Summit Entertainment // 2013 // 116 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // November 26th, 2013
Nursing Home Fever Dream: The Movie.
The sequel that some people were apparently asking for!
The gang from the original Red return for another squirrelly misadventure with gunfire and biologically impossible physical shenanigans. Frank Moses (Bruce Willis, A Good Day to Die Hard) is enjoying his retirement from the CIA, settling in with his incredibly annoying girlfriend (Mary Louise-Parker, Weeds). But when government killers come knocking once more, he's again pressed into duty. The mission this time: a race for a nuclear bomb, hidden in Russia, and promising big-time destruction in the hands of the wrong crowd. Moses is joined by pals Marvin (John Malkovich, Con Air) and the lethal Victoria (Helen Mirren, The Debt) in this winner-take-all quest. Meanwhile, I hate this stupid movie.
Red 2 is painful. Painful. I'm all for big, loud, dumb action movies, especially of the summer popcorn variety, but this brings nothing to the table. It's not funny, the action is terrible, and it drags on and on.
Look, at its core, Red 2 is a comedy. It pumps out the PG-13 violence with enough verve, but the sequences are typically played for laughs. Dudes get mowed down constantly -- and as far as I can tell, all the shooting victims are American agents, which is slightly unsettling to be honest -- yet the violence never feels like anything more than kabuki. Even the finale, where the main bad guy (or girl?) gets blown to smithereens, it's preceded by a throwaway gag. Again, no problem at all with a cheeky actioner: just pick one and do a decent job on executing.
Red 2 makes good on neither. Comedy depends on Bruce Willis being wry and aloof, Malkovich being manic, Mirren juxtaposing an old lady with gunplay and Parker murdering the screen with one of the whiniest schticks I've endured in some time. Nothing really works here and even though these are all pros, the writing is flat and tired. And, seriously, Mary Louise-Parker's character is the absolute worse. Why exactly is she being taken on this world-saving mission and given responsibility? Oh, right, because she bellyaches and moans until everyone eventually relents and has her own way. What's a few millions innocent lives versus investing in ear plugs?
Allow me to repeat: I can get past lame comedy in an action/comedy if the former gets some love. This is where the comic-infused mayhem drags everything down even more -- to ridiculous points. I'm okay with Helen Mirren defying osteoporosis to engage in small arms acrobatics, but watching Bruce Willis and John Malkovich crawl out of a fiery, violent helicopter crash intact, for some reason, pissed me off. Yeah, I know, coming from someone who gave relatively decent reviews to the Transformers movies, this sounds hypocritical, but I can only have my sensibilities insulted for so long. And if you ain't giving anything in return -- even if it's as basic as listening to Peter Cullen yell orders at Autobots or something -- then feel free to take a flying leap.
Solid Blu-ray from Summit, kicking off with a slick 2.40:1, 1080p transfer that renders wrinkles and liver spots and explosions about as well as you can ask, supplemented by a rare and appreciated 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. Extras include deleted scenes, a gag reel, and a hefty multi-part documentary called "The Red 2 Experience."
Unfunny and annoying, Red 2 is about as entertaining as a prostate exam.
Guilty. Time to retire. For real this time.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Summit Entertainment
* 2.40:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 7.1 Master Audio (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English, Descriptive)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 116 Minutes
Release Year: 2013
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13
* Deleted Scenes
* Gag Reel
* DVD Copy
* Digital Copy
* UltraViolet Download
* Official Site
* Facebook Page