The Cinematic Action-Comedy Killing Machine of The Year!
Thanks to Hopscotch Films, we had the chance to see Dean Parisot‘s Red 2 before its national release. This is our review of the film, but – as usual – no matter what we say, we recommend that you still go to your local cinema to see it because there is no better critic than yourself!
Based on the three-issue comic book mini-series published by WildStorm comics, Red 2 is the follow-up of 2010’s Red, but this time with Dean Parisot (Fun with Dick and Jane ) replacing Robert Schwentke in the director’s chair. The film once again finds retired C.I.A. agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) trying to move on with his life alongside his now girlfriend Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker), something that obviously changes when his extravagant best friend Marvin (John Malkovich) shows up to ask him to be back in action. Frank initially turns down Marvin’s request, but then fate suddenly puts him in the middle of an internal war involving a missing nuclear device that is somewhere hidden in Russia. This forces the old veteran to once again team up with Victoria (Helen Mirren) and unexpectedly also with his old sweetheart Katja (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who works for the Russian government. To make matters worse the best assassin in the world Han Cho Bai (G.I.Joe’s Byung-hun Lee) has targeted poor Frank as well.
With not many credentials in feature films, director Dean Parisot was a peculiar choice for the film. However, his experience in TV and comedies made him the right candidate to find the perfect balance between action and comedy for a follow-up to a very underrated film such as RED (2010). Not many people actually expected a sequel, let alone one that is heaps better than the first film or one that includes not only a bunch of great action sequences but also some great comedy bits that are never over the top.
Performances are what you’d expect them to be, with Bruce Willis acting as Bruce Willis, and therefore making Frank Moses a John Mcclane-kind of character, while John Malkovich provides comic relief as the weird Marvin and Helen Mirren once again proves that she can take on any role.
In addition, Byung-hun Lee brings the best of martial arts to the sequel in a role that fits him perfectly. Oscar Winner Anthony Hopkins is also in the film, showing a more twisted yet funny side of himself in the role of a mad scientist.
Overall, Red 2 is a smart popcorn flick which plays it safe from the first minute, giving audiences an action-comedy with an all-star cast that is clearly having fun while playing their roles. This makes Red 2 a movie in the vein of ‘The Expendables‘, so expect lots of explosions, tons of bullets, many martial arts, crazy comedy and random silliness. In addition to all that there are also some beautiful comic book-style scene transitions and even some interesting plot twists. Red 2 might not win any Academy awards, but it sure knows how to entertain audiences!.
Red 2 opens in Australian cinemas 29 August 2013