It’s interesting that Bruce Willis has played big parts in two action movie franchises that have emphasized his age as of late, The Expendables and Red. While his resurrection of the Die Hard franchise have portrayed him as a timeless hero, Red has emphasized that he’s older with veteran knowhow as opposed to reveling in nostalgia, which is what the Stallone helmed franchise has done. Red 2 has been more about crafting an action hero persona for Willis that plays into his real life as an aging action star who hasn’t transitioned into any other genre with as much success as he has with action.
Willis is back as Frank Moses, a retired CIA operative trying to enjoy suburban life. His better half (Mary-Louise Parker), a civilian who experienced the events of the last film, has fallen in love with the lifestyle she’s perceived of Frank as a super spook. It makes for an interesting dilemma as Frank is coaxed back into action by his best friend (John Malkovich) as the trio have to find a weapon of mass destruction from their past. Throw in a former flame of Frank’s (Catherine Zeta-Jones), an old friend (Helen Mirren) and a scientist (Anthony Hopkins) who’s lost his mind and a CIA operative (Neal McDonough) hot on their trail and you have the makings of a fairly good film.
Unfortunately Red 2 has nothing new to offer that the original film hadn’t already covered. It’s just missing Morgan Freeman to bring some grounding to it.
There’s nothing new we haven’t seen in Red 2 that wasn’t already covered in Red, other than some domestic squabbles between Frank and Sarah. Marvin (Malkovich) is still paranoid and crazy, et al, and this is sequel that doesn’t do anything to bring anything new to the equation. This is just an action sequel for the sake of one, existing because the first one made money and nothing more.
Red 2 is about on par with the first film in that it’s a breezy action film that emphasizes the “fun” factor more than anything else. It’s a lazy film; it knows that expectations are low enough that things like internal consistency of story-telling or even explaining some story-line cheats (especially in the end) would be enough to make it good. As it is it’s disposable, nothing more.
Director: Dean Parisot Writer: Jon Hoeber & Erich Hoeber based off characters created in the comic book “Red” Notable Cast: Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Helen Mirren, Anthony Hopkins, Byung-hun Lee, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Neal McDonough
Scott Sawitz is an Inside Pulse original. He's also been featured on The Ultimate Fighter.com, Fox Sports.com, Nerdcore Movement.com, CagePotato.com, Inside Fights.com and Film Arcade.net (among others). When Scott isn't writing about film he's making his own. Check out Drunk Justice Productions right here.