The best thing, worst thing, and main thing about “Red 2” in about the time it takes to watch the trailer.
It doesn’t have anyone with superpowers, and it’s light hearted instead of self serious… Are we really sure this is a comic book movie?
Red 2 is the follow up to the surprising successful 2010 movie called… wait for it… Red. It once again stars Bruce Willis and John Malkovich as a pair of Retired, Extremely Dangerous operatives who find themselves in the middle of stopping very bad things from happening while cracking jokes at each others expense and protecting the ones they love. Unfortunately Red 2 has all the baggage and trademarks of a bad sequel. Actors not as invested as the first time around, the strain of trying too hard to nod to the original, and a paper thin plot thrown together to get it in theaters before audiences forget they liked the first one (more on that in a bit). So why is it that I walked out of Red 2 with this big stupid grin on my face? How can a movie my brain knows is poorly thrown together make me so happy?
Sure there’s some fun action and some interesting characters, but I think the best thing about Red 2 is the writing. The dialog is written in such a quick witted and fun way that I just want to keep hearing what these people have to say to and about each other no matter what’s going on around them. It’s like that group of friends you love hangin out with so much that it doesn’t even matter where you go. It’s the company that makes it worth your time. Willis, Malkovich, and Mary Louise Parker have great chemistry and the way they volley these lines is intensely fun. Throw in Helen Mirren and Sir Anthony Hopkins and it’s a really fun ride even if no one is quite sure what the destination is.
And that’s easily the worst thing about the movie, the lack of substantial plot. On the surface the whole thing appears to be a quest to clear their names, but we aren’t ever really sure from what, or why all of the sudden everyone wants them dead. It’s like the producers said, just make sure theres fun action set pieces, at least one bad guy turns good, and at last one good guy turns bad, oh and don’t forget to throw in a ticking time bomb in the finale for good measure. I’d also say the running time of just under two hours is a bit excessive, except once again I never really found myself bored or not entertained by these compelling characters.
Which overall is why I have to say I liked Red 2. Despite the emptiness of the story, I enjoyed the way these characters were written so much I just wanted to spend time with them. It may just be the lousiest movie you enjoy this year. Final grade? Let’s go with a B.
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