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I enjoyed the first RED (2010), as it’s an amusing and irreverent action film that doesn’t take itself too seriously and has fun with the idea of special agents who are “Retired but Extremely Dangerous.” RED 2 continues the trend, but even though it’s enjoyable and non-offensive, it falls a tad short of the original. 

Picking up months after the events of the first film, Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is settling in to life with Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) but they both realize that the honeymoon is over and that the spark has begun to fizzle. 

It doesn’t help that Frank is overly protective even though Sarah wants adventure. Their lives quickly change when Marvin (John Malkovich) pays them an unexpected visit to warn them that they are in danger. 

Before you know it, they are all on every countries hit list and if they don’t stop a “red mercury” bomb from falling into the wrong hands than it could mean world destruction. 

The film plays like MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE for your parents, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There’s a certain charm to watching these “put out to pasture” special agents strut their stuff again. There are also some well conceived action sequences that keep the energy up. 

My only issue is that other than the central premise, there’s nothing really new going on. It’s all very paint by numbers. This worked fine in the first film, but I expect a little more if they’re going to continue making these. Also the relationship woes between Frank and Sarah is beaten into the ground and feels lifted from one of the romantic/comedies that are being skewered in THEY CAME TOGETHER. It feels lazy and underdeveloped. 

But with that said RED 2 is entertaining and certainly worth checking out if you were a fan of the original.

RED 2 (2013)

JUNE 22, 2014