Red 2 (2013)


Still old, and still have the right to bear arms. So why the hell can’t I?

A couple of years after we left off with the first adventure, Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) and Sarah (Mary Louise-Parker) have finally taken time to relax and settle down. That all ends abruptly once Moses’ old pal Marvin (John Malkovich), comes back to stir up more trouble, telling him that they have both been linked to a top-secret Cold War weapon, that somehow made it’s way online. They all realize that they can’t just wait around and see what happens and instead, have to go on the run. To make matters worse however, they also find out that a bounty has been put on their head, where their old friend Victoria (Helen Mirren) and Moses’ old protégé Han (Lee Byung-hun) are on their tales and trying to get a slice of the pie any which way they can.

Most of you probably already saw by now, but I didn’t care too much for the first Red. Granted, I didn’t hate it, nor did I love it. It was just fun and fine for what it was, and that was that. However, nobody in their right mind was begging for a sequel to it, and I don’t think anybody ever will bother again, especially after this hunk of crap.

Bald heads: Unite!
Bald heads: Unite!

I mean honestly, the first one was no masterpiece to begin with, so how the hell do you screw up a simple plot about a bunch of old people getting back into action, blowing things up, and being a tad bit goofy while doing so? It’s not a hard trick to pull off, which is what the first was able to do with such ease and a laid-back feel, but not this one. This movie feels like it was almost trying too hard to be like the first movie, with the same type of humor still in place but it does not work a bit because it’s not refreshing anymore. It’s an old trick we saw done before and it’s not going to get cooler or newer as by the second, which wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t noticeable why they focused on the comedy aspect of this movie so much.

The first flick was able to balance everything out nicely, but this flick doesn’t have that skill at all. It’s mostly all comedy, all of the time and would have been fine if it was the least bit funny or chuckling, but it’s just not. It continues to go on and on and on, beating the same old joke to a bloody pulp, until it’s practically crammed itself into your brain, as if you needed any more understanding or learning of what the jokes they were trying to throw at you meant. For example, the perfect instance of a joke going on way too long, and way too far was the first time that Sarah saw her man, Frank, hooking up with another gal. For some odd reason, this gets her hormones all up in a twist and she not only decides to up the ante by getting with two guys, but I’d say about three or four. Honestly, I lost track counting because the movie continued to move with it, but instead of having it move somewhere to a spot where it would constantly be funny or inventive to use in a certain spot, it’s continued to be used the same, exact way each and every time.

Like everything else in this movie, the comedy gets real old, real quick, and it never stops. Then again, it wouldn’t have mattered, had the action or the story worked a bit, but they don’t. The plot makes no sense and eventually, I just lost myself wondering, “Why this person was trying to kill this person? Or, why this was happening at all?” The movie oddly begins with the typical plot from the first movie that’s standard, simple, and to-the-point, but then journalists, terrorists, the Russians, and nukes get involved, and it becomes too much of a chore to keep up with, or even care about for that matter. The action is good at points, I’ll give it that, but also looks cheaply-done, as if the studio itself didn’t have enough faith in the movie to perform well enough at the box office to really be granted as much money as the past two Willis action pictures of the year (A Good Day to Die Hard, G.I. Joe: Retaliation). Whether or not the movie’s actually going to make much money at the box office, or at least enough to earn it’s money back is a worry that I don’t give two shits about. I really don’t.

But at least, even in the darkest pit of the movie’s worst, most uninspired moments (which there are plenty of, trust me), the cast is enjoyable enough to watch, right? Well, it’s more of a mixed-bag this time around than the last and that’s because everybody’s doing the same act they did from the first, except it’s more amped-up because it’s a sequel, and whatever you do in the originals, means you have to do a lot more in the sequels. Such as is the case with the likes of Malkovich, Mirren, and Louise-Parker who had me chuckling and happy at some points, but seemed to be using the same old shtick that made them so pleasing to watch in the first movie. Granted, there is something grating about watching Helen Mirren hold up two machine-guns as she blasts the opposing-cars around her, but it can only go so far. She’s rarely in the movie all that much and doesn’t leave much of an impression at all, unlike the first movie where her holding a machine-gun was worth the price of admission alone.

Fire. Machine Gun. Helen Mirren. I need a new pair of shorts.
Fire. Machine Gun. Helen Mirren. I need a new pair of undies.

Still foxy, though. Holy hot damn, is she foxy.

New-comers to the franchise are Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Lee Byung-hun, who both seem to actually try with this material, but fall short of juicing anything out of it. Hopkins especially, who probably gives the most disappointing performance out of the whole movie considering he seems to obviously have the spunk and energy that would make this material pop and electric, but his constant ramblings and oddness just bothered me, rather than amusing me. Even if the old joke about “the nut who still talks to his imaginary friends” isn’t funny anymore (when was it ever), don’t tell this flick that. Anything this movie has to throw at you with it’s sense of humor, it will, and if you don’t like it, then scram-off and see a different movie for goddsakes. No seriously, do that.

