Red 2

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

While trying to lead a normal life with girlfriend Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker), Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is approached by Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich), who is afraid that there are still people after them, but Frank dismisses him. After appealing a second time, Marvin drives off but his car explodes. Although Frank does not believe Marvin is dead, Sarah convinces him to go to Marvin’s funeral where he delivers a teary-eyed eulogy. After the funeral, a group of government agents approach Frank and take him to be interrogated at a Yankee White Facility. During the interrogation, Jack Horton (Neal McDonough) appears, killing most of the facility’s personnel, and tells Frank that he will torture Sarah in order to get information out of Frank. Frank manages to escape with the help of Marvin, who turns out to be alive, and they go on the run with Sarah. Marvin explains that he and Frank are being hunted down because they were listed as participants in a secret operation codenamed Nightshade. The operation was conducted during the Cold War era in order to smuggle a nuclear weapon into Russia piece by piece. Horton has been able to convince the world that Frank and his crew are terrorists and must be stopped. Victoria (Helen Mirren) calls and tells them she has accepted a contract from MI6 to kill Frank. Meanwhile, top contract killer Han Cho-Bai (Lee Byung-hun) is hired by Horton to kill Frank as well.

Frank, Marvin, and Sarah fly to Paris in Han’s stolen plane to find a man nicknamed “The Frog” (David Thewlis) with the Americans and a furious Han in pursuit. As they arrive in Paris, they are stopped by Katya (Catherine Zeta-Jones), a Russian secret agent who Frank had a relationship with earlier in his career. Katya is in search of Nightshade as well, and joins them to find the Frog. After the Frog flees, Frank and Katya catch him and bring him back to his house, where Sarah succeeds in wooing him to help them and prove she is a better girlfriend than Katya. The Frog gives them the key to his security box, which Katya attempts to get from Frank after drugging him, but Marvin anticipated this and had planted a fake key on Frank. He, Frank, and Sarah later find documents in the Frog’s security box which point to Dr. Edward Bailey (Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant physicist, as the creator of the bomb involved with Operation Nightshade.

They find out that Bailey is still alive, having been held in an asylum for the criminally insane in London for thirty-two years. After flying to London, Victoria confronts the trio, but helps to fake their deaths and then feigns insanity in order to gain access to the asylum. Frank and Victoria meet Bailey, who is hyperactive and does not respond to their questions. After a while, Bailey reveals that the bomb is still in Moscow. They go to Moscow, and after a close call with Han, Bailey comes to the conclusion that he hid the bomb in the Kremlin. They break into the Kremlin, and Bailey locates the bomb, but as they are about to leave, Katya stops them. Frank convinces his former lover to switch to their side. As all are celebrating success, Victoria calls Frank from London and tells him that Bailey was locked up specifically because he wanted to detonate the bomb. Bailey holds Frank at gunpoint and confirms Victoria’s message, revealing that he made a deal with Horton and the Americans to leave with the bomb. He then shoots Katya, staging her death at Frank’s hands, and leaves. Horton reneges on his deal with Bailey, intending to question him, but Bailey escapes using a nerve agent he created. Bailey moves to the Iranian embassy in London, and as Frank attempts to follow, Han confronts him; after a fistfight, Frank asks Han to join sides with him and stop the bomb. Han eventually relents, and they enact a plan to recapture Bailey and the bomb.

Sarah first seduces the Iranian ambassador, then takes him hostage on the pretext of women’s rights in Iran. Marvin sets in place a diversion, and the rest come in disguise to “fix” the problem. When they arrive, they discover that Bailey has set the bomb timer off. Bailey kidnaps Sarah and goes to the airport to escape the imminent explosion. Frank, Marvin, Victoria, and Han give chase as they are also chased by embassy guards. After they escape, they arrive at the airport, and Frank saves Sarah from Bailey, but Bailey forces him to take the bomb off the plane. They reunite with Marvin, Victoria, and Han and wait for their imminent deaths, but the bomb explodes far away in the air. Frank reveals that he placed the bomb on the plane in a compartment near the front of the plane. The movie closes with a scene showing Sarah enjoying herself on a mission in Caracas with Frank and Marvin.

REVIEW:

How do you top an exciting, entertaining and somewhat humorous film like Red? Well, you give it a sequel and suck more money out of the public. This is how we get Red 2, but the question on all our minds has got to be can it live up to the original?

What is this about?

Ex-CIA agent Frank Moses and his crew return for another high-stakes mission, scouring the globe for a missing nuclear device. Along the way, they’ll face off against assassins, terrorists and corrupt government officials.

What did I like?

Insanity rules. John Malkovich is every bit as insane as he was in the original. Of course, here of late he has been playing characters along the same line, which works so why complain, right? Marvin is still a conspiracy theorist, but the character has been given the depth of being some kind of women’s expert, or at least he thinks so while giving Bruce Willis’ character advice.

Action. Yep, you guessed it, this is a hardcore action flick above all else. Some of the scenes and stunts are quite unbelievable, which is the selling point of this film. Don’t even get me started on how exciting it is to see Helen Mirren with a gun or Catherine Zeta-Jones scooping up Bruce Willis in her car.

Her majesty. Helen Mirren. The fact that she’s in this should be enough, but in one of the first time we see her, she’s killed a man and is dissolving him in his bathtub. Hired to take out Willis and his crew, who are all her friends, she manages to swerve around that by faking an explosion. My obsession with Mirren aside, I love this character! She is a badass that takes no stuff from no one, but still comes off as feminine. When was the last time we saw someone like that? Can we get her a spinoff film soon, please?!?

What didn’t I like?

Nag. I was telling a friend who will be getting married soon to not turn into a nag the other day. Lo and behold what does Mary-Louise Parker’s character turn out to be? That’s right, an annoying, nagging, shrew of a character that is only worth keeping around because of her looks (can you believe she’s turning 50 this year?!?) I wish they would have done something more interesting with her, such as have her be a typical housewife that has been hiding her skills from Willis’ character, but that wasn’t the case and I just couldn’t do anything but count down the minutes she was on the screen.

Bring it back. The previous film had a feeling of fun about it, whereas this one doesn’t seem to be anything more than some rejected spy plot that never made it into a film, but was too good to be used as a cartoon plot. All the same elements are here, but for whatever reason, it doesn’t quite come off quite enjoyable. I found myself getting impatient hoping for something to bring me a bit of a bright light, and it just didn’t. No, this isn’t a dark, depressing flick like The Dark Knight, but it just lack the enjoyment factor we got from the first film.

Crash and burn. Neal McDonough’s character makes quite the entrance and end up being quite the intriguing character. However, it was a little disappointing that he didn’t get to square off against Willis, but I can let that slide. My problem with him is that he comes in as such a force of nature, only to be slowly, but surely, watered down as the film goes. To me, that just defeated the whole purpose of him being such a great villain.

I was so looking forward to Red 2, but in the end I was very disappointed. There are too many inconsistencies for my taste and, as I said before, the fun has been taken out of this film. I wish I could say that this was better because I really wanted to love this picture. However, it just wasn’t to be. This was nothing more than an average action flick that didn’t need to be made, so it doesn’t warrant a recommendation from me.

3 out of 5 stars

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One Response to “Red 2”

  1. […] would have been perfect timing if Red 2 would have come the same day as Despicable Me 2. The original films came the same day, so why […]

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