REVIEW: RED 2
SYNOPSIS: In RED 2, the high-octane action-comedy sequel to the worldwide sleeper hit, retired black-ops CIA agent Frank Moses reunites his unlikely team of elite operatives for a global quest to track down a missing, next-generation lethal device that can change the balance of world power. To succeed, they'll need to survive an army of relentless assassins, ruthless terrorists and power-crazed government officials, all eager to get their hands on the technologically advanced super weapon. The mission takes Frank and his motley crew to Paris, London and Moscow. Outgunned and outmanned, they have only their cunning wits, their old-school skills, and each other to rely on as they try to save the world—and stay alive in the process.
REVIEW: Welcome to “Retired and Extremely Dangerous,” part two. RED2, as its known, is the obligatory sequel to the sly, laid-back pleasures of its cheerfully eccentric predecessor (RED, 2010). Wow! What a follow up! Its unbelievable how the likes of Bruce Willis (Frank Moses), John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, et al. are still primed for a few good chuckles as a gang of retired/semi-retired government assassins. They follow up by bringing us this globe-trotting action-comedy adventure that applies the tried and true “bigger-is-better” philosophy across the board, upping the stakes, the firepower and the travel budget, but keeping real thrills and laughs as a source of constant feed.
Adding to the many thrills of this latest release, is Sir Anthony Hopkins, playing the bumbling British “mad scientist,” Edward Bailey, whom we see as a cross between an incarcerated Hannibal Lecter and an Albert Einstein scribbling quantum physics equations on the walls of his cage. Meanwhile, sexy Russian spy/femme fatale Katja (Catherine Zeta-Jones) isn’t just our hero’s old flame, she’s regarded as “Frank’s kryptonite.” This veteran dynamic-duo, along with a few other new-comers, brings a sorta’ edge to the storyline, such that the flick morphs beyond just being another wannabe “Oceans’ Eleven” movie and transforming it into being a very relevant, loosey-goosey, all-hands-on-deck type of international caper-comedy. Of the cast of newcomers, David Thewlis (Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter film series) at least makes a brief, fierce impression as a shady assassin with expensive taste in wine, while the ever-compelling Byung-hun Lee (“G.I. Joe: Retaliation”) gets to show off his martial-arts prowess in the film’s best and purest fight scenes, with some impressively staged inside such places like a convenience store. The technical credits are sturdy and remarkable; filming on-location in places such as France and the U.K. These particular places seem to offer strong atmospheric factors to compliment the storyline as did Russia with comparable sequences. The undertone of romance between the various characters along with a blend of “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” (2005) added significant depth to each of the romantically involved characters – funny, loving and deadly, at the same time.
Overall, RED 2 is a fast-paced action-comedy with strong visual effects and enough sparks in the dialog to be good fun for most, though one can expect violent content, sexual conduct with partial nudity, intense fighting scenes, and possible strong language. Not bad for a bunch of ol’ geezers! Nevertheless, it is funny and exciting, with a touch of romance and is sure to satisfy the avid action-buff and date-movie-goers alike. I believe it deserves four out of five stars for delivery on action, humor and thrills.
By Movi-Man Stan
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