2013 is really a year of sequels, with virtually every major blockbuster either being a sequel, spinoff, remake or reboot. Red, the graphic-novel adaptation came out of nowhere in 2010 with its star studded cast of middle aged actors-turned-action-heroes (with the exception of Bruce Willis). Does the sequel bring the craziness of the original back to the big screen?
Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) must come out of retirement after being branded an international criminal. Joining forces with his old teammates and his wife, the elite group must travel the world in search of a portable nuclear device and its creator all the while being pursued by assassins and C.I.A operatives.
Fans of mindless action thrillers will get their fix with Red 2, even if you haven’t see the original – the characters are just interesting enough to get by without requiring a knowledge of their past.
The Bottom Line
There’s not that much to say about Red 2 – it’s a stylish, outrageous, and surprisingly funny sequel with an equally surprising cast to up the ante. Of particular note is the inclusion of Anthony Hopkins who plays the role of a scientist who has been in an asylum since the cold war for apparently creating a portable nuclear bomb. I’ve always thought of Anthony Hopkins as being the sort of actor who is very precious with the roles that he takes on, after all, in the acting world he is truly top-tier and above most typical Hollywood garbage. This was not the case with Red 2, and his pearls, while admittedly thrown before swine, bring a touch of brilliance to a silly film with a brainless plot.
If you recall, Steven wrote an article about 12 and half actors who need to take a break - Old Brucey boy was on that list due to criminal laziness in the field of the action genre. Mr. Willis has a system worked out when it comes to doing action movies, and even though he really is on autopilot once again in Red 2, the production is so silly that it almost makes his non-effort a secondary concern.
What makes Red 2 worth watching? Perhaps the fact that out of all the action films that have released this year, of all the Die Hards and G.I. JOEs, Red 2 is an action film without pretense. It doesn’t try to be anything other than mindless entertainment and for that it succeeds, not to mention that performances from screen vets like Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, and Anthony Hopkins are just a delight for the senses. There’s very little to Red 2, there’s no subtext, no hidden message, a real popcorn movie, a switch off the lights and let loose kind of movie. If you’re looking for more than that in Red 2, prepare to be disappointed, but cast your eyes back to the heydays of the action genre, and you will find a gem of a film that does exactly what it has been designed to do – provide entertainment, and it does that in spades.