Published on September 5th, 2013 | by Jon Rutledge0
RED 2 Review
Guest Reviewer: Fat Samurai
Running Time: 116 mins
Director: Dean Parisot
Writers: Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber
Cast: Bruce Willis, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Catherine Zeta-Jones
Plot: Ex CIA operative Frank Moses is trying to make a life for himself in his retirement. His past catches up with him as he is pulled back into the job when a portable nuclear device goes missing.
The best hope for a sequel is the expansion of an idea to different areas and a progression of the characters. Many times we just get a retelling of the same story with a location that the production crew wanted to visit. Sometimes they don’t even change the script. Rehash, rinse, repeat. Red 2 stands apart and it provides us with what happens next with these characters. The old cast, pun intended, was great but the additional characters were excellent way to bring in some new blood. They brought in Catherine Zeta-Jones… let’s take a moment and appreciate that for a moment.
I am hand shy around sequels but Dean Parisot did a marvelous job at driving this movie. He keeps the action going and fills us in on the players without missing a beat. He takes advantage of the uniqueness of the charters without overdoing it. Many movies come to mind that can’t do this at the same time. Directors need to take note as to what a well blended action story is.
Writers Jon and Erich Hoeber need some credit for the successful dialogue. Marvin (John Malkovich) has some of the best lines in the movie. The dry wit and deadpan responses by Victoria (Helen Mirren) are comedy gold, and she is a complete and total bad-ass. This movie can stand on its own and is no clone of the original. This is what studios need to recognize and cash in on when making sequels.
Frank (Bruce Willis) and Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) are trying to settle down. Well Frank is trying and Sarah is trying to get Frank to take a few more jobs. Marvin storms in and tells Frank that his danger sense is tingling. After the last movie we know that if he thinks there is danger, believe him. Victoria calls up and tells Frank she has just been given a contract to kill him. Things are going to get interesting from here.
The fact that we get to see characters having to deal with real life issues as well as the action stuff is wonderful. Frank and Sarah have to deal with Frank’s old lover Katja (Catherine Zeta-Jones). We also have to resolve an old rivalry with Han Cho Bai (Byung-hun Lee). We get to see Sarah start out in this life of high adventure as a player and not just set dressing.
Also joining the cast is AnthonyHopkins. They all bring something new to this story without changing the overall premise of the film. When it’s all said and done we have two people trying to make a life together with an unusual set of friends who also happen to be killers and spies. Wait get CBS on the line I think I have an Idea for an updated Friends show. “I WILLLLLLLL KILL FOR YOOOOOOU, WHEN THE BOMBS START TO FALLL”… Alright, Fine… maybe not.
A problem in Hollywood is movie trailers giving away too much of the story and spoiling the movie before you even get to the theatre. This is one that gives you exactly what you need without giving you too much, well done promotion team.
One person who gets overlooked and should get some recognition is Neal McDonough who plays Jack Horton an agent who is on the hunt for Frank and his crew. He does the tough guy well and if you recognize him he was Timothy ‘Dum-Dum’ Dugan in Captain America. He was also brilliant in the Tin Man miniseries.
I had mixed feelings about the scene transitions. They would freeze the scene and it becomes drawn in like a comic book or an A-HA Music video. I think the postcard used last time served the same function but somehow it was less noticeable. Other than that, there was really nothing negative about the show that stands out.
What other Sequel could stand by its self and was not a rehash of the original? Great movie and fun time I recommend it.