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Movie Review: Red 2


Brazenly unashamed...
ISHAN RAYCHAUDHURI | New Delhi, July 25, 2013 16:23
Tags : Red 2 | Dean Parisot | Bruce Willis |

Red 2 is all about devious plots, contract killers, cold war subterfuge, nuclear weapons and men called frogs. What? Only the last part will signal the fact that it is a comedy.

In fact, it is a gentle comedy, while remaining, at its heart, an all out action film. Think Die Hard mixed with The Heat.

Now, for those in the know, Red is actually an adaptation of the comic book of the same name. Comic book movies have become quite a bit serious these days. Dark, melancholy, self doubting, brooding enigmas. Sure, we all absorbed Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy with eager breath and Zack Snyder delivered the year’s most intelligent blockbuster (so far) with his Superman slowly searching for and finally finding himself through being a fisherman in Man of Steel. But are we really bothered if Tony Stark is having great internal strife in Iron Man 3? Do we want to know about his nightmares and panic attacks?

We just want to see some of the old getting-punched-through-buildings and plots which ask us to deposit our brains in the safety locker outside the theatre. Remember the Angelina Jolie starrer Salt? Remember how it showed us a great story line without being cerebral? Like a giant dumb puppy?

Red 2, however, doesn’t have much of a plot to go on and the director, Dean Parisot, realising that, keeps things moving fast.

Nonetheless, the film has a stellar cast with top acting talent; however nothing is done to challenge their prowess. The Bruce Willis action sequences roll for the umpteenth time and by the time they are over, we are glad that they are.

He seems so bored in fact with walking through bomb blasts and fires untouched, that he hardly even breaks a smile. Here the others – John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Lee Byung-hun, Anthony Hopkins, and Helen Mirren really shine through and give the film some texture. The screenplay by Jon and Erich Hoeber, sometimes smart, usually takes an obligatory path instead of trotting on new ones.

Red 2 being a sequel to the 2010 film, Red, fails to do anything which adds to the inconsequential, but ridiculously funny first. Whereas the story could have gone into the depths of the characters this time, it brazenly fleets over them and fails to give the audience a reason to emote with them.

That said, saving the world from a horrific nuclear blast is something which is inherently interesting. Throw in a bit of the cold war and MI6, crazy genius scientists and Iranians, you have a hot potpourri. Bringing in some great actors whom we know very well makes it a film you would want to like. Even the comedy is pretty well timed.

Whenever they could, even between loud gunfights, they have sneaked in a funny dialogue or action. These mini comic scenes stop the film from taking itself too seriously and I am glad it doesn’t. Imagine if a lackluster plot tries to be self aware… That’s like watching Olympus Has Fallen with Rastafarians taking over the White House. No, never!

Red 2 is one of those films which you really want to like but end up with a meh feeling thanks to the script and sequences. The first one was cheerfully ridiculous; this one is just brazenly unashamed.

Director: Dean Parisot

Cast: Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Lee Byung-hun, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren


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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017