Frank (Bruce Willis) and Marvin (John Malkovich) have to reunite the old team once again when they are falsely listed as participants in smuggling a sought after nuclear weapon into Russia bit by bit during the cold war. The world and his misses is out to kill Frank, including an old nemesis and not to mention the best contract killer in the world Han Cho Bai (Byung-hun Lee) and his old friend Victoria (Helen Mirren).
Red 2 is bigger, better and much funnier than the first film and the change in director appears to have been a good choice. Dean Parisot, who directed Red 2 but wasn’t involved in the original film, has a good eye for comedy and brings fresh imagination to the film which could easily have been stale in the wake of the first. The comedy is top notch but the film doesn’t lose anything in its quest to be funnier; the action and special effects are fantastic and the casting is once again impeccable. Byung-hun Lee (I Saw the Devil) is a genius casting choice for the part of best-contract-killer-in-the-world Han Cho Bai and Anthony Hopkins as Dr Bailey, nutty creator of the nuclear weapon, is another great choice. Catherine Zeta Jones was perhaps the best new addition to the film playing ‘Frank Moses kryptonite’ Katja, a top Russian secret agent who is also in search of the nuclear weapon, named ‘Nightshade’. Zeta Jones is stunning and charismatic and is perfect Frank Moses kryptonite. She’s a formidable femme fatale and fits into the cast nicely. And of course we all know that the original cast (Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren and Mary Louise Parker) was brilliant from the start.
The film boasts some stunning visual effects and action scenes, the scene with Helen Mirren in a sports car thrusting her guns out of both windows and spinning around is fantastic; the car chases are brilliantly choreographed. No expense has been spared in the making of the film and everything is bigger and better than before. There’s more weapons, more fighting, more action and a much bigger cast, everything about the film is a step up from the first and a very exciting watch.
It’s refreshing to see a film like this where equal care has been taken in each and every aspect. The comedy has been fine tuned, the script is very witty and clever (my favourite line being Helen Mirren‘s ‘Hello I have an appointment’ as she punches a doorman in the face) the casting is beyond genius and it’s full of thrilling, well choreographed action. No aspect of the film has gone under nourished and nothing has suffered as a result of the new director; if anything Red 2‘s success comes from the change in director, who managed to keep the film exciting, current and accessible to all when it could’ve easily been the other way around (as many sequels are).
The perfect summer action movie and a great one for comedy lovers too, Red 2 is one of those rare sequels that is as good as, if not better than, the original film. Everything has been stepped up and perfected, including the casting, and it’s an all round good fun, action packed, laugh out loud romp. Fans of the original film will not feel let down.