Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

RED 2 | Bruce Willis, Mary Louise Parker, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones | Review

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4sm The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is GOOD Judy Thorburn


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4lg The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is GOOD


Bruce Willis, John Malcovich, Mary Louise Parker, and Helen Mirren are reunited for the sequel to 2010's sleeper hit, RED, with Oscar winners Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta Jones joining the great ensemble cast. Not knowing how this new episode would measure up to the original, I was pleasantly surprised to find the flick to be equally as entertaining. If you liked RED, there is more of the same in this high octane spy adventure.

“Retired, Extremely Dangerous” black op CIA agent Frank Moses (Willis) and his girlfriend Sarah (Mary Louise Parker) just want to be left alone and live a life of domestic bliss. That is interrupted with the sudden appearance of Frank's longtime pal, paranoid and eccentric Marvin Biggs (Malcovich), during the couple's shopping spree at the local Costco.  Marvin warns Frank that some agents are after them and that their lives are in danger for something they know nothing about.  Someone posted information on the Internet about their connection to a secret project named Nightshade during the Cold War that entailed a missing weapon of mass destruction.

Forced back into the espionage business for wrongly being labeled domestic terrorists with a target on their backs, Marvin, Frank and his tag along girlfriend Sarah, travel to London, Paris, Moscow and the Iranian embassy, in an effort to get to the bottom of the devious scheme, clear their names and save the world. Of course, that means trying to keep one step ahead of those on their trail. Frank wants to protect Sarah. But, bored with her ordinary life, she finds something very appealing about being drawn into danger and is happy to get in on the action in any way possible.  Her method of dealing with a foe instead of killing them is by planting a wet kiss on their lips.

Not one, but two separate assassins have been sent to seek out and destroy the heroic team.  Han Cho Bai,(a charismatic, hunky Byung Hun Lee) a Korean contract killer, considered the best in the world, has been hired by U.S. Government official Jack Horton (Neal McDonough) to take them down and England's MI6 has called in British sharpshooter Victoria (Mirren) to get the job done.

In their travels, the good guys have a run in with someone dubbed The Frog (David Thewlis), a dealer in secret information, with a penchant for expensive wines, and Frank's former flame, sexy Russian agent Katja (Catherine Zeta-Jones), referred to as his “Kryptonite”.

Anthony Hopkins plays Dr. Bailey, a mentally deranged British scientist (or nutty professor) whose been locked up in an insane asylum for 32 years and may be able to lead them to the whereabouts of the lethal device that has the power to wipe out millions if it got in the wrong hands.  Hopkins has portrayed a whacko character so many times and he is so good at it.
Once again the returning cast exude great chemistry and charm and are all fun to watch with their comic banter and quirky interactions.

Working from a script by returning writers Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber, director Dean Parisot ("Galaxy Quest") taking over the helm from Robert Schwentke, delivers the perfect balance of comedy, drama, action adventure, spy caper, intrigue, and a touch of romance in an unfolding scenario that includes effective action scenes featuring shoot outs, explosions, car chases and plane crashes. There is also a nice dose of double crosses and twists.

  “Bet you didn't see that coming” is a recurring line that weighs in at the end. I was kind of expecting it, but that didn't detract from my enjoyment.  In fact, what I do see coming is another, future installment of RED if this more than adequate follow up to the original brings in mega loads of green at the box office.  I don't gamble, but that is an almost sure bet.