RED 2

★★

NOT IMPROVING WITH AGE

THEATRICAL REVIEW
By Charlie David Page
25th August 2013

What happens when a group of hitmen come out of retirement once again, following a financially successful original film? Why, 'Red 2', of course. This action-comedy sequel has bigger stars, bigger explosions, and bigger stakes - but is bigger always better?

It seems someone's out to kill Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) and Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich). It's no surprise, really, given the number of people they've killed over the decades. Turns out they're meant to know the secret of Nightshade, a Cold War weapon that could create a new world superpower if a government were to get their hands on it. The truth is, they've never heard of it before, so to save their own skins, they set out to discover where this deadly apparatus resides.

RED 2 - TRAILER

What was initially a novel concept in 'Red' hasn't necessarily carried over to the sequel. Willis and Malkovich plod along in their parts, relishing in only the occasional quip or moment of excitement. Helen Mirren, as always, is a joy to watch, but remains sorely under-utilised throughout. Anthony Hopkins as the physicist who created Nightshade brings an interesting twist to his character, though his inevitable role seems a little obvious from the beginning. Byung Hun Lee as the contract killer Han seems to be the only one having fun here, taking part in some of the most insane fight sequences in the film. And I never thought I'd say this, but Mary-Louise Parker as Frank's girlfriend is quite annoying (utter blasphemy for a 'Weeds' fan), rather than intendedly humorous.

'Red 2' still has the big bangs of its predecessor, but is missing the charisma. Despite international locations and a bevy of veteran actors, the second time around just isn't as funny as it could have been.

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