First off, I’d just like to say that I enjoyed the first RED film. The comic book which the movie was based on actually had a pretty serious tone to it. When it was adapted to the big screen, it became an over the top comedy, mostly revolving around a band of old yet very dangerous former secret agents facing off against the new breed of agents. It was, frankly, a change for the better and I enjoyed it.
Although RED 2 has the same idea behind it, it just doesn’t have the same magic the first film had.
The first one was great because it was the first time seeing these old guys and they do act like old guys when you first see them. But, after that, we see them kicking ass so nonchalantly. So it’s incredibly fun to see them actually kick ass.
There’s none of that here. We already see them kicking ass pretty early, which destroys a lot of the magic. We know they’re badasses so it’s not as fun seeing them do the required badassery despite their age.
RED 2 takes place some time after the events of the first film. Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) and Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker) are trying to live an ordinary life when Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich) informs Frank that they are both on a hit list because of a document which has leaked onto the Internet.
Anyway, something… happens… and… You know what? The plot isn’t important and I think the writers knew that. Honestly, the overall story is barely coherent, with clues and plot points strung along together to get the characters to the next action scene or location. By the end of the film, it’s just a mess and the final plan of the heroes just doesn’t make much sense. I forgot most of the story the instant I left the movie house.
The thing that stuck out in my mind were the action scenes. Not because they were memorable, mind you. Rather, I was amazed that there were a lot of minor ones interspaced with the major action sequences. They’re all okay but none of them really stand out as being exceptional. Sadly, there’s no scene where someone shoots down an RPG with a gun or anything like that.
There are also unnecessary subplots. They introduce a new character in the film, Katya, played by Catherine Zeta Jones. She was the previous flame of Frank Moses, which would have been extremely interesting. But, ultimately, this character doesn’t really add anything to the overall story and I felt they could have cut her entire story arc completely without hurting the (extremely thin) plot.
One of the things that made the first film great was the characters or, rather, their personalities. Yes, a lot of the main cast do return for RED 2, but their personalities don’t get to shine as brightly. John Malkovich’s character, Marvin Boggs, seems rather well adjusted when you compare him to the first movie.
We also get to see a lot more of the plain, ditsy and awkward Sarah Ross. Mary Louise Parker does a good job in showing that, while she’s enthusiastic with playing spy, she’s definitely not aware on how to do it effectively. This is played up for some laughs… but it’s pretty much the same joke over and over again. Thankfully, Mary Louise Parker seems pretty lovable while doing these scenes so I can forgive her.
The chemistry between the old cast (I’m not referring to their age) is still pretty good. The best thing about RED 2 are actually when they’re interacting with each other. A lot of the humor is derived on how they talk about their previous lives as secret agents like it’s a normal thing and, honestly, they’re good for a chuckle or two.
I really wanted to watch the movie and tell everyone to watch it since I thoroughly enjoyed the first one. Sadly, I cannot, in good conscience do that. I’d wait for it to be shown on TV.
Did you watch RED 2? What did you think of the movie? Please leave your thoughts on the film in the comments section below.