“Red 2” (Action/Comedy: 1 hour, 55 minutes)
Starring: Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Mary-Louise Parker and Anthony Hopkins
Director: Dean Parisot
Rated: PG-13 (Violence, strong language and some drug-related material)
Movie Review: Not very often, a sequel manages to be as interesting as its prequel. “Red 2” is intriguing in that it has many talented actors in comedic action roles. While this film easily holds one’s attention, it is messy entertainment and less comical than its predecessor.
It continues showcasing the retired life of ex-CIA operative Frank (Willis), who audiences last saw in “Red” (Robert Schwentke, 2010). Frank is still in his relationship with Sarah (Parker). Their status quo life changes when Marvin (Malkovich) arrives. His arrival signals trouble for Frank, but that is OK. Sarah welcomes adventure. Soon, the two men with Sarah in tow are being pursued by the CIA, hitman Han Cho Bai (Byung-hun Lee), and two former acquaintances Victoria (Mirren) and Frank’s former lover, Katja (Catherine Zeta-Jones), a high-ranking Russian officer.
While being pursued by several people, Frank and Marvin must save the world from a maniacal genius of the Cold War era. Frank and Marvin may be out of the game of espionage, but their work is far from complete.
“Red 2” is all over the place but it entertains. This is true because it continues to throw in surprises, mainly in the form of many big names in moviedom. A few cast members stand out more than others. Malkovich continues to obtain laughs as a paranoid Marvin. However, the scene-stealer is Hopkins, a scientific genius who has lost his mind.
Again, “Red 2” is intriguing. It is also funny. It easily provides enough entertainment to make it worth it.
On the other hand, it is also a cluttered screenplay. The story bounces around haphazardly from one world city to the next, introducing clichéd action-oriented moments along the way. These aspects move it out of agreeable green and into a yielding red.
Grade: C+ (Still some laughs present despite disorganization.)
“R.I.P.D.” (Action/Comedy/Crime: 1 hour, 36 minutes)
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Bacon
Director: Robert Schwentke
Rated: PG-13 (Strong language and violence)