Red 2 (2013) (PG-13)
"Red" was a surprise. Not only was it a fun movie with jokes that actually worked, but it also had a surprisingly interesting and smart plot. It wasn't particularly well-reviewed and did fairly well at the box office and now has a sequel in the year of unwanted sequels.
2013 is proving that it is the year for taking movies and making franchises out of them. "Despicable Me 2" is currently still doing very well for itself though it hasn't rung true as a classic and the same goes for "Monsters University" (I know it's a prequel, relax). Then we have "Star Trek: Into Darkness" which I think is the best sequel of the year so far...the new "Hunger Games" movie comes and rumors have already started about movies to follow both "Man of Steel" and "The Conjuring".
All this to say, that people who make money off of sequels, will always make more.
"Red 2" is a movie that I'm not sure will be the middle movie of a trilogy. I don't see it doing too well at the box-office to merit another movie, and I'm fine with this; because I think that it's good enough leaving this franchise alone.
"Red 2" starts exactly where it should—right where it left off. Ex-big shot Frank (Bruce Willis) and his newly determined girlfriend Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) are trying to settle into a real relationship which turns out to be harder than it sounds when everybody is attempting to kill you. While Frank is winding down and thinking about digging in his roots, the adrenaline that Sarah tasted in the first movie is enough to make her go a wee bit crazy. She wants an adventure, danger, and a gun...and what's wrong with that?
Right from the start, "Red 2" makes it clear that it doesn't take itself too seriously, which is key when you're pulling off a action/comedy. At first the jokes aren't all crystal and some of the plot devices are clumsy, but it doesn't take long at all for the film to start warming up.
The acts of violence that are portrayed so casually for the sake of humor all give me an evil sense of satisfaction—this is dark humor at its near best.
"Red 2" wastes no time jumping right into the plot so I'll try not to reveal anything important. The movie is never boring and jumps from one scene to the next with breakneck speed that is vital in keeping the movie interesting.
Also trying to keep himself sane in the wake of the past experiences is Marvin (John Malkovich), while Victoria (Helen Mirren) is still in business as normal.
There are new faces in "Red 2" like Neal McDonough who is essentially replacing Karl Urban from "Red".
The script is weak at the beginning, needing more jokes and less severity. I was worried for a minute; yet John Malkovich and Mary-Louise Parker alone are worth seeing the movie for.
Much of the humor is conveyed just by Parker's facial expressions.
The zaniness of the movie is true to the original.
The cast is filled out by Byung-hun Lee (the weakest link), Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Anthony Hopkins.
As the team attempt to find a weapon of mass destruction that was accidentally "lost" in Russia, "Red 2" manages to bottle lightning as the original did. The plot, though silly in parts, is still quite interesting and holds a few plot-twists that even the characters end up saying "I didn't see that coming".
The violence is bloodless which is somewhat of a disappointment, though no where even close to the monstrosities of "Man of Steel". It's a "PG-13" action movie and as such, the stereotypical one usage of the "f-word" finds its way onto screen. But its cliches are what make the movie, the movie embraces the comical and the tried and true.
"Red 2" changed hands from its predecessor in directors. Dean Parisot directs this one and the visual styling is different, though still fun.
It's not as good as the first one, but still a load of fun and good laughs.
If there should be a ""Red 3", I will be in the theater, eager to see.
Score: 3 out of 4 stars
Posted by Micah Jones