In the interest of full disclosure, I march in the very front of the sequel-denouncing parade. Entertaining, original cinema is getting harder to come by because of audience-proven properties being squeezed for more money (come to mind Despicable Me 2, Grown Ups 2, Iron Man 3, all from this summer). I also think simply adding the number of its sequence to a title is the laziest thing a filmmaker can do to distinguish original from sequel. I suppose we have endless Rockysand Rambos to thank for that being acceptable.
However, I understand why sequels are so popular. If a movie (like a woman) takes your fancy, maybe you want to see more than what you got the first time. That is what I wanted with RED 2. The first one (out in 2010) was a fun, enjoyable little flic: great cast, great jokes, a great movie to unwind to. I thought another dose of that might do me good in these dog days of summer. Thankfully, it did what I wanted it to.
RED stands for Retired Extremely Dangerous, and the movie is about these retired CIA operatives who find themselves on the wrong side of the assassin's gun. As an action movie it would be pretty stupid, but as the comedy it is it works really well. It doesn't pretend to be anything important or special, it just provides welcome relief from things that do. That isn't to say that it isn't legitimately funny, either, or that it is just a paycheck movie for tired actors. There is no smack of adolescent crudeness or extremeness for the sake of extremeness like you might find in the Iron Mans of the world. But what right have I to say that, he's only the most lucrative movie franchise around. I guess everybody has their pet sequel, and I guess this one is mine.
RED 2 features Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Helen Mirren, Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones, and is rated PG-13 for old people swearing and shooting bad guys.
by Chase Harrison