And last, but sure as hell not least we have Bruce Willis himself, playing Frank Moses in the blandest-way possible. I will give credit to Willis, he was fun to watch as Moses in the first movie as he seemed to have a jolly good time doing his usual “tough guy” persona to the death, and never letting up for a single action scene where it may have called on for him to get a tad physical. However, like he has been known to do in the past, he’s simply phoning it in here as Moses, as if he didn’t want to do a sequel, but just chose to because the money was good and the franchise most likely would not survive without his name attached to it. I don’t think his name attached is going to matter now, since it sucked, but let’s hope we don’t get another sequel. Let’s just hope on that one.

Consensus: Red 2 feels like it’s trying way, way too hard to be like the first one in spots, but this time, with less action and more comedy, that not only isn’t funny, but is repetitive and gets old after about the first 20 minutes or so.

2.5 / 10 = Crapola!!

Looks like they just got caught in the act of making a sequel to Red. Oh wait...
Looks like they just got caught in the act of making a sequel to Red. Oh wait…
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21 comments

  1. I saw the movie last night. My parents loved the first one but then again its filled with actors they know so of course they’d come to see it. Me personally it was enjoyable I chuckled at the humor and while I haven’t seen a lot of Anthony Hopkins movies, his acting in Red 2 felt like the best, but this is me not knowing anyone else could play a crazy loon, so forgive me. However through out the movie I disliked Sarah, aside from her constant make out scenes, I felt like she was more dead weight then anything useful. She was very flat to me, the girl friend who wants to be apart of the boyfriend’s life but is so innocent and wanting to out play everyone else that she ruins the whole thing. I’m rambling on. The point is your review mirrors most of my thoughts but I personally feel it makes for a great Saturday night stay at home movie to fall asleep to.

    • It’s a movie that squandered any potential it had at all. However, I’m a cynic and I hate stuff that’s so cute with it’s premise as much as this is.

  2. I saw the movie last night. My parents loved the first one but then again its filled with actors they know so of course they’d come to see it. Me personally it was enjoyable I chuckled at the humor and while I haven’t seen a lot of Anthony Hopkins movies, his acting in Red 2 felt like the best, but this is me not knowing anyone else could play a crazy loon, so forgive me. However through out the movie I disliked Sarah, aside from her constant make out scenes, I felt like she was more dead weight then anything useful. She was very flat to me, the girl friend who wants to be apart of the boyfriend’s life but is so innocent and wanting to out play everyone else that she ruins the whole thing. I’m rambling on. The point is your review mirrors most of my thoughts but I personally feel it makes for a great Saturday night stay at home movie to fall asleep to.

  3. Nice review dude. I thought the first Red was a decent stand alone movie that didn’t need a sequel. Yet, Hollywood is so desperate for material so the fact that the first Red was mildly successful guaranteed it a sequel. What a waste of a film.

  4. I def understand your sentiments as it didn’t take off, mostly due to its script, but I still enjoyed it for what it was. It was the characters carrying the film and not the plot itself. Not so much of a waste, I mean, Helen Mirren with guns is never a waste! But not better than the first and not the best movie to begin with.

    and you’re right…no one was begging for a sequel.

  5. […] “Red 2 feels like it’s trying way, way too hard to be like the first one in spots, but this time, with less action and more comedy, that not only isn’t funny, but is repetitive and gets old after about the first 20 minutes or so.” – Dan The Man’s Movie Reviews […]

  6. u are dead on with the review! I dont mind the first one too, didnt love it, but enjoy it enough.. but truthfully i actually fell asleep during the RED 2. so that’s definitely not good.

  7. ” She’s rarely in the movie all that much and doesn’t leave much of an impression at all, unlike the first movie where her holding a machine-gun was worth the price of admission alone.”

    That’s such a shame! I really loved her in the first film.

  8. I lowered my expectations going in and still found it to be only mildly enjoyable. The problem with Bruce Willis is that he’s doing the exact same thing his character did in The Whole Ten Yards (another case of the unwanted sequel). This has been a terrible year for him as all 3 of his movies have been just plain bad.

  9. I enjoyed the first Red and thought this one was decent as well, even if it wasn’t quite as good. I would agree that the shtick is tired as heck, but I still dug the movie because of the cast. Their rapport and enthusiasm carried me through when the action was bland or the story was convoluted. My favorite players were John Malkovich and Brian Cox. Malkovich had the funniest lines and facial expressions, plus Cox stole the few scenes he was in with oily charm. I do concur however that Bruce Willis is the most boring, uninspired part of this film. He didn’t look like he was having any fun.

    I read somewhere the the main reason Red got a sequel was how well it did overseas. Studios are taking that into account more and more these days unfortunately. I think that this should be the last though because I couldn’t deal with a third.

  10. Good review, Dan. I didn’t hate this one like you did, but I do agree that it’s not as good as the first. Doesn’t have nearly as much fun, and feels like they definitely did try a bit too hard at times. Still, I enjoyed what we got decently enough.

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