Conclusion: Red 2 was the sequel that should have trumped the first film. Yes, there are one or two scenes of coolness, wit, and fun. The majority of the film is very “empty” and somewhat dull. I’m not a fan of seeing Bruce Willis sleepwalk through a role, because he makes for a very entertaining action hero. The fact is when you have a supporting cast that’s having more fun than their lead you know something is amiss.
Excerpt: The gang from the original Red return for another squirrelly misadventure with gunfire and biologically impossible physical shenanigans. Frank Moses (Bruce Willis, A Good Day to Die Hard ) is enjoying his retirement from the CIA, settling in with his incredibly annoying girlfriend (Mary Louise-Parker, Weeds ). But when government killers come knocking once more, he's again pressed into duty.
Conclusion: For those who are already familiar with the mythology around Red from the first film, it extends the core characters nicely and presents average character conflict nicely. But it tries to be too clever for itself and loses the viewer in the process, and it goes from semi-entertaining to tedious during some of its most vital parts. Technically, the disc is excellent though tends to lack a bit on the bonus material side of things.
Conclusion: 'Red 2' proves to be an improvement over the original film, but it still falls short of being a complete success thanks to overlong action sequences and a plot that is probably a little too complex for what should essentially be a comedy movie. Still, the cast is wonderful to watch play off each other, and fans of the first movie are sure to enjoy what they get in this sequel. Recommended.
Excerpt: The filmmakers, and probably the money people behind them, have taken the first film as less of a set-up and more in the way of market research for how to make a franchise work, coming to the decision that what worked should then be re-used as much as possible, and everything else should be jettisoned. So expect a lot of John Malkovich wearing strange costumes and being generally weird while Helen Mirren shows up occasionally to shoot at people.
Excerpt: Perhaps future pop-culture historians will be able to understand the root cause of the Old People Craze Of 2010, a still-unexplained nationwide epidemic of gerontomania that put Betty White on Saturday Night Live , made Tavi Gevinson dye her hair gray, and turned The Expendables into a viable blockbuster model, kicking off a cycle of past-their-prime action vehicles that will continue into the foreseeable future.
Summary: It couldn’t be, could it? A sequel that surpasses the original? The Retired and Extremely Dangerous crew are back – well, most of them – and this time they’re older, wiser and funnier. So is the film. Loosely adapted from Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner’s graphic novel, Red 2 has a better story, punchier action scenes and a wittier script.