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April 15, 2024

RED 2: Movie Review

By Bernie Pilarski

Bernie said: Holy Moses, it's another RED movie. I don't know what Bruce Willis is like in real life. Maybe he's a jerk, maybe he's a really nice guy. He doesn't get arrested much, he's not prone to flying off the handle and drunkenly bad-mouthing people, I've never heard of him getting thrown off of planes for being stupid, and there appears to no reason for him to enter any kind of posh rehab center. In fact, the only thing I've actually heard about him is that other actors love doing Bruce Willis movies because he's a lot of fun to work with.

That's kind of the way I feel about his movies. I can't really say any of his films are, like, "the best movie I've ever seen, man." However, Bruce is one of the very few actors whose films I will go see primarily because he is in the film, and I don't much care what kind of film it is -- could be a Die Hard movie, or it might be The Whole Nine Yards, or Moonrise Kingdom, or even The Expendables. That's right, I went to see one of the worst movies ever made because it said it had Bruce Willis in it, and it did have Bruce Willis in it, but only for about a minute, and then the rest of the movie really, really, really sucked.

Bruce seems to have a work ethic like that of Sean Connery, another actor whose films I will almost always go see because he's in them. Both men genuinely seem to like making movies, and when they are the star of the film, that's great, and if what they've got is a bit part, that seems to be cool with them, and they do their bits with the same enthusiasm as they do their leads.

If you asked me what Hollywood personality I would like to just hang around with, it would be Bruce. Or maybe Sean. Assuming of course that Helena Bonham-Carter wasn't available for a drink, or perhaps a late dinner. Breakfast, maybe. Just sayin'.

In RED 2, Bruce reprises his role as Frank Moses, a retired spy whose past keeps catching up with him in the form of people who want to kill him. He finds it all a bit tedious, but he goes about trying not to get killed. In the process, he hooks up with his old spying buddies, all of whom are also dealing with the issues of retirement in various ways. Back from the first movie are the paranoid, LSD-damaged Marvin (John Malkovich), the smooth and deadly beauty Victoria (Helen Mirren), and Frank's ditsy love interest Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker). In this story, British intelligence MI-6 has recruited Victoria to kill Frank (which she won't of course), and some arm of the US government has sent a really nasty guy out to kill Frank, (and he'd love to if he could) and still somebody else in the Far-East hires the best contract killer in the world, Han Jo-bae (Byung-hun Lee), to kill Frank. Han holds a personal grudge against Frank and would gladly kill Frank for free. Everybody is trying to kill Frank because of his supposed involvement many years ago in a secret operation called Nightshade.

Now it so happens that Russia is also interested in Nightshade, and they send Katya, a femme fatale who "knew " Frank in the past, to track it down. Katya is really pretty irrelevant to the story except as an irritant to Sarah, but on the other hand, as played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, she's not bad to look at. Who is relevant to the story, however, is Dr. Bailey (Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant weapons designer who Frank was sure he saw killed in Moscow more than thirty years ago. Turns out he wasn't, but instead was held in a high security asylum in London all that time. If Frank and his friends are going to figure out what's going on, they will have to spring Dr. Bailey, which they do, but he is not what he seems to be.

RED 2 is a lot of fun, nonsensical, fluffy fun, but fun. It is a sequel, and as such, there is a fair amount of humor that might not make much sense if you haven't seen the original, but if you have seen the original and liked it, you'll definitely like this one. There was more story in the first movie, more laughs in the second. And don't worry about how this will play at the Oscar's -- it won't. But like Bruce himself, if there was a movie out there that I would want to hang around with for a couple hours, it would be RED 2.

RED is in our DVD collection and is a regular view. No doubt RED 2 will find its way there, too.

Article © Bernie Pilarski. All rights reserved.
Published on 2013-07-22
1 Reader Comments
12:24:32 AM
And Die Hard is my family Christmas must see movie - kid ya not. I get it one of my fave Bruce Willis movies is Fifth Element - He has this enjoyment of working that rings solid. I'll be seeing it sooner or later.
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