Jack Bool reviews: Red 2
- Credit: PA
Back in 2010, the original Red proved to be a surprise hit. Whilst the film wasn't exactly innovative, it was great to see all these acclaimed actors and actresses come together to form their own Expendables type group.
As a result, the film proved to be a surprise box-office hit, and as you can see, grossed enough to warrant a sequel. However, the question is… was a sequel really necessary?
The film see's Bruce Willis, now livingly peacefully alongside his girlfriend, played Mary Louise Parker. But as you can imagine that tranquil atmosphere doesn't last very long, when it becomes apparent that a portable nuclear devise must be shut down, before it falls into the hands of the wrong people. Therefore, Bruce Willis reforms his old group RED, to track down and terminate the devise.
Whilst I don't recall many of the elements inside the original Red, I do remember enjoying that film. It was an entertaining popcorn flick, released at the time when cinema becomes serious, with potential Oscar contenders taking much of the spotlight. However, when I initially heard that a sequel was in development, I was quite shocked. Because let's be honest, Red isn't really the type of film that warrants a sequel. I don't think anyone left the first film begging for another instalment, but as far as I'm concerned if it entertained me, I was happy and that's exactly what this sequel did, it entertained me.
Now of course, arguably the biggest pleasure with both of these films is the cast. This time round we see the recurring faces of Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker and Helen Mirren all returning to portray their respective characters. As well as having new additions such as Catherine Zeta Jones, Anthony Hopkins and Byung-hun Lee adding to an already stellar line-up, and as a result, there is not one bad performance in the entire film, but with these people involved… would you really expect anything to go wrong? If I was to single anyone out in particular, it would have to be the legendary Anthony Hopkins, with a special mention also going to Mary-Louise Parker, who I thought was equally as brilliant in the more comedic, sidekick type role.
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Whilst the pacing can be slightly off, the film is expertly shot, with the action sequences being very well cinematised. Thankfully, I don't recall a single use of shaky-cam and in a 2013 action movie that can prove to be a bit of a rarity. As I said there cannot be a single complaint performance wise and whilst the plot is totally unoriginal and very predictable, it somehow works with the tone of the film.
That being said, whilst the first film had a wickedly, sharp sense of humour, this sequel is lacking in that department. It's not a complete travesty, but I didn't find myself laughing as much as I would have liked to. Sure, as an audience member I chuckled here and there, but there was never a time when I felt the need to laugh out loud, and seeing as the humour in the original film was one of the aspects that I recall enjoying the most, for it to be lacking in this sequel was kind of disappointing.
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But nevertheless, Red 2 is a solid follow-up to original film. It's well-acted and the chemistry everyone shares is unprecedented. Sure, it's not a barrel of laughs or well-paced for that matter, but the final act and set pieces more than make-up for it.