Sunday, 4 August 2013

#64 RED 2

First off I have to warn you, despite the fact there's communists involved and a large portion of it is filmed in Moscow and the Kremlin, this ISN'T a sequel to Warren Beatty's 1981 movie, Reds. This in actual fact is a sequel to the 2010 comedy/action movie, RED. It's important not to get those two confused otherwise you're going to be in for a very disappointing experience. 

Starring: Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta Jones, Mary Louise-Parker, Byung-hun Lee, David Thewlis, Tim Piggot-Smith, Neal McDonough, Brian Cox and Steven Berkoff! Directed by Dean Parisot. 

Running time:116 minutes.

There's trouble in the Frank/Sarah household, where the non-violent domesticity is beginning to ruin their relationship. So when Malkovich's Marvin turns up briefly before dying, even more briefly, with news of a coming conspiracy that threatens them all with hit-squads from both the CIA and MI6 and a lethal, unstoppable Chinese assassin, the mis-matched pair are off on a spot of globe-trotting marriage guidance in search of a missing atomic device that ricochets our mismatched band of heroes from America to London, to Paris, to Moscow and back again, and again. And again.

I know, I know, I know what you're thinking. Wow, what an amazing cast! All in one film, gosh that's impressive, good grief, look! It's even got both Hannibal Lektors in it! That's a first isn't it? the plot sounds rightly potty too! More madcap-action, tongue-in-cheek adventure!  The first REDS was great fun so I bet this is going to be a hoot! And the trailer looked like fun too, didn't it? Hopkins acting loopy, somersaulting cars, gun battles, punch-ups, Kung Fu, Malkovich showing off his comedy chops again and Willis at his usual, laconic, laid-back but charismatic best!

Can't wait!

119 minutes later.

Oh. I wish I'd waited for the film makers of this to come up with a stronger story and a better director.

Lack-lustre, rather bland and unexciting really. Everyone's fun in it, apart from Willis who doesn't even bother phoning in his performance, relying in stead on one of those life-size cardboard cut-outs to do his job.

There's a real sense of blandness about this, a lack of danger or a fear that our plucky bland of heroes might fail, that's never in doubt. The villains never shot to kill (unless it's needed to advance the plot), just destroy property and they take turns to shoot while aiming high. The action is constant and repetitive and monotonous. Everyone's game for it, except for Willis who these days seems to show passion only when he's being interviewed after on press junkets for these films. 

It's not all bad, there are some funny moments, any time Helen Mirren turns up (doubly so when Brian Cox shares the screen with her), Marvin and the others discussing relationships and what Frank should be doing with Sarah and the idea that they all talk to Sarah behind Frank's back.

However, this is sadly disappointing and uninvolving. Might be more fun on DVD. 



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