It’s rare that I walk out of a movie sequel, scratching my head, thinking, was that one actually better than the first one?
As I walked out of theater 6 at Smitty’s Cinema in Windham on Sunday afternoon, I thought just that.
If you missed RED (which is a government acronym for Retired, Extremely Dangerous), don’t fret, my 14 year old daughter was able to follow the story with relative ease, as my wife and I caught up with Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) and Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker) who were living a mundane suburban life. As one would expect, this would not last as Marvin (John Malkovich) alerts Frank that the spies of the world are out to get him once again.
They have learned that they were once supposedly participants in operation Nightshade, a secret operation to hide a nuclear weapon inside the former Soviet Union.
The desire to kill Frank is so intense that even Frank’s British friend Victoria (Helen Mirren) is contacted to kill Frank.
From there, the antics and shenanigans ensue.
The group spends the bulk of the movie moving about throughout Europe, dealing with the ghosts of their past. Ghosts that I’d like to have like Katya (Catherine Zeta-Jones), a Russian spy who seems to have some sort of ability to get Frank to do whatever she wants. Marvin calls her Frank’s “Kryptonite”. Guns are shot, people get punched, women get jealous, and aging men and women outsmart the younger generation at almost every turn.
RED 2 brings in Dr. Bailey (Anthony Hopkins), who is 100 percent brilliant, as can be expected by an actor of this caliber. Bruce Willis seems to only get better with age, and John Malkovich is phenomenal in this type of role. I struggle watching Mary-Louise Parker play anything other than Nancy Botwin on Showtime’s “Weeds”, but this is a decent role for her, and she and Bruce Willis seem to have good on-screen chemistry.
RED 2 is, hands down a great movie for teenagers and up. Throughout the movie, there is the undertone that Frank and Sarah are having some subtle relationship issues, but people still need to be punched and kicked in the face, so that’s going to be dealt with before the relationship gets fixed. There are a ton of laughs to be had. You can’t take a movie like this seriously. The premise of it is based on ridiculousness, and if you can accept that, you have got yourself and absolutely great movie.