RED 2 – Spoiler-free review

“What happens in the Kremlin, stays in the Kremlin” says John Malkovich halfway through the film. If only the entire film had stayed in the Kremlin where no one could have seen it.

Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Dame Helen Mirren and Mary-Louise Parker return for the sequel to the brilliant RED, but fail to capture the essence, or comedy, of the predecessor.

Retired, and Extremely Dangerous, CIA agent Frank Moses (Willis) and girlfriend Sarah Ross (Parker) are looking to settle down after the wacky events of RED, but paranoid Marvin (Malkovich) is back to convince them otherwise.

Thanks to brilliant physicist Dr Edward Bailey (wonderfully played by Sir Anthony Hopkins), a bomb was smuggled into the Kremlin at the height of the Cold War with the intention of detonating it if the Soviet Union attacked. Now it needs to be taken back before someone decides to clear Frank and Marvin’s names.

Of course the film wouldn’t be complete if the main characters didn’t have a bounty on their heads; Mirren and newcomer Lee Byung-hun are assigned to kill them before they can retrieve the device.

The plot takes our four heroes all across the globe, from Los Angeles to Moscow via London and Paris, where they meet Frank’s old flame, Katya (unconvincingly portrayed by Catherine Zeta-Jones).

However the sights of some of the world’s most famous cities isn’t enough to make this a good film, especially during the scenes based in and around the Kremlin involving the Papa John’s pizza chain.

It’s almost like the film makers decided to cram in as many famous sights as possible, when they should have been using that time to make the jokes funny and the action scenes better.

I think the underlying reason the film didn’t work was Bruce Willis. Don’t get me wrong, I love Willis in most of his stuff, but here it just seemed he was trying too hard to make a failing script work.

His chemistry with Parker, which was so brilliantly established in the first film, appeared to have completely disappeared, and the supposed history with Zeta-Jones’s character seemed to be non-existent.

The main thing I did like about the film was the fact it stuck to the comic book element, but that was only used as an excuse to change cities.

Overall, I just couldn’t like this film as much as I wanted to. An almost humourless first scene set the tone, and it just couldn’t pick itself up from there.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: