Who doesn’t love a geriatric caper flick? Going In Style, Stand Up Guys, Tough Guys—well, okay, actually those films were not very well received, but the film Red was, so here we have a sequel.
And Red 2 is probably better than the original, or at least more fun. The original had a few (granted very few) pretensions to being serious, whereas this one is outright silliness. Everyone’s back from the original, unless they died in the original, though that hardly seems like it should matter much. Oh, and of course Ernest Borgnine didn’t quite make it to play his part again (which alas was to be a much bigger, action-y role).
The Boy wasn’t particularly impressed. I think it was too silly for him. And he doesn’t have any particular attachment to the actors, except maybe Bruce Willis.
Bruce makes a fine straight man to John Malkovich and has good chemistry with Mary-Louise Parker, who’s just adorable as the unprepared girl thrust (by her own devices) into the world of super spy-dom.
New to the proceedings are Anthony Hopkins, doing a nice turn as the crazy nuclear physicist. I’m beginning to think he was just sick for most of the 2000s, because his more recent roles have been a lot better (well, Hitchcock and this were pretty good).
And a new Asian baddie in the form of Byung-hun Lee shows up, in a role you’d sorta expect Jet Li to show up for.
Also, Catherine Zeta Jones appears as the super seductive femme fatale. To which I say, sadly: Meh. The last ten years have not been kind to her, and she looks unnatural in this film. Parker is supposed to be intimidated by her, which is certainly understandable the way she’s portrayed here, but even at five years older, Parker is a lot cuter and more appealing.
Pains me to even write it, as Jones was the most glamorous of starlets in the ‘90s, and seemed wildly talented to boot. I guess you can’t smoke and drink and be crazy and not expect it to take a toll.
It actually made me sad, as did her appearance in Side Effects.
I digress. It’s a fun flick. Dumb, sure. But good acting, good chemistry, and really not any dumber than any other spy flick, and also not taking itself seriously. Malkovich steals the show.