Friday, August 2, 2013

Man on Film: Red 2

It's weird being the youngest people in the theater by at least 20 years, but when TSLF and I went to Red 2 Friday afternoon, that was definitely the case. This was TSLF's choice, as she really enjoyed the first entrant in the series. That isn't to make like I was an unwilling participant. When I gave threw out the option of going to a movie when she got home from work, I did so under the unspoken assumption that, when I let her choose the movie, she'd choose Red 2.

Red 2 is a far cry from a groundbreaking film, but if you saw the first one and liked it, you're probably going to like this one as well. Bruce Willis miraculously isn't in mailing it in mode, something that has occurred with far too much frequency of late. Anthony Hopkins is surprisingly funny. Helen Mirren and especially John Malkovich are rock-solid. Neal McDonough takes to the role of the villain with the flair that anyone who's been paying attention for the past ten years or so has come to expect. Byung-Hun Lee, Mary-Louise Parker, and Catherine Zeta-Jones fill out the rest of the cast sufficiently, if not spectacularly.

Dean Parisot's direction is serviceable, the action sequences are well choreographed. The script, penned by Jon and Erich Hoeber--who also wrote the first one (and the forgettable Battleship)--strikes the right tone for the action-comedy genre. Of course, the film gets by on the audience's ingrained affection for the its stars, and the bulk of the audience isn't going to take the film back home with them, thinking about it for days afterwards, but this is a perfectly passable movie in the same vein as The Losers that you'll likely end up watching part of more than once while it's making its way around the premium movie channel rotation.

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