Compared to the first, RED 2 kept its concept safe while upping the stakes. It’s not exactly better than the original but still a fun ride to be a part of. The plot follow Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) enjoying his retired life, at least for a bit.
Until his friend Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich) warns him about something coming. Now given that Marvin’s the paranoid one in the group, Frank believes nothing. Shortly after, Boggs’ car explodes with him inside. Keeping the ongoing theme of Marvin always being right.
Is he crazy? Or is he the sanest of them all? Spoiler alert: he doesn’t die, it was all planned.
The pace is fast from here on out, now that Frank realizes he’s got real people out to kill him, again. After Marvin returns from the dead to save Frank from an assassination attempt, they, along with Sarah (Mary -Louis Parker) venture out to reunite with the gang and figure out just exactly who’s after them.
Turns out, their old friend Victoria (Helen Mirren) has been signed to them.
She’s the least of their worries however. Once they find out that top assassin Han (Byung-hun Lee) is out for their blood too. At least Victoria will warn them ahead of time. Frank, Sarah and Marvin head to Europe first to find some leads. All while Frank tries to keep Sarah safe, even though she’s more than ready for some action.
What we like:
The characters are already developed from the first film, leaving room for more creative freedom. The chemistry between Frank, Sarah, Marvin and Victoria is the most memorable and enjoyable. The additional characters are a bonus including Han, Katja (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and the true villain Edward Bailey (Anthony Hopkins). A scientist with the known whereabouts of a deadly weapon. All enrich the story providing real challenges for Frank and co.
What we don’t like:
They played it a little safe; they used the same qualities of the first film without expanding the plot. Granted what else can you do with “retired extremely dangerous” agents? Some may argue it’s the same movie. However it’s all up to the viewer’s interpretation.
RED 2 tries to offer the same fictional themes and insane action as its first, but sometimes lacks the spark and often depends on humor to get them out of situations. It does however offer higher stakes and more of globetrotting setting that sequels usually try to accomplish. Regardless, it’s still a fun thrill ride to be a part of with a talented cast that without doubt stands out.