August 23, 2017


14° C, Light rain

Full Forecast


Advertise With Us

Hues of fun and surprise missing from Red 2

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/7/2013 (1496 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Befitting a movie about aging, retired government assassins, Red 2 is a faded incarnation of its former self.

Red was the 2010 action movie that introduced us to Frank Moses, a super-capable black-ops agent in retirement, poignantly falling in love with Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker), the woman who handled his social security cheques before all espionage hell broke loose.

Mary-Louise Parker, Bruce Willis and John Malcovich.

Ph: Jan Thijs

� 2013 Summit Entertainment, LLC.  All rights reserved.


Mary-Louise Parker, Bruce Willis and John Malcovich. Ph: Jan Thijs � 2013 Summit Entertainment, LLC. All rights reserved.

Helen Mirren.

Helen Mirren.

Catherine Zeta-Jones

Catherine Zeta-Jones

Frank once again is obliged to "get the band back together" when he and his unstable confederate Marvin (John Malkovich) are targeted by a ruthless government assassin (Neal McDonough) intent on tracking an insidious portable weapon of mass destruction known as Nightshade.

The case takes them all over the globe -- Paris, London, Moscow -- a glamorous treat for Sarah, who is not thrilled with Frank's attempts to live a normal middle-class life of backyard barbecues and Costco runs.

But Sarah is obliged to rethink the sexy international spy game when Frank crosses paths with Katya (Catherine Zeta-Jones), a Russian vamp who shares a lurid history with Frank. Much more palatable (to both Sarah and the movie audience) is Victoria (Helen Mirren), a regal assassin possessing the beauty of a mature English rose with thorns that take the form of powerful automatic weapons.

It turns out everyone is searching for Edward Bailey (Anthony Hopkins), the dotty inventor of the Nightshade device who has been rendered even crazier by decades spent in government captivity.

Frank springs Bailey and the hunt intensifies, with South Korean contract killer Han (Byung Hun Lee) especially eager to inflict damage upon Frank after suffering a past betrayal.

Director Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest) does a reasonable job of combining outsized action with sardonic humour, carrying over the running gags from the first film. (Yes, Marvin is paranoid, but his conspiracy claims are invariably correct.)

Yet the movie feels off. Some of this may have to do with Willis's recent tendency to squander his action-movie cred on anything that comes his way. (The Expendables? G.I. Joe?!) Part of it has to do with the blas© approach to violence, which reaches especially disturbing levels given the movie's drive to shatter the homicidal innocence of Parker's Sarah.

The first Red seemed to come from nowhere and was all the more enjoyable for its depiction of aging spies still on top of their game.

The element of surprise is gone from the sequel, and more than anything, that makes Red 2 a shade off.

Read more by Randall King.


Advertise With Us


Updated on Friday, July 19, 2013 at 7:51 AM CDT: changes headline, replaces photo, adds fact box

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.

Photo Store

Scroll down to load more