Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wednesday Movie Night: Red 2 (2013)

Just say no to sequels. Red 2 is based off a comic, so it was only destined to have another sequel follow in it's path. The first Red was solid. Nothing spectacular, and it didn't reinvent the wheel. I thought it summed up any and everything that could be said about the lives these people lead though. Red 2 tries to expand where nothing can be expanded on though. The characters are less funny, the plot pointless, the guest appearances endless, and Bruce Willis gets paid to be himself.

Summary: After a viral video is leaked, Frank Moses finds himself tied to a nuclear device, and it's dangers that it has caused. He is out to dispel his ties to the device, but first he has to find the missing device. Again he enlists his fellow operatives, Marvin and Victoria, along with his girlfriend, Sarah to help him scope it out in other countries. It isn't going to be easy because along with trying to find a missing weapon they are being hunted by others. It seems Frank's retirement has different ideas.

Acting: Bruce Willis returns along with the rest of the cast minus Morgan Freeman. They also add some additional faces like Catherine Zeta Jones, Anthony Hopkins, and Byung-Hun Lee. While the movie is filled with people who can act, everyone feels very forced in their parts. It's like it's trying too hard to make the character dynamic and the story work as it did in the first. Bruce Willis also just doesn't have an interesting enough character with Frank Moses to keep pulling it off, and his relationship with Mary Louise Parker's Sarah, was enough for the first movie without having to expand her need for adventure in the second movie. I think Sarah's character could have underwent a major change in the second movie where she could kick more butt without having to seem like she still was just trying to be apart of the in crowd. John Malkovich's character, Marvin, is a huge disappointment as well. Everything funny about him is just drained in this movie, and well Helen Mirren is still good as Victoria, but it doesn't do enough to salvage the movie.

Filming: The movie also tries to copy cat much of the creativity of the first movie with the new director leading it, Dean Parisot. The transitions get very comic book like, and while they are cool, they just don't do it near as smoothly as the first, and have a completely different vibe. The action is still rampant, and for people who like their fulfillment of action that is still available in this one, and even in a stronger dose. The movie relies on some comedy that works sometimes, but overall it doesn't develop the characters drastically from the last movie.

Plot: The plot is basically dull. I just couldn't ever get into the suspense and action the movie was trying to build. The first one seemed a bit more complex, and a lot more fun. Plus, the actors just seemed to have more fun. From the first few minutes in I could already tell there was a very forced vibe to this one. Also, this music lacks a lot of the great soundtrack that made the previous come to life. The score is so generic to action movies. This takes away from the vibe of the plot as well. If you enjoyed the comedy of the first that is still here, but more prominently conveyed through Sarah. Marvin looses a lot of what made him the funnest character to watch, and Victoria is still good, but it's not new anymore.

Red 2 is okay if you want some of the action that the first one had, but it lacks a lot in what made the first one of the better action movies in the year it was released. The whole vibe can be summed up as forced. The actors still try, besides Bruce Willis, who is just as dull as ever, but there are some comedic moments, but overall this movie requires a whole lot less investment from the viewer.

Rating 4.5 of 10.

Red 2 (2013) on IMDb

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