(Film Review) Red 2 (2013): When you wished they had just retired already.
To be fair, going to see Red 2 was not my first choice and I didn’t went to the cinema expecting much. I actually enjoyed the first movie, it was different and it had this great sense of fun, however this is a completely different beast. Red 2 has managed to kill all joy and novelty of the first by turning all characters in caricatures and going for the over-the-top antics.
In terms of visuals, this movie looks good. The effects are well done and the scenery shots around the World are quite beautiful and well made. However, the plot is so flawed, that decent visuals alone cannot make it work. The only really good fight scenes are Helen Mirren’s or Byung-hun Lee, which has significant screen time, but couldn’t be less flashed out. Plus, the way his dispute with Bruce Willis gets resolved is so unbelievable it is laughable.
The movie is begins on Frank (Bruce Willis) and Louise (Mary-Louise Parker) relationship. Now, that in itself has plenty of potential. How does a relationship that began in an adrenaline high manages to function on a safe everyday basis? Right? No, that’s not really where this movie goes. We get a tired and bored looking Willis who doesn’t really commit to the role, while the previous affable and relatable Louise gets an “air-head-adrenaline-junkie-token-girl” treatment. Her character makes cringe so many times that one have to question if somebody that devoid of common sense would survive on those situations. Catherine Zeta-Jones plays a Russian seductress whose relationship with Willis is as believable as her accent.
John Malkovich can play alternative, cookie and paranoid agent like no other. There is something in Malkovich’s demeanour that makes that mix of genius and danger all that believable. Helen Mirren and Anthony Hopkins are the best things in this movie, though. Helen Mirren just gets the tone right and compensates with impeccable acting what could have been a pretty bland character.
This movie didn’t manage to fulfil my low expectations, but it was so gimmicky and shallow (especially the three spinning car scenes) that it was just ruined for me.
First posted at Post-Production Reviews. Link to the film’s IMDB page.