Running Time: 1 hour 56 minutes
Retired CIA agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) and his girlfriend Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) have once again settled into a quiet, boring life after successfully foiling an assassination attempt a few years prior. The relaxing times however, are short lived when a portable nuclear device nicknamed Red Mercury that went missing during the cold war, resurfaces and it is up to Frank, Sarah and Marvin (John Malkovich) to track it down. In order to stay ahead of everyone else who is hunting for Red Mercury Frank must ask for help from some old friends: British operative Victoria (Helen Mirren), his ex-lover from the KGB (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and the mad scientist who created the device (Anthony Hopkins). If they can’t get their hands on Red Mercury first, the whole world is in danger.
I thought that the first RED film was a lot of fun and I am pleased to say that RED 2 is just as much fun as the original. For what are ostensibly action films, these movies have a great sense of humor. Malkovich and Parkerscore laughs again and again against Willis’ straight man exasperation. The action sequences are exciting and though they skew a bit silly, it is OK because that fits in with the overall tone of the movie. The addition of Hopkinsas a kooky scientist and Byung-Hun Lee as an elite hit man rounded out the film nicely.
My only negative is that the plot gets bogged down in the middle and it really slows the film’s momentum. After that sluggish stretch it takes a while for the movie to find its stride again. I like Neal McDonough as an actor, but they could have completely removed his character from the film to make more room for Mirren and Lee’scharacters to shine. Overall, RED 2 is a fun movie that fans of the first film should really enjoy. Come for the explosions and stay for the comedy. B-
I was a little concerned that not having seen the first RED film that I would struggle to enjoy RED 2--this was not the case. The movie very quickly establishes all the characters and makes it easy to follow the storyline. RED 2 is a fun, escapist movie. Although the characters find themselves in seemingly impossible situations Malkovich and Willis always have a little glint in their eye letting us know that they will be alright.
I agree with Scott and wish that Mirren and Lee would have had more to work with in the film. Their scenes were my favorite. My additional criticism is that the film could have taken the campy nature and pushed it even farther. I wanted even more comedy, explosions and ridiculous situations. B