"RED 2" (2013) Review
The 2010 adaptation of Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner's comic book series proved to be very popular at the box office. Yet, I was surprised that it took another three years for the sequel, "RED 2"
to be released in the movie theaters. Unless the movie in tanong is part of the bituin WARS franchise, it usually takes two years or less for a sequel to appear on the scene. "RED 2"
picks up a few years after "RED"
, which finds ex-C.I.A. agent Frank Moses trying to lead a normal life with his girlfriend, Sarah Ross. The effort seems to be a strain for both, although Frank seems to be madami successful in accepting a "normal life". Frank's former colleague Marvin Bogge interrupts this "idyllic life" sa pamamagitan ng warning Frank that people might be following them. Frank dismisses Marvin's fears before the latter drives off before his car is blown up. After Frank and Sarah attend Marvin's funeral, the former is captured sa pamamagitan ng government agents to a Yankee White Facility, where he is interrogated sa pamamagitan ng a C.I.A. operative named Jack Horton. Frank manages to escape the facility with the help of a resurrected Marvin. And the latter reveals that he and Frank were being hunted for being part of a secret operation called Nightshade, which smuggled a nuclear weapon created sa pamamagitan ng one Dr. Edward Bailey, piece sa pamamagitan ng piece into Russia back in the late 1970s or early 80s. Horton is ordered to label Frank, Marvin and Sarah terrorists to other countries. Former MI-6 assassin, Victoria Winslow informs her mga kaibigan that she has been recruited sa pamamagitan ng her former agency to kill them. She also informs them that former South Korean agent-turned-top contract killer Han Cho-Bai has been hired sa pamamagitan ng the C.I.A. to kill Frank and Marvin. With so many after them; Frank, Marvin and Sarah are forced to learn the truth about nightshade in order to clear themselves of the terrorist charge.
I had enjoyed "RED" when the movie first came out, three years ago. But if I must be honest, I did not pag-ibig it. My opinion of it grew over the years. But after seeing "RED 2", I realize that my nakakita of it will never be as high as "RED 2". The summer of 2013 seemed to be plagued sa pamamagitan ng box office flops and from what I have seen of the box office take for "RED 2" after it had been in the theaters for three weeks, it is clear that it is a flop. Once again, I am faced with a movie that I seemed to like a lot madami than the majority of moviegoers and critics. If I had been younger, I would have taken the public's rejection of the film personally. But when I think of the number of failed pelikula that I have enjoyed over the years, I have come to the conclusion that I no longer cared whether the rest of the public share my feelings for a particular movie. As far as I am concerned, I enjoyed "RED 2" very much and look pasulong to its DVD release.
As in the 2010 movie, "RED 2" featured a past operation that has come back to haunt two of its main bayani - Frank Moses and Marvin Bogges. But in "RED 2", the circumstances and plot surrounding the nightshade Operation struck me as madami plausible and better written that the covert operation featured in "RED". Even the villains' objectives struck me as a lot madami plausible. Realizing this has made me wonder why my opinion of "RED" has increased in the past three years. "RED 2" also delved madami into Frank's relationship with his Kansas City-born paramour, Sarah Ross. I found it rather amusing that the ever paranoid Marvin seemed to understand Sarah's need for action a lot better than Frank, who seemed determined to treat her as a china doll. But as Marvin pointed out - Frank is blinded sa pamamagitan ng his fear of losing Sarah. Their relationship is also tested sa pamamagitan ng Frank's reunion with a former paramour - a KGB colonel named Katya, and Sarah's talent for using her feminine wiles to deal with terrorists such as "The Frog" and a Russian Army officer at the Kremlin. Best of all, "RED 2" featured some top-notch villains - including the proficiently murderous C.I.A. agent Jack Horton and one Han Cho-Bai, viewed as the best contract killer in the world. "RED 2" also possess one of the best plot twists I have seen in some time. It certainly proved to be better than any of the plot twists featured in the 2010 movie. Jon and Erich Hoeber did a great job with a complex script.
Did I have any problems with "RED 2"? I had a little problem with Marvin's ability to fake death. Considering that he was presumably killed due to a car bomb, I was surprised that no one found the idea of a pristine body inside the coffin rather questionable . . . especially Sarah Ross. And who really had been responsible for Operation Nightshade? The C.I.A. or MI-6? Or was it a joint effort? The Hoebers' script never really made the matter clear.
The performances in "RED 2" were marvelous. Beginning with the three leads - Bruce Willis, John Malkovich and Mary-Louise Parker - and down to Titus Welliver, who madami or less gave a cameo appearance; the movie rocked with some first-rate acting. For the segundo time, Bruce Willis and Mary-Louise Parker created comic and romantic screen chemistry as the love-struck Frank Moses and Sarah Ross. Thanks to the actors' comedic skills, both did a great job in conveying the pair's relationship struggles of her boredom of being an "ordinary" couple and his penchant for being over protective. Once again, John Malkovich was marvelous as the deliciously paranoid Marvin Bogges, who in this film, also displays a talent for romantic counseling. Helen Mirren not only gave a deliciously witty performance as British assassin Victoria Winslow, she also proved that to be a bad-ass action bituin in some of the scenes in the movie's segundo half. When I had learned that Lee Byung-hun from the "G.I. JOE" had been cast in the film, I assumed his character would be a great deal like the one he had portrayed in the Hasbro film franchise. I proved to be right . . . superficially. Thankfully, the actor's portrayal of the assassin Han proved to be a great deal madami emotional and rather funny, despite being deadly.
The movie also featured an excellent performance from Neal McDonough as the very dangerous and rather cold-blooded C.I.A. agent, Jack Horton. His character's takedown of the agents at the Yankee White Facility struck me as somewhat creepy. Brian Cox reprised his role as Russian intelligence official, Ivan Simanov. He was funnier than ever - especially in one scene in which he was lovingly admiring Victoria's form as she rescued Frank, Sarah and Marvin from a Russian firing squad. Catherine Zeta-Jones gave a sly and sexy performance as Frank's paramour, Russian agent Katya. David Thewlis made a brief appearance as a techno-terrorist named "The Frog". Not only did the actor did a great job during a chase scene in Paris, he was absolutely hilarious in a scene in which "The Frog" finally surrendered to Sarah's wooing during an interrogation. The one performance that really impressed me came from Anthony Hopkins, who portrayed the scientist who first created Nightshade, Dr. Edward Bailey. Hopkins' performance struck me as strange . . . and I am being complimentary. The actor was superb in projecting Bailey's eccentricity, which developed after years of being stuck in an assylum sa pamamagitan ng MI-6 for nearly three decades. And it was quite a thrill to see him in his only scene with Brian Cox . . . especially since both actors had portrayed Hannibal Lector with great acclaim.
Box office flop or not, I cannot deny that I enjoyed "RED 2"
very much. Not only did it struck me as better than the original 2010 movie, but also proved to be one of my paborito pelikula for the summer of 2013. And I have director Dean Parisot, a great script written sa pamamagitan ng Jon and Erich Hoeber, and a fabulous cast led sa pamamagitan ng Bruce Willis to thank.