Saturday, 17 August 2013

275, Red 2

Back in October 2010 (Blog 68, RED) I raved about the prequel to this instalment, stating it was a bit slow to get going but once the story actually picked up a bit of pace it was one hell of a movie  well, for RED 2 they listened to me!

John Malkovich was by far the turning point of the first movie, hilarious on screen and was a well need injection of comedy from the quite mundane Willis and in this new offering - Malkovich is back to his witty best from the opening scene meaning that his movie doesn't need anytime at all to get up to speed - it starts well and truly in 6th gear!

Willis is still with his call centre girlfriend Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) and although he is yearning after the simple retired life, Parker now has a taste from the action, far removed from her 'old' boring life and Malkovich's arrival prompts her to immediately air on the side of adventure and she laps up the new threat that sees Willis and Malkovich framed for an old undercover Op gone bad.

Now hunted by MI6 and most prominently, assassin sniper Helen Mirren (back in her original role) who of course - calls ahead to warn her old comrades of her new assignment and new super assassin Han Cho Bai (Byung-Hun Lee from G.I Joe fame) you have the recipe for a great action spy movie with laughs to boot.

For me - the best thing about sequels is you don't need to take any time introducing the audience to the original characters, allowing for a far quicker lead into the movie - of course there will be new faces, but they can be seamlessly fed in as required.

In this, Brian Cox is back albeit with the absence of Morgan Freeman but a great addition is the apparently senile, aged Professor Bailey (Anthony Hopkins) who is responsible for the original Op / weapons design and holed up in a mental ward, Willis and his band of merry men have to bust him out to get to the bottom of what they are accused of but things don't go entirely to plan!

The other nice extra is the role of Katja (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who plays the Russian spy and an ex girlfriend of Willis which goes down great with current squeeze Parker when it appears after all these years - Katja is still Frank's 'Kryptonite' and the banter between the two ladies is brilliant in its awkwardness.

No plot spoilers from me on this one.  There are plenty of twists and turns that should keep you guessing and as with the first movie, everyone plays their parts to a tee - Mirren & Malkovich especially but as before - Willis just seemed to hold up me being to state that everyone was fantastic.

My recommendation - you will enjoy this movie far more if you've seen the first, purely because it explains how everyone came to be 'Retired - Extremely Dangerous' and also the meeting of Willis & Parker is key to understanding their relationship in the 2nd movie.  If you manage to stay wake for the first 45 minutes of the first movie you will enjoy the rest and most importantly, Red 2 will be far more enjoyable for you.

Lots of Malkovich laughs, Willis Action and Mirren as the adorable Assassin - what could be better?