It couldn’t be, could it? A sequel that surpasses the original? The Retired and Extremely Dangerous crew are back – well, most of them – and this time they’re older, wiser and funnier. So is the film. Loosely adapted from Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner’s graphic novel, Red 2 has a better story, punchier action scenes and a wittier script. Whereas the first film seemed to find its cast of former golden oldie CIA operatives hilarious in itself, Red 2 works a little harder for the laughs.
Sure, it still has a larky feel about it but the joke is better told, particularly in the early action sequences, which feature several creative ways to dispatch the baddies. Perhaps that’s the result of comedy director Dean Parisot joining the team, alongside veteran actors Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Anthony Hopkins, Mary-Louise Parker, Helen Mirren and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Parker seemed like an afterthought in the first film, but her ditzy schtick works here as she enthusiastically joins boyfriend Frank (Willis) on his dangerous mission, scuppering their safety at every turn.
This time Frank and Marvin must battle a cavalcade of assassins and terrorists and find a nuclear bomb before anyone else as they tear through London, Paris and Moscow at breakneck pace. In other words, it’s your typically outrageous action-adventure plot, but with such a talented cast at the helm it’s easy to buy into. Silly but unapologetic entertainment.
7 out of 10