Former CIA black-ops agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) and his old partner, Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich), are caught in the grip of retirement -- but that soon changes when a powerful Cold War weapon known as Nightshade resurfaces decades after its disappearance. With assassins hot on their trail, Frank and his team set out to find the one scientist (Anthony Hopkins) who can unravel the mystery of Nightshade and help them save themselves -- and the world.
|Cast:||Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Byung-hun Lee, David Thewlis, Brian Cox, Neal McDonough, Steven Berkoff, Tim Piggott Smith, Garrick Hagon, Jong Kun Lee, Philip Arditti, Mitchell Mullen, Martin Sims|
|Directed by:||Dean Parisot|
|Produced by:||Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Mark Vahradian|
FILM REVIEW: RED 2
By Michael Phillips
Tribune Newspapers Critic
"RED 2," the in-one-eye, out-the-other sequel starring Bruce Willis, received a PG-13 for its "pervasive action and violence" and "frenetic gunplay," according to the Motion Picture Association of America's rating description. I love that they went out of their way to add the adjective "frenetic." For the record the best bit in the picture involves no automatic weaponry of any kind, nor that drooling, hollow cliche, recycled here, of ridiculous numbers of empty shell casings hitting the ground in slow motion. No. My favorite thing in the movie is the way co-star and Korean action icon Byung Hun Lee uses his feet of fury to hoist a paint can and send it flying.
Footwork beats fusillades every time in this follow-up to the 2010 "RED." Willis returns as Frank Moses, the retired CIA assassin whose relationship with a nice Kansas oddball (Mary-Louise Parker, mugging up an enjoyable storm) is tested by Frank getting pulled back into the script's notion of morally justifiable homicide.
Also from the first "RED," we have Frank's spy pals Marvin (John Malkovich) and Victoria (Helen Mirren, who gets to shoot pistols in two directions simultaneously out of a spinning car). Brian Cox is back, briefly, as the roguish Russian arms dealer with a thing for women of a certain age who look like Helen Mirren.
Without much in the way of style, director Dean Parisot ("Galaxy Quest," the "Fun With Dick and Jane" remake) fulfills his medium-budget assignment, trying to make it look as if "RED 2" were filmed extensively (as opposed to minimally) in cities such as Paris, London and Moscow. The plot has something to do with a doomsday device threatening Moscow's existence and the daffy Cold War-era scientist (Anthony Hopkins, who seems rightly perplexed at the film's jocular way of piling up corpses) who holds the key to the resolution. The resolution in question is capped by a major character uttering a variation on the line "I didn't see that coming," although most in the audience will have, in fact, seen it coming.
"RED 2" isn't a slovenly mess, the way the most recent "Die Hard" sequel was. Parker and Malkovich wring some laughs out of wisecracks that meet but do not exceed expectations. The movie's adequate. That's not much. And I admit to some uneasiness regarding the jokes referring to the gun-craziness of American culture and its most conspicuous exports, "RED 2" being the latest.
MPAA rating: PG-13 (for pervasive action and violence including frenetic gunplay, and for some language and drug material)
Running time: 1:56
Cast: Bruce Willis (Frank); John Malkovich (Marvin); Mary-Louise Parker (Sarah); Helen Mirren (Victoria); Anthony Hopkins (Bailey); Byung Hun Lee (Han Cho Bai).
Credits: Directed by Dean Parisot; written by Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber; produced by Lorenzo Di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian. A Summit Entertainment release.
We're sorry we are unable to find any theaters in that area. Please try again.