Review: Red 2

Good day all. It’s time for another movie review. As you have read, or experienced yourself this summer, this year has not been the summer of blockbuster that Hollywood had hoped. Actually, it’s been the summer of very expensive bombs.

Some of these movies have been so bad, that if the military were to use them, they would be classified as a war crime. I am happy to say that my latest venture to the theater was a much better experience then on some previous occasions. This weekend, I went with the Angry Brother In-law to see Red 2. For those of you who don’t know, RED stands for Retired; Extremely Dangerous.

This is the sequel to RED. (The hint that this is a sequel is the name, RED 2. Usually a 1 would come first) It takes place a few months after the conclusion of the fist movie. Now, spoilers will be appearing, so bail out now!

Still here?

You’ve been warned…sucker!

The film starts out with Frank Moses and girlfriend Sarah Ross shopping in Costco. Frank has gone all domestic and Sarah is bored to tears. She’s wondering what happened to the exciting man from RED. The answer is simple. Frank is determined to protect her and provide a normal life. This is a relationship heading for the rocks even faster then the Costa Concordia1 Just then, up pops Marvin Boggs, brilliantly played by John Malkovich ((John Gavin Malkovich)). Marvin is a very paranoid person, due to people trying to kill him and being the subject of a mindo control experiment where he was fed daily doses of LSD2 for 11 years.

He tell Frank that something has popped up on the internet and that he thinks someone is going to come after them. Sarah overhears Marvin and Frank talking and instantly perks up. She sees a chance for more excitement. Frank will have none of it, utterly determined to protect Sarah. Marvin drives off and as he leaves the parking lot, his SUV explodes.

We next see Sarah and Frank at Marvin’s funeral. Frank thinks Marvin is faking his death again and jabs him with a pin. Marvin doesn’t react. Frank is then asked to say a few words, and breaks up as he describes Marvin as the best bomb builder he has ever known. As Frank and Sarah leave the church, a pair of SUV’s pull up and Feds come for Frank. He tells Sarah head for their safe house, and is cuffed by the agents and taken in for interrogation.

As Frank is being questioned about Project Nightshade, a secret plan to smuggle a nuke into the Kremlin3 during the cold war. While the questioning is going on, a new player named Jack Horton enters the facility and starts killing everyone there. Frank is his target. Frank manages to escape and take out most of Horton’s team when the wall of the building is blown open and in walks Marvin. The two of them meet Sarah and escape.

As they drive away, Sarah hears noises coming from the back of the car. Marvin has kidnapped an army officer who has information they need and has hit him with three tabs of LSD and dumped some rats on him to loosen him up. From him they find out that they need to talk to “The Frog.” As they are getting ready to go, Victoria calls them to tell Frank that she has been ordered to kill all three of them. They also find out that another enemy of Frank’s, a top contract killer named Han Cho-Bai has also been hired to kill them.

Frank and company give Han the slip by stealing his private jet and fly to Paris. When they arrive in Paris, they encounter a Russian named Katya, with whom Frank had had a relationship with years earlier. Sarah instantly hates her and wants to kill her. Katya is also looking for Nightshade and together they go after The Frog. A wild chase ensues, and they eventually catch him. They take him back to his apartment and threaten to torture him. Sarah looks like she is going to be sick over what will happen to The Frog and she begs him to help. He agrees to help her and gives her a key to a safe deposit box.

Frank, who is having a bit of a disagreement with Sarahm and Marvin head down a side street after she takes their cab and leaves them. Up pops Han who opens up on them with a Dillon Minigun. He misses of course and Frank and Marvin make their escape. They finally meet up with Sarah after tricking Katya and find out that the man who built Nightshade is alive and being held by MI6 in a secure insane asylum in London. They fly Han’s plane to England and encounter Victoria. She is standing in the road with a sniper rifle looking at them. Marvin admits he called her because he couldn’t stand not knowing when she wold show up. They back away from her in a Land Rover and Victoria fires on them. The next scene is the Rover in a ditch on fire with Sarah and Victoria talking. Victoria has arranged with Marvin to fake their deaths so they can get at the scientist, Dr. Edward Bailey and find out where the bomb is hidden.

They sneak into the asylum, and find Dr. Bailey, played by Anthony Hopkins, and he is madder then a hatter. Frank takes him to the plane Victoria stays behind and gives herself up to MI6. Once in Russia they go to the original Safe House Frank had set up for Project Nightshade. It hasn’t changed at all.

Now, I’m going to stop here. I really want you to go see this movie. The Angry BiL and I both were laughing hysterically during this film. I didn’t see the first one in the theater, but I almost always watch it when it come on TV. The actors just gel perfectly, and in this sequel, managed to top the original. Yes, this movie is better then the first one. John Malkovich took the paranoid Marvin, who was utterly cracked in the first movie and ramped him up further without making a cartoon character out of him. This is both a testament to Malkovich as well as the writers and directors. Being able to grow the character of Marvin took a lot of work and they pulled it off.

Mary-Louise Parker’s portrayal of Sarah Ross, who is determined to live life to the fullest and show she can be just like the others is even better then her portrayal in RED. Sarah, who is dealing with Franks overbearing wish for her to be safe, has Marvin on her side initially, followed by Victoria, (Helen Mirren) later on. Marvin gives her a gun, and in proving to Frank that she is ready, has an accidental discharge.

Later in the movie, as Frank begins to understand that they both need to grow, gives Sarah her own pistol. This is a bit of a turning point for Sarah, and you can see it in Mary-Louise’s portrayal. She is all excited that Frank is bringing her into his world and is looking forward to “Being one of the gang and pulling her weight.”

When Sarah is sent in to subvert a member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, she does it with gusto. In the Iranian’s office, she is telling him what she needs according to the plan, when they are interrupted. It’s at this point it gets real for Sarah when she is forced to use her gun to kill the intruder. Mary-Louise shows the sudden reaction that Sarah has when she suddenly realizes that this isn’t a game and that she has actually killed someone. It’s all been a bit of unreality for her, and it hits her like a ton of bricks. She rips into the other Iranian to get what he came for, which she does.

This part, along with other segments are interspersed throughout the movie. The director balanced both the action, comedy as well as seriousness in such a way that it just worked. Not many directors can pull this off and quite a few of those that try, fail, as many of this summer’s box office disasters have shown.

This movie is right at the top of my summer list, next to Ironman 3. I must insist that you see this movie as soon as possible…or else.


~The Angry Webmaster~

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 1.00 out of 5)


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  1. MS Costa Concordia []
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