Now you may be wondering why an action adventure film such as RED 2 is being reviewed here. I have my reasons, not the least of which is a fairly major plot point being rather science fiction-ey.
I really loved the first film. A lot. So, while I was excited when I heard they were making a sequel, I was also a bit nervous. Most directors and film companies have a pretty poor record when it comes to making sequels which are as good as the first film.
In this case, my fears were thankfully ill-founded. This film was a rollicking good time for start to finish. In fact, if I was to give any criticism of this film, it would be in only two things: there was too much action without enough “rest time” to allow the audience to recover, and I was a little put off by how Frank (Willis) acted around Sarah (Parker). It got a little old after a bit, and I thought most of the issues raised had been resolved in the first film.
That said, all the witty banter I fondly recalled from the first film was back, in spades. All the characters felt like old friends (dangerous friends, mind you), and the three additional secondary character introduced fit right into the thick of it all and didn’t slow down the film a bit.
My favorite of the new characters was Dr. Bailey, played to the hilt by Anthony Hopkins. His character was just so much fun, and I imagine Hopkins had a jolly good time playing him. He did an excellent job.
I also enjoyed the infusion of Asian martial arts and fighting into the film through Byung-Hun Lee. It really expanded the cast to be from all over the world, and Lee carried his own in the film. His character was exciting and over-the-top, just like every other character.
As I mentioned at the beginning, a fairly major plot point slots this into a science fiction slot, but the science fiction element is pretty minor. It gave me a good excuse to review this wonderful film, however, and I highly recommend you go see RED 2, especially if you enjoyed the first film. This one is a keeper!
Release Date: July 19, 2013 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (brief scene drinking vodka, brief mention of LSD and PCP)
Language: 3 (regular expletives, including deity)
Nudity: 1 (very brief, male shown from the back from the buttocks up)
Sexuality: 1 (a lot of innuendo and flirting)
Violence: 4 (a lot of gunfights, explosions, stabbing, a lot of death, though no gore and very little blood)