I was a big fan of the first “Red”, but going into the sequel I was a bit skeptical. Some early reviews of the movie were not the most positive, but I went into the film, hoping for, at the very least, a fun ride.
Most of the main cast from the original returns and they are fantastic!
Bruce Willis stars as Frank Moses and he has a lot of fun in the role. He mixes his bad *ss action hero side with his comedic side and they mesh perfectly. Frank Moses is a cool character. He’s a real warmhearted killer.
John Malkovich plays Marvin the old crazy dude who was dosed with LSD for years. He makes this character a lot of fun. Marvin is probably my favorite character. John Malkovich goes full Rowan Atkinson and makes more funny faces than Mr. Bean.
Mary-Louise Parker, most famous for her starring role on Weeds, plays Sarah, Frank’s girlfriend. She is one of my favorite actresses and does a great job. Helen Mirren returns as Victoria, and I’m a little disappointed by how she was used in Red 2. I’ll just say that the trailer is a little misleading about her character. The only lead actor I really missed from the first movie was Karl Urban’s CIA agent. Karl Urban is awesome and I was looking forward to seeing his character again, but sadly he was nowhere to be found.
There are some new additions to the cast that add even more creative and colorful characters to the roster. Anthony Hopkins as the delightfully crazy Professor Bailey. He’s not in the movie as much as I would’ve hoped however.
Byung-hun Lee who I had just seen the day before, giving an excellent performance in the Korean film “I Saw the Devil“, plays a contract killer in Red 2 who serves as a pretty cool character and adds a few extra fight scenes to Red 2.
The story has some plot holes and isn’t terribly original or interesting, but the characters make the whole ride a lot of fun. Red 2 is full of comedy that works really well and for the most part. it’s a funny movie.
I have a couple of bones to pick with Red 2. First and foremost is the Goddamn shameful product placement. It’s really horrendous how blatant and shoveled in this product placement is. There’s product placement for Pringles, Papa John’s, Moon Pies, and Jimmy Choo’s all unnecessarily crammed into the movie. They do their best to work it into the movie, but it’s still shameful.
The next bone I have is a dislike of bad CG. There is not a whole lot of CG but when there is, it looks really outdated, which is strange coming from a big budget production.
My final bone is regarding the films self contained PG13 rating. I understand that it wants to appeal to the widest audience possible. I can respect that. I can also respect the lack of strong language. That’s not a problem. But what is a problem is the way the film handles violence. The script calls for blood that the film isn’t willing to deliver. There is a scene where a few people get stabbed and one dude get’s his throat cut. You can actually see the blade on the knife retracting as it presses against the actors chest. There’s no blood, the clothes don’t even rip but the worst thing is that when the guy get’s his throat cut, there is absolutely no bodily reaction. This might have worked if the camera kept his throat off screen, but no, it’s the focus of the shot. No cut no blood nothing, yet the character dies of a slit throat. A movie doesn’t need to be bloody to be good, but it needs to be shot differently. It really takes you out of the movie.
Despite these flaws I still found Red 2 to be a really fun movie. The comedy is great and the action can be fun at times. The great cast and interesting characters make this a fun time at the movies. Maybe not as great as the first one, but still a good time.
- Movie Review: Red 2 (cwtampa.cbslocal.com)
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- Mindless Action Mondays: Red Rover, Red Rover, We Call John Malkovich Over (roosterillusionreviews.com)
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