RED 2 is a sequel I was surprised to see. Yes, the first RED movie was fun (albeit an awful title) and I think people liked it, but I didn’t think people liked it so much that they were clamouring for another one. Oh well, we got another one anyways. And its very similar to the first in style, plot, and quality. In RED 2 Bruce Willas’ Frank is still a retired agent living with his girl Sarah who is getting bored with no longer living the spy life. However, they are soon once again hunted down because of problems in his past.
RED 2 doesn’t cover new ground, but does it really need to? Its easy to get on sequels for retreading common ground set by the first film, and I myself have done it, most recently with the Hangover 2. Its a tough balance to meet, since you want to still deliver what people liked with the first film at the same time. I think RED 2 more or less meets this balance, delivering the tongue-in-cheek spy antics and action the first one delivered, and managing to still feel different even though there are a lot of similar plot elements.
The strength of this movie is John Malkovich as the overly paranoid Marvin. He sort of verges on the idea of taking the funny character from the first film and over using them in the sequel, but doesn’t quite reach those levels of saturation. He provides a lot of levity and fun. The weakness is Mary Louise Parker, who doesn’t quite know the tone to give for this movie and really leans on the goofy side more often than not. She’s pretty bad.
This is an enjoyable action film which will likely be forgettable by the end of the summer, but who cares? It may go a little long, but it has enough plot twists, action scenes, and great humour beats.
Although, I do want to take some time for a small rant. I hate car chases! Every time characters jump into a vehicle to either pursue or be pursued, i sigh and rest my head on my arm. ‘Here we go again.” They are hardly ever unique or stunning, they are just cars weaving through traffic and maybe some gunshots out the window. Is there anything more uninspired and cliche than a car crash? I think not.