Red 2 works better than the first film because this time around the whole affair doesn’t feel like a gimmick. The original’s novel idea of trotting out respected aging thespians, and Bruce Willis, for an action-comedy based on a graphic comic book was more concept-driven, and clumsier. Red 2 is a funnier film with even better action, writing, and bigger laughs.
Frank Moses is starting to settle into an uncomplicated domestication with his girlfriend Sara (Mary-Louise Parker). That’s until Marvin (John Malkovich) appears and warns frank that M:I-6 and the C.I.A. are gunning for the former specialist. This sets in motion a search for a cold war scientist (Anthony Hopkins) with inside knowledge of a highly classified mission dubbed ‘nightshade’. Meanwhile, a beautiful KGB operative (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is playing both sides, and manipulating Frank’s heart.
The Red series has always felt like the Ocean’s Eleven for the AARP crowd. It’s amusing to see highly regarded Oscar winners muck about in the arena that is typically occupied by younger, less talented folks. Mary-Louise Parker’s work is one of the keys to the film’s success. Her contribution can’t be overlooked, without her this is an Expendables type charade.
Director: Dean Parisot
Stars: Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker