Verdict: 2 / 5
Mary Louise-Parker, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren and Bruce Willis all reprise there roles from the fun action-packed joyride, Red, for the overplayed mediocre gung-ho sequel, Red 2. The biggest problem with this film is probably one of my biggest gripes with many sequel films, which is the fact that they are lazy, and Red 2 is extremely lazy. There are many potential avenues for a film like this to go and yet Red 2 is nothing more than a rehash of the original. Many times you will get a heavy dose of déjà vu, as the two films really are that close in terms of style and plot.
The film reunites Retired C.I.A. agent Frank Moses with his unlikely team of elite operatives for a global quest to track down a missing portable nuclear device. Red 2 does have some fun moments, action madness that’s thrown together with some humour and even then, the film really tries to be its predecessor as opposed to its own film. The approach to the sequel seems to be a tad bit nihilistic, which doesn’t help it much, as characters show a blatant disregard of there own sense of danger, trying to sell a joke at the wrong time. While it may work with others writers, directors and actors, it just seems to be distracting as there never seems to be a sense of danger for any of the characters. The cast of the film is probably the films biggest selling point with Catherine Zeta-Jones, Anthony Hopkins, Neal McDonough and Byung-hun Lee all joining the ranks this time around. Its this blend of cast and characters that may certainly distract you from the fact that this film is quite derivative, as each new cast member plays a new character that you might find you like.
Catherine Zeta-Jones plays a Katja a Russian secret agent, who had a relationship with Bruce Willis’ character, Frank Moses. Jones has a lot of freedom with role as the character has many different facets about her. She is sexy, cunning, sincere, deceitful, loyal and deadly. Byung-hun Lee is definitely proving to be one of the coolest badass action Asian stars in recent times. Lee plays the top contract killer in the world, Han Cho-Bai, who he plays with a calm demeanor. Hopefully this will lead to Lee gaining more roles in future as he certainly proves in this film that he has the charisma, as well as fighting skills, to become an action headliner star.
Red 2 is a lackluster sequel that takes all the same twist and turns as its predecessor and hardly does a good job at it. The storyline isn’t very good, but the action and cast of the film will certainly get your attention. It really is a mediocre joy ride with an impeccable cast that will coheres your senses to keep you watching while your brain slowly shifts into screensaver mode.