RED 2, the sequel to the sleeper hit RED, with Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Hellen Mirren, and that one woman from Weeds (Mary-Louise Parker). This film should have had Robert DeNiro in it. Just saying.
RED 2 follows a group of old people as they are hunted by the CIA, MI6, NSA, FBI, and pretty much every other government agency in the Northern Hemisphere. Why? Something to do with operation Nightshade, which isn't clearly explained in the film. What we do know is, Frank Moses (Willis) and his wife Sarah Ross (Parker) are now unhappily married and Frank is oblivious to it. He is enjoying retirement, but Sarah wants to go out and shoot things and fight people. Enter, Marvin Boggs (Malkovich) who is of course completely paranoid. Shenanigans ensue.
The main question you have to ask: Is this a better film than the first? No. The film suffers from sequel syndrome. It tries to up the ante, but only fails to impress. The action sequences feel like repeats of other action sequences in other films and become less and less impressive as the film progresses. Once the villain comes on screen you know the twist within the first five minutes of meeting him. We don't get any true call backs to the original film, the cast is smaller, and John Malkovich kills it as usual. I would say Helen Mirren is amazing, but you see her for 1/3 of the film. Back to Malkovich. You only want to love Malkovich in this role, but it makes everyone else fall out of the film. He is witty and makes the action sequences and space in between something worth looking at. Sure, Bruce Willis is the leading man, but he always has to be to create a franchise. What does that mean? It means that he could've cared less how this film turned out. He has the same two emotions that he does with any other film that has been released within the past ten years. The film also suffers with the villain knowing almost every move played by the protagonists. It is all improbable and makes for a sloppy story. And. . .you know. . .we don't meet the main villain until, near the very end of the film. I won't say who he/she is. But, if you've seen the trailers you'll have to go on Wikipedia to find out who it is.
The good thing about this film is that the action starts right away. I wouldn't call this an action movie; more of a "Com-tion" - Comedy Action film, because these films are a dime a dozen, and this is exactly what this film is; something we've all seen a hundred times over. It isn't annoying, but the movie becomes forgettable.
In the end the film was enjoyable, but is has to be a bit sickening that Bruce Willis is creating franchises out of his ass. I do hate when the villain seems to know everything that's going on, and this film's storyline is forgettable.
Good Qualities: I did enjoy the film. John Malkovich was magnificent.
Bad Qualities: Suffers from sequel syndrome. The villain knows everything that is happening. The film was forgettable in storytelling.