Quixote's corner review: RED 2

Quixote's corner review: RED 2

Today in the corner, Zimmer frame in hand, those old codgers of RED 2. Hit the jump for my review!



Geriatric action stars return in RED 2. Willis and Co. must track down a cold war relic hidden somewhere is Russia before the person who is framing them as terrorists has a chance to find it and set it off.

The first film had its charms and an all-star cast. And for people over 60 they showed us they could kick some serious ass, so with it’s moderate success comes the inevitable sequel. The trick then was what new situation could you put these pensioners in that would still showcase the ageless ass kickery. Its relatively fitting that the theme of the first film really was that even though something is old doesn’t mean it can’t still be useful or even dangerous, so delving into the past would be a natural fit.

Bruce Willis and his girlfriend Mary-Louise Parker have all but lost the spark to their relationship, a common issue with modern couples when one of them wants to hang up the gun holster and the other creams herself at the thought of danger. The chemistry between the two does seem to (probably unintentionally) fall flat until fate intervenes. Enter the Superb John Malkovich, reprising his role as eccentric Marvin, who has learned they are being framed as terrorists and they are now going to be eliminated.

New additions to the line up include Catherine Zeta Jones, who besides putting extra strain on the Willis/Parker relationship adds rather little to the film, and the every brilliant Sir Anthony Hopkins. Hopkins is the key to finding the lost device that the plot hinges on, as he is the ‘Da Vinci of death’ who created before being locked up in an insane asylum. Playing the insane must be a ball if Hopkins’ performance is anything to go by!

As it should be, the action really is the star, and is handled superbly by Dean Parisot, the director. Who would not get a thrill of seeing Helen Mirren duel wield handguns while spinning wildly in circles in a supercar? But the stand out performance for sheer badass destruction belongs to Byung-Hun Lee. He plays an assassin of such world-class calibre that even when handcuffed to a fridge door can still take out an entire swat team by himself, with jaw dropping martial arts prowess.

Each character has their moment to bring something unique to the screen. Malkovich shines when not saying anything at all and can show case his facial features, Mirren has a wonderful turn as a mad woman before slipping right back into death machine mode, Parker can show homicidal glee like no one else, Lee can probably kill you with anything placed in his hands, and Hopkins does posh British mental patient with such ease I expect his trailer has a straight jacket ready for him between takes. The only one who falls flat would be the one you would expect the most from in an action flick: Willis. Although he does use Pringles in a creative way at one point early on, the rest of the time he does seem to have phoned this performance in.

The striking difference this time round from its predecessor, much to my delight, was that the comedy aspect was ramped up to eleven! Although RED was light between action set pieces, RED 2 surpassed the original by being hilarious in places, mostly thanks to Malkovich and Parker being on top form, something most sequels never manage.

What did you think? Leave a comment below, or go to www.quixotescorner.com for more articles!
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