Friday, 23 August 2013

RED 2 Review

I liked the first one.  The premise of quirky, past their prime spies running around and blowing stuff up while delivering witty dialogue appeals to me.  But, I knew when it was over that there would be a sequel and that it would be an ill-advised venture.  I was right.  This had all the potential to be quite good with a good cast.  But it ended up being very disappointing.

I've said before that a good sequel has to take the things that were successful in the first one and build on them.  After all, you should want to give people more of what they want.  It's what made The Empire Strikes Back better than Star Wars.  People wanted more Darth Vader so that's what they got.  In RED 2 I can see that they were trying to give us more of what made the first one good.  In RED, it was all John Malkovich.  He stole every scene and was hilarious.  They did give us more of him but his character went from being delightfully insane to just a bit quirky.  He still delivers it well but it isn't the same character that we wanted to see more of.  The same goes for Bruce Willis and Mary-Louise Parker.  Their characters were off from what we saw before.  I'd say that Bruce Willis might be losing his edge but it only seems to happen in sequels (A Good Day to Die Hard, The Whole Ten Yards, etc.).  And Parker played inconsistently between sassy, badass, and demure.  It was just all over the map for both of them.

Helen Mirren and Anthony Hopkins both deliver but they could phone it in and still be the best thing on any screen.  Catherine Zeta Jones is what she is: very average in every way.  Finally, I liked Storm Shadow.  He fit the role quite well.

As for the plot, it is very thin and shallow.  There are no surprises and it's actually quite mundane and boring.  I guess a movie about retired spies would have to deal with digging up stuff from the past.  But Cold War grudges and such just aren't interesting any more; especially when you try to intertwine it with relationship therapy between Bruce Willis and Mary-Louise Parker

Don't see it.

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