‘Red 2’: High Action in a Comedy Sequel


Back when Red came out, I gushed over it’s a hilarity with the friend who recommended it. When I learned there would be a sequel, it was a good day. Fortunately, Red 2 does not disappoint.

Red 2

Red 2 (2013) Film Review

Sarah (Mary Louise-Parker) is bored. It’s been too long since she, along with her boyfriend Frank (Bruce Willis) were on a high-stakes mission. Sarah’s taste of adventure outside of fiction inspires her, and now she wants more than weekend house projects. As a retired CIA officer, Frank saw his share of bad things but his attempts to live a normal life with Sarah don’t go well. Things get complicated when Frank’s friend and former partner Marvin (John Malkovich) reappears in their life. A classified list of names is on the Internet, Frank’s among them.

This prompts an Interpol investigation and Frank’s arrest. Naturally, Frank escapes custody, and after said escape, a price is placed on Frank’s head. More trouble arrives when MI6 also cashes in on the hit. Worse still, the assignment goes to Victoria (Helen Mirren), a former ally of Frank’s. The globe-trotting heroes again go on the run for their lives. But this time, there’s a ticking time bomb at the end.

FILM REVIEW | Red (2010)

Here’s a little story time. As we anxiously waited for the silly sponsor adds to end, my mom leaned over and said, “I think you are going to be the youngest person here.” This prompted a laugh from me because it’s true. Because of its cast, Red draws a different crowd than the apocalyptic crazy movies my peers express interest in. May I just say, it’s their loss. This movie and its predecessor is a hilarious good time in an outrageous kind of way. The script has moxie to be sure plus oh my, the cast!

What can go wrong with this line up? Between Bruce Willis’ calm, quiet, nonchalant (even in let’s-panic-because-we’re-about-to-die, dire near-death situations) Frank Moses to Malkovich’s crazy Marvin; and finally Helen Mirren’s machine-gun toting epic, there is never a dull moment. If you did see the prequel, in addition to all of the old faces, there is some new players in Red 2,and it makes the adventure more fun. The new faces include Katja (Catherine Zeta-Jones) plus Anthony Hopkins and Neal McDonough. This is only half of the reason this movie works this well.

Though it’s been done a million times before, the plot is excites. Best incentive is the return of the cast who drive the concept forward with savvy smarts and wit. While watching this, memories of the first movie assaulted me; all the small callouts to its original film makes the experience better. Sarah’s jealousy and Victoria’s sass adds character, and another priceless element is the honesty these characters have to each other. Red 2 is just good old-fashioned fun. I am not sure what else there is to say.

The stunts thrill – including a clever and funny chase sequence that involves a small VW car, a bike and a flashy sports car. