We love seeing old people kick butt and defy their age at the movies! Films such as The Expendables, Space Cowboys and Cocoon all entertained fans with their geriatric stars blasting bad guys and break dancing with the young kids. Three years ago, the old-fogey formula worked with Red, the action comedy about a former assassin (Bruce Willis) just trying to lead a quiet, retired life but gets pulled back into action. Red grossed $90 million dollars, so it was inevitable that the old gang would get back together for a sequel.
Red 2 starts out just as the first Red began with Frank (Willis) leading a rather ordinary life. Only this time, he has a partner along-side for this non-bumpy ride. Mary Louise Parker is back as Sarah who is still with Frank, but misses the old exciting times that spurned their relationship. Parker really gets to shine this time around because she is not forced to play the kidnapped victim. Sarah gets her action wish when Frank's paranoid ex-partner Marvin (John Malkovich) shows up and warns Frank that once again, people will be coming for him. Frank and the team must assemble and globe-trot once again to save their lives and the world.
Red 2, once again, is full of action and laughs and does a good job at mixing both. I had a fear that Red 2 would over do it with the gags like Beverly Hill Cop 2 or Bad Boys 2, but they kept the balance right where it should be. Red 2 has some extremely entertaining chase and fight scenes with a few one liners thrown in for laughs. It helps when you have personalities such as Willis, Helen Mirren and the scene stealing Malkovich to lighten up the mood. Overall I was very pleased with all the actors performances in Red 2... except for one, and you won't believe who it is.
Some may say it's blasphemy to call out an actor that holds the prestige that Sir Anthony Hopkins does, but I call it as I see it and Hopkins is lousy in Red 2. The second he shows up, the movie slows down and gets goofy thanks to his performance. Without spoiling too much, the character he plays is so cliché that, by the end of the movie, you can see the plot turn coming from a mile away. What's worse is Neal McDonough's Jack Horton is a real bad dude who is great at playing the heavy, hunting down Frank and company. Unfortunately his character is pretty meaningless by the end of Red 2 because of the introduction of Hopkin's character.
Despite the poor performance by Hopkins, Red 2 is still an entertaining time at the movies, as far as sequels go. The middle section of the film does slow down, but luckily, it picks back up to redeem itself in the final act. All of the actors seem to enjoy playing these roles and prove that age is only a number when it comes to Hollywood action. Red 2 may not stick with you as long as some of the other movies released this summer, but it will still be a good time at the movies on a Friday night. Overall, Red 2 just barely earns the score of 3 out of 4 potatoes.
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