Saturday, July 20, 2013

Review 185: "RED 2"

Turns out, the best do, in fact, rest.

Red Dead Redemption

      I like the first RED movie. Mostly. See, I did rent it from Netflix this week with the intention of reviewing it before the second one came out. There was just one problem though. There wasn't much to say about it. The film is good. It has strong performances, good action and fun direction. It just didn't really have a lot to say. It was a Bruce Willis action movie and I can think of worse reasons to give a movie a sequel. Though, a third movie might not be in this series's future. Directed by Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest/ Fun Fact: The director of the first RED movie directed it's competitor, R.I.P.D., which also stars Mary-Louise Parker) and written by Jon Hoeber (Battleship) and Erich Hoeber (Whiteout), the film follows Frank (Bruce Willis) and his girlfriend Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) as they are once again forced to team up with Marvin (John Malkovich) and Victoria (Helen Mirren) to save the world. This time, government agent Horton (Neal McDonough) is going after them for their involvement in Operation Nightshade, where a dangerous nuclear device was lost in Russia. Now with assassin Han (Byung-hun Lee) on their tails, the group teams up with Frank's former flame Katja (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and scientist Bailey (Anthony Hopkins) to retrieve the device and... uh... profit?
Heh, funny pants.
Retired Extremely Drowsy

      Yeah, the plot's not very good. Now, granted, it doesn't really need to be. After all, I couldn't tell you a think about the plot of the original movie, which I watched just three days ago, and I liked it fine. But at least I retained it for a while. I forgot what the plot to RED 2 was sometime around the end of the second act. I still can't remember why these guys were hunting this device, how it would clear their name or what Agent Horton (Heh) role in all of it was. I tried to care, but it was clear that no one else really did. The movie's not bad, but it is boring. I did get to feeling sleepy, which in the middle of a double feature I pulled was not the ideal scenario. The actors are fine, but they clearly just like the paid vacation. Malkovich is bored, Hopkins is over-acting and Zeta-Jones is just there to look pretty. Byung-hun Lee works the best in essentially Karl Urban's role from the first one. He has the best action scenes, though it does seem like he was just tacked on. Seeing as how Bruce Willis wanted him in the movie after working with him on G.I. Joe: Retaliation, that's not really a surprise.

Originally Better

      That would be fine though if the action was good. It's not, though. I mean, it's not bad and you could do a lot worse, but still, a lot of it just feels lifeless. Lee does get a few good fight scenes, but he's the only one. This film is just missing the fun of the original. The humor is no longer here. I mean sure, a lot of the older people in the audience seemed to think it was funny, but most of the best jokes are in the trailer and even though are only worth a chuckle. The action, therefore, also just seems to go through the motions. Exploding car? Check. Hand-to-hand combat? Check. Car Chase? Check. Helicopter crash? Check. It just is stuff we've seen many times before in better Bruce Willis movies. Especially in RED. Hell, I'm falling asleep just writing this review. There is just nothing special to this movie and while that's not terrible, it's also not that great either.

Now it's a party.
The Verdict

      RED 2 is a perfectly average summer movie. It doesn't do a lot terrible wrong, but is also doesn't do a lot terribly right either. Some of the action scenes are good, but most are just lifeless. The acting is fine and the story is serviceable. The humor is weaker and the new additions in the sequel fall mostly flat. It gets some goodwill because the first one was good and this one is at least not terrible. It's not a bad way to kill a few hours, but when Pacific Rim is still in theaters, there really isn't any point to seeing this film. RED 2 gets 3 stars out of 6.

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