Old people do the craziest things! Well, that was sort of the theme of the original film, which found former government agents Bruce Willis and John Malkovich pulled out of their retirement to do things that Danny Glover’s character in Lethal Weapon would consider ‘beneath of man of my advanced age’.
A lot of its charm and humour came from the idea that spies would get restless in their retirement – you know, just like normal people!
This sequel perhaps wisely ditches a lot of that geriatric gaggery for fear of re-treading old ground and has instead presented us with a pretty conventional –but by no means bad—comedic spy thriller.
Now living in boring suburban bliss, former mega-operative Bruce Willis and his girlfriend Mary Louise Parker are tossed headfirst into action when the a shady branch of the CIA decides to track down a cold war WMD that he and John Malkovich were involved with back in the 70s. Now firmly in the cross-hairs of two world class assassins, the gang have to track down this weapon before Uncle Sam’s naughty stepson gets his greasy hands on it.
Their adventures take them all the way from Middle America to classic spy-guy locations like Paris, London and Moscow where they encounter characters old and new. David Thewlis plays a baddie whose central gimmick is that he loves expensive wine; Korean star Lee Byung-hun plays a contract killer who also loves expensive wine. You get the feeling that someone involved with this film on a script level must really love expensive wine.
Admittedly, the film’s plot and action are nothing exceptional. Any fun the film has comes from its solidly defined cast of characters: Malkovich is still a paranoid mess, Parker is charmingly girlish and Helen Mirren seems having a lot of fun as a gun-toting bad-ass. Even Bruce Willis, who can play a curmudgeon in his sleep (and often does), seems to be putting his back into yhis performance.
Sure, RED 2 isn’t as fresh as its predecessor, but it doesn’t really need to be. It’s simply one of those solid Friday night films you don’t have to worry about.
RED 2 is now available to buy and rent at blinkbox