much higher body count, than the original (I guess that would be “Red 1”), and for the car buffs, there are some great cars involved in the obligatory car chases, including a gorgeous Porsche Carrera, and a hot Lotus Exige S that any car guy would love to have.
With the expected one liners and off the cuff gags that had me laughing off and on during the entire film, I am sure that any fan of this type of action move will definitely enjoy this one. However, there is too much violence for the kids.
— Steve Kalberg, Lawrenceville
2 and a half stars out of 4
A sequel worthy of a dog day afternoon at the movies. As long as you could suspend disbelief for about two hours, just sit and enjoy the non-stop action and gun parade festival. Retired agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is recruited by Marvin (John Malkovich) to go back to mop up an old mission that came up in Wikileaks. From the initial scene at Costco, the annoying young turk antics of Mr. Moses’ wife, Sarah Rosss (Mary-Louise Parker), endeared her character throughout the movie.
Kick back and watch out for this anti-parody of the James Bond movies with MI6, the KGB and CIA all going bonkers trying to get them when the real source of the leaks was (not spoiling it for you) … since you will know when the lambs are silent. Interesting turn of events with Victoria (Helen Mirren) and Han Cho Bai (Byung-hun Lee) specially at the Iranian Embassy in London. Everyone seemed to have had a good old time, including the audience at the theater. I’ll give it a discounted summer rating. Watchable.
— Alfred Richner, Duluth
2 and a half stars out of 4
I was a little skeptical when the first “Red” movie came out a couple of years ago. I took a chance and found myself really liking to watch retired secret agents being quirky, fun and kicking butt. It worked, so seeing “Red 2” was a no-brainer for me. The unlikely trio of Bruce Willis, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren is back for the movie.
Things start off a little slow but the unusual humor helps move things along. The action is pretty good and Mirren, once again, shines bright. But it’s not until the introduction of Anthony Hopkins (who steals the show) does the movie ever really take off. However when all is said and done, the “sequel curse” causes this flick to fall short of the original. With a few too many slow scenes, unnecessary new characters and an average storyline, “Red 2” may have sent this franchise into early retirement.
— Kenny Grams, Lawrenceville