Steen: Red 2 is an entertaining romp

Most of the old cast is back with new faces giving interesting content and adding to the fun.

Red 2

It’s not too often that the second in a movie franchise is as good as the first. Red 2 is an exception, in my opinion (humble though it may be), Red 2 is actually better than the original movie.

Most of the old cast is back with new faces giving interesting content and adding to the fun. Make no mistake, this is a comedy. Sure, it’s about old spies and new tricks, but it’s comedy none the less and it’s light and fun—just the thing for a hot summer night. (The comfy seats and air conditioning in the theatre isn’t too shabby either.)

Bruce Willis reprises his role as Frank, with John Malkovich as Marvin, Helen Mirren as Victoria, Byung-Hun Lee as Han. New faces Mary Louise Parker, as Sarah, Catherine Zeta-Jones as the Russian spy Katja and Anthony Hopkins as the ‘crazy as a fox’ bad guy Bailey, round out the new additions.

As the world once again plunges towards the brink of destruction, Frank’s team must find an old but deadly device and detonate it before it takes out most of London. Meanwhile, old rivalries, old loves and old enemies must put feelings aside and get to the bomb despite coming up against an old but cunning adversary in the form of Bailey (remember Anthony Hopkins in his worst bad guy character and then add crazy, he’s fun stuff!)

Ernest Borgnine held out hope that he would be able to reprise his role as Henry, the records keeper, but sadly Ernest passed away in July 2012, three months prior to production. The show features an uncredited Titus Welliver in the role.

Mary Louise Parker who has a major role in Red 2, also starred in R.I.P.D. which was released the same day. She’s very funny and a great addition to Frank’s team as his love interest.

Who is not a fan of Katja (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who’s Frank’s former girlfriend and who Marvin says is “Frank’s kryptonite.”

Look for a couple of interesting items—the father in Han’s photo as a child is actually his real father. And look for the “Moon Pie” treat in the safe house as it changes from partly eaten to whole again in one scene.

And, by the way, I’ve seen a bunch of spy movies and let me tell you that ‘safe houses’ are never safe. You’d think they would have figured that out by now—safe houses in movies always have windows and doors which are easily accessed and which are always breached.

Boy, these spy guys need a few tips:

• Never buy a safe house with a window facing the street—get an inside apartment with no view—or better yet, something underground

• Decorate them up a bit, you know, if it’s going to be blown up 10 minutes after you get there, at least it could be comfortable for a couple of moments before the hail of bullets begin

• If it’s a ‘safe house,’ how come everyone knows where it is? I’m thinking the safe house could change weekly, something like speakeasies of old. Always fun to run around town looking for this week’s safe house location, and at least give the killers a bit of a run for their money.

I loved Red 2—go see it. The cast is fun, sure a couple of people die, but what’s a spy film anyway if they all lived?

I give Red 2, five reels (but then that’s me—only like the weird—you know that by now, right?)

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