Film Review: Despite Flopping as a Comic Book Movie, ‘Red 2’ Coasts By with Well-Written Characters

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Average: 5 (2 votes)

CHICAGO – If you didn’t see the DC Entertainment splash screen when this “Red 2” sequel kicks off with the fake death of one of its usual suspects, you wouldn’t mind that the rest of the film feels nothing like a comic book movie except for its animated transitions between scenes. Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

No “comic book fan” would say this movie does the intensely cult-favorite genre any justice or holds up in even close to the same league as other DC films like “The Dark Knight,” “Watchmen” and various “Superman” attempts.

So despite this massive missed opportunity, abandoning that failure does allow you to find a silver lining in other redeeming qualities. In a film that packs in so many “A”-listers, this time it pays off. Each one brings a uniquely defined and mostly memorable addition to an overall story that’s somewhere in between great and too thin.

StarRead Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Red 2”.

Bruce Willis (Frank) is an old fart who’s trying to be a retired CIA agent but can’t help himself from still kicking some good old bad guy ass. John Malkovich (Marvin) is his friend, partner in crime and an elite operative, too. He also can’t turn down being reunited for the shared goal of traveling the globe to track down a small nuclear device that packs a powerful punch.

The worst part of the film and an otherwise well-written character line-up is Catherine Zeta-Jones as Katja. She plays a Russian as inauthentically as George Bush would play a woman. While she could be easily cut out, Katja does serve one purpose: a flirt who tries to come between Bruce Willis and his main squeeze Mary-Louise Parker (Sarah). Now Sarah, on the other hand, steals the show.

“Red 2” stars Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Helen Mirren, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Byung-hun Lee, Jong Kun Lee, Neal McDonough, David Thewlis, Garrick Hagon, Tim Pigott-Smith, Brian Cox, Philip Arditti and Mitchell Mullen from director Dean Parisot and writers Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber. The film, which opened on July 19, 2013, has a running time of 116 minutes. It is rated “PG-13” for pervasive action and violence including frenetic gunplay and for some language and drug material.

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full “Red 2” review.

Helen Mirren stars in Red 2
Helen Mirren stars in “Red 2”.
Image credit: Frank Masi, SMPSP

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full “Red 2” review.

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