Red 2 shows how former black-ops CIA Agent, Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) and his kind and way younger girlfriend, Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker) attempt to settle down and lead an average life, before being sucked back into Frank’s previous life revolving around assassins and espionage. Like its successful predecessor that was nominated for ‘Best Picture – Musical or Comedy’ at the 68th Golden Globe Awards, Red 2’s jam-packed with action and laughs.

No matter if you didn’t catch the original comic-turned-movie that had shades of The Expendables and Knight and Day, because Red 2 provides an adequate intro to its former cast as well as newcomers.

Suspected of knowing information about Cold War operation ‘Nightshade’, conspiracy nut and long-time LSD user Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich) fakes his death to go under the radar of those who seek to dispose of him and his old partner, Frank.

These include their friend Victoria Winters (Oscar-winner Dame Helen Mirren), under MI6 orders, and top contract killer Han Cho-Bai (Lee Byung-Hun) who are hot on their tails. As the trio duck government agents, terrorists and assassins, they globetrot from Paris to England to seek physicist, Edward Bailey (Academy Award-winning Sir Anthony Hopkins) for information on where the bomb is.

Frank’s past squeeze, sultry Russian militant Katja (Catherine Zeta-Jones who has also won an Oscar), whom Marvin dubs as Frank’s kryptonite, also reappears. This causes tension to mount between her and Ross.

Unlike Red, the sequel shifts focus from the fact that they’re old and retired to their being “extremely dangerous”. The film’s packed with cool shootout scenes comparable to Wanted with machine guns and a speeding electric blue Lotus Exige S thrown into a firefight.

Unlike other similar genre movies such as Mission Impossible, Red 2 had nuggets of hilarity. Reflecting Dean Parisot’s ability to direct comedies like Galaxy Quest, the movie’s sprinkled with humour, with awkwardly funny dialogue between Frank and Marvin like Frank hoping that the thing sticking out of Marvin’s pants is a stick of dynamite. This brought a refreshing change compared to the first movie which was directed by Robert Schwentke, which focused more on the adrenaline pumping scenes in movies.

Despite an underdeveloped and uninspired plot, the star-studded cast helped making the movie much more entertaining, even with the deduction of Morgan Freeman, as his role Joe Matheson in the first movie was sacrificed for Moses. The chemistry between Willis and Malkovich, as well as Parker, was strong, providing more dimension to the script such as the bantering scenes between Willis and Parker. Mirren’s portrayal of a shrewd killer took the movie up a notch with her elegant demeanor and ferocity whenever deem fit. The addition of Anthony Hopkins’s role also showed that old people are not as muddle-headed as you think.

Even with some unexpected and interesting twists in the movies, like the fact that Bailey was never on Frank’s side, the ending failed to live up to what Bailey said about how he “didn’t see that one coming”.


Rating: 3/5

Release Date:  Aug 1, 2013

Runtime: 116 min

Language: English

Censorship Rating: PG

Genre: Action/Comedy

Director: Dean Parisot

Main Actors: Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren