Red 2– movie review
Getting some of yesterday’s megastars together to make another hit seems to be the most recent trend, and throw them into an actioner, where one can reminisce their favorite action hero in their heyday and watch them relive their glory days in one more shootout at OK Corral. So does Red 2 belong in this genre?
Well in some ways, it does, and more…
Red version one was a decent success, and brought together the likes of Bruce Willis with a score of stars who had real acting chops, and with two Academy Award winners on board (Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman) and one nominee (Malkovich), you were almost guaranteed some decent acting. But the key was the chemistry between the entire cast, and this resulted in a highly enjoyable show with a great sense of timing, humor, and of course the explosions that go with the actioner.
Now that that formula, get that chemistry back, and double the explosions, and you get an idea of what Red 2 feels like. You get throw into middle of the show with some pretension that you know the cast already, and they dispense with the usual flashbacks, expecting the audience to come in hot and ready.
We lost Morgan Freeman in part 1, but replaced him with another acting powerhouse in the form of the formidable Anthony Hopkins, when you let him loose along with Malkovich, you are in for a fun ride.
You won’t find them extending their acting chops as much as a drama, but within the confines of a actioner, they add their gravitas to the movie. Malkovich in particular, must have been given free license to wing it, and he really tries to ham it up. Willis on the other hand, doesn’t give it his all, but walks through the movie at a casual pace, too much effort filming Die Hard perhaps?
The plot itself is wafer thin, with more holes than a lacy bra, but essentially it’s an excuse for re-united the cast, with more booms, blasts and laughs stiched into it’s fabric. There is something called Nightshade, and it’s highly dangerous, and everyone from MI6 to CIA wants it and they all wish to get rid of Bruce Willis and co too.
Mary Parker Louise is given more screen time and uses it effectively with some nice couple squabble scenes.
Catherine Zeta Jones adds in some glam and chick factor, but she has little to do, and doesn’t really qualify as a chick anymore.
Lee Byung-hun adds an Asian element, and he is on a roll recently, with GI Joe and other shows propelling him into the highly desired Korean actor in Hollywood category. He takes off his clothes to show off his chiseled bod, and tries his best at the action-humor role, but he is better when he doesn’t speak and turns into the lean killing machine. Kudos though for turning up and trying hard.
So all in all, it’s not as good as the first show, but nevertheless a delightful distraction and worth the price of admission if you turn off your brains and check it at the door.
Chick factor 2.5/5
I have no financial interest or other interests in any of the items / events I write about.