Case in point, RED 2, the sequel to 2010’s over- the-hill gang action-comedy that surprisingly hit strong across the spectrum.
How do they keep the magic going?
I hate to say it, but they don’t.
That’s not to say that this production doesn’t give it its best shot, though. For one thing, they’re giving us one of the best big name casts of the summer with Catherine-Zeta Jones and Anthony Hopkins joining a returning ensemble of Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Mary-Louise Parker and Brian Cox.
We’re talking high-octane action here with retired black-ops C.I.A. agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) now on a global quest to track down the ultimate (portable) nuclear weapon code codenamed Nightshade. A
weapon that could—and would—change the balance of world power forever.
All while trying to keep his squeeze (Mary-Louise Parker) as safe as possible.
“Frank, you haven’t killed anyone in months!”
That’s true, but that quickly changes when Frank and company blast their way through massive shootouts and one-on-one take-downs across the streets of London, Paris and Moscow. They may be out-gunned and out-manned but the bad guys just can’t win against our good guys cunning wits and old school skills.
The best never rest.
That said, maybe they should have because the final act of the film sadly goes so far over the top it turns things into pure cartoon-like violence. In other words REDS 2’s bigger-is-better philosophy doesn’t do this sequel any favors.
Has the magic of the original been lost?
Some of it has for sure. But the movie still provides enough chuckles and firepower to keep the popcorn crowd happy as witnessed at our preview screening where exiting patrons exited happy.
Cast newbies, Catherine-Zeta Jones (as Russian agent Katja and one of Frank’s old flames) looks as good as ever while fronting the big (bad) boys with a twinkle in her eyes.
And almost senile genius scientist Anthony Hopkins – holding a mental key to the integracies of Nightshade – and can make or break matters that evolved decades ago during the Cold War in the old Soviet Union. But is he just playing—or playing for KEEPS?
More importantly, “What happens in the Kremlin—Stays in the Kremlin” (you gotta love those clever Hollywood screenwriters).
So if all of the above sounds like a couple of hours you’d like to devote your life to, then by all means avail yourself to the PG-13 rated RED 2.
It’s a blast—LITERALLY—Raising 2-1/2 out of 5 shifty fingers.
(Reviewed at AMC Town Center Theater)
JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES Friday mornings at 6:40 a.m. and 8:40 a.m. on KMBZ Fm & Am / Also anytime on Time-Warner Cable’s K.C. ON DEMAND, Channel 411 / And throughout Nebraska on NEBRASKA