RED 2: Obligatory but Unnecessary Sequel

“Red” was a sleeper in 2010, grossing nearly $200 million worldwide, of which half came from the U.S. ($90 million to be precise)

The mild, laid-back goofy charm of the first film is now gone in “Red 2,” an unnecessary sequel that is disappointing on any level.

Aiming to appeal to a larger international audience, the cast includes new estimable players, such as Anthony Hopkins, who increases even more the already advance average age of the cast, which was one of the novelty of the first movie. This obligatory sequel follows the Hollywood dictum that size matters, bigger is better, and more is more.

It good to see again and gifted actors, such as Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren, but the new tale is silly and the adventures of the globe-trotting gang of government assassins are neither funny nor interesting to watch. In short, Red2 is a second-rate action-comedy.
The rambling, haphazard screenplay is credited to Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber, who adapted the first and better picture from Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner’s graphic novel.

The union of “Retired, Extremely Dangerous” black-ops CIA operative Frank Moses (Willis) and his loopy civilian femme Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) proves shorter than they—and we—had expected.

In the beginning of the story, Frank believes that his old partner Marvin Boggs (Malkovich) had died in an explosion (he’s, of course, wrong). But that doesn’t stop government officla from threatening and interrogating him about Marvin’s death and his connection to weapons of mass destruction that had been missing during the Cold War. Really?

Soon, Frank is the target of two assassins: the elegant sharpshooter Victoria (Helen Mirren), and the dangerous Han (Korean Byung-hun Lee). Victoria plays fair game, and she not only gives him fair warning, but also a head start. Mirren is such a naturally graceful actress that the above moves come easy to her.

To resolve the mystery, the trio of Frank, Sarah and Marvin go to Europe, and during the journey we get elements of comedy in the interaction between Sarah, who is eager to see action, and the cooler and more cautious Frank.

Based on the success of the first picture, the budget for “Red 2” had double, which means, among other things, extensive a trips to London, Paris, and even Moscow.

At one time or another, most of the payers wink at themselves and at the audience, suggesting that nothing should be taken seriously, not even the duration of the viewer. “Red 2” seems to be the kind of movie in which the estimable stars had more fun doing it than we have watching it.