Ah yes, Red 2. Or, as it’s otherwise known, the place where actors go when they realize they’ve spent most of their careers being serious (well, apart from Bruce Willis) and decide that they want to mess about playing with guns for two hours. One presumes that, on the other end of the scale, Jean-Claude Van Damme is currently preparing to take the lead in Hamlet.
In this sequel to the inexplicably popular comic book adaptation of a few years ago, Frank Moses (Willis) is living in retirement with his girlfriend Sarah. Enter Marvin (John Malkovich, about the best thing here), who claims that he’s being hunted. Soon Marvin dies (at least for the moment) and Moses finds himself embroiled in a plot involving contract killers such as Victoria (Helen Mirren, which does make you go ‘My, the Queen of England has suddenly turned awfully violent all of a sudden.’), a nuclear bomb and a mad scientist played by Anthony Hopkins.
Much like the original movie, you get the impression that almost all are taking part because they can do something that their grandchildren will think is cool. There are lots of action sequences which are done well, though everything seems rather standard, and that’s the biggest trouble with the film. It all seems rather toothless (a bit like much of the cast are on their way to being... Too cruel?) The first film was entertaining nonsense but one got a creeping sense of satire on the action genre. It was very slight, but the playful nature just about made the film enjoyable. Here – despite the acting talent on offer – it’s too straight and by-the-numbers. It’s a shame, as the film promises so much more than it delivers.
This is a popcorn movie all the way and on that it succeeds. But the rest is a little lacking.