Sunday, July 7, 2013
Red 2 (PG-13/116 Min.)
If you liked the movie Red, go see Red 2. What? Oh! You want more than that? Okay. I went to see this with Mac, her mom and a co-worker of mine and Mac’s. We’ll call her Witten. We all loved Red 2 so that’s four fors so far. Still not enough? Fine then.
Red 2 opens with Frank and Sarah living a life of normalcy, much to Sarah’s chagrin. Enter Marvin who, much to Sarah’s delight, throws those plans all out of whack. Well, in a round about way. Someone wants them dead and they would very much like to stay alive. Loyalties and animosities are questioned but, in the end, it’s just a whole lot of fun. Since this isn’t coming out until July 19th, I’m keeping the details to a minimum.
Bruce Willis returns as Frank Moses, ex-CIA agent. He would like nothing more than to settle down and take care of (read: Protect) Sarah for the rest of their lives. That ideal alone makes his character fun to watch. I have been a huge Bruce Willis fan since Moonlighting (I mean the re-runs, of course) and I have yet to see him in anything that disappoints. Frank never really loses his over-protective tendencies but he does finally let Sarah fly on her own and the results were entertaining, to say the least.
Mary-Louise Parker is Sarah Ross. I couldn’t have picked a better actor for this role. Stereotypically speaking, she doesn’t look like the type of person who would want to have anything to do with spy games or assassinations. More the former than the latter. Granted, I’m sure that quality is what would make someone a perfect spy/assassin. She stole the scene on several occasions which must be hard to do with Bruce and John in the picture. She’s so very deadpan a lot of the time and I love that kind of humor.
John Malkovich is Marvin Boggs. Oh John, I love you so. Don’t ask me to explain my admiration because I just can’t. He’s another actor that you either like or you don’t. I definitely like. Marvin interrupts Frank and Sarah’s peaceful existence early in the movie. You won’t have to wait long for the action to start. Trust me on this. Yeah, I know you don’t know me but still… Marvin can be just as low key as Sarah so it’s fun to watch the two of them together. And Marvin is a tad eccentric which makes the plot that much better.
Helen Mirren is the last actor who gets her own paragraph. The rest have to share. So sorry. Helen is Victoria, an assassin hired to kill Frank and Marvin. If you saw the first movie you pretty much know how this is gonna turn out. Or do you? Helen seems to be such a classy person that, like Mary-Louise, it’s hard to imagine her doing some of the things she does in this film. She should be at home sipping tea and eating crumpets, right? In one scene we see her oh-so-calmly kill a couple of people while dressed to the nines. Her…not them. Classy, huh? I have to say that though I loved her throughout the movie, my favorite action scene with her involved her shooting from both sides of the car during one of the chases. Unrealistic, you say? Maybe, but who cares? It’s a movie.
Catherine Zeta-Jones, Byung Hun Lee, Neal McDonough and Anthony Hopkins round out the main cast of characters. I liked Catherine in this but questioned, early on, why she keeps getting brought in on sequels. Then I looked it up and discovered that this is only the second time that’s happened. Whoops. Catherine plays Miranda Wood, a somewhat ex-love of Frank’s. Yikes! Byung brought the antagonistic humor that this film needed. He is another one of the assassins hired to kill Frank and Marvin. He also used to work with Frank until things went sideways. Interesting. Anthony Hopkins is Bailey, a scientist who has been locked away for years because of something he knows. Both sides are in a race to uncover his secret. Anthony is, as always, entertaining. Ending the list of actors is Neal McDonough as a ruthless CIA agent. He is a good bad good guy. Make sense? No? Go see the movie. I think you’ll like him too. I think he was deserving of more recognition in the ad campaign. Let me rephrase. I think he should have been included in the ad campaign. And on the poster. And the official website (which totally blows, by the way). Sadly, I forgot my notebook the night of the film and I can’t remember/find on-line the name of his or Byung’s character so it appears I am under-appreciating him also.
Because my niece is older now and watches more movies with cussing I tend to not pay as much attention anymore but I really don’t recall a lot of “words” being tossed around. I remember at least two but that’s it. It sadly surprises me that there are writers who have figured out that you don’t have to have a movie full of obscenities and still have a hit. Sadly, because films with lots and lots of expletives seem to have become the norm. Okay, I’m off my soapbox now.
There wasn’t much, if any (Sorry again. If I’d only remembered my notebook), drinking or smoking. Also, no sex or nudity. This was a straight-up action film. They didn’t have time for that. Whoops! I just read another review and was reminded of the fact that there WAS nudity. It just didn't show everything. Fortunately for any ladies watching the film, Byung Hun Lee was the actor involved. He's very not difficult to look at.
There was violence but that’s no surprise. I am happy to announce that it’s not disgusting violence. I mean there’s no gore and blood spray a la the movie 300, etc. People are shot/stabbed/blown up and then we move on. I don’t mean that to sound as if I’m okay with death. Not at all. I’m just reporting the facts as I see ‘em.
If I had to make any complaints about the movie they would be as follows. The beginning was kind of choppy. It jumped around quite a bit. Once they get to Moscow it evens out so hang on until then, okay? The other thing (and this always cracks me up) is the way people shoot each other. If someone has just thrown themselves behind something (say, a wall or car) to avoid being shot why do the shooters always insist on shooting high only? Chances are pretty good the shootee is going low. Shoot down, people! Also, how can someone be renowned as a crack shot and still miss the main characters? Yes, I realize that if he killed a main character it would mess up the movie but come on! At least wing one of ‘em.
Again, if you liked the first movie, you’ll like Red 2. If you like Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker and the rest mentioned above, you’ll like this. If you haven’t seen the first movie, why not? Go see it and then watch the sequel. It won’t do to watch them out of order even if you are my niece who likes to do such things. PT (my niece) will be 16 this year and despite that, I don’t think I would recommend this movie to her. She is still at an impressionable age and some of the violence is just so nonchalant as to make it funny. I don’t want that for her. You know what your children can handle. Please note that this movie is rated PG-13 for a reason.
I’m going to visit family in a few weeks for the anniversary of my 29th birthday and I’m taking the original movie with me in the hope that dad will like it and will want to go with me to see the sequel. If not, I’ll go again by myself. All alone. Sniffle. Or maybe I’ll talk Mac, Mama Mac and Witten in to going with me again. I don’t think it would be a hard sell for at least two of them.
P.S. There’s nothing after the credits. Go home OR go see another movie so you can stay out of the heat. Unless you like heat. In that case…enjoy!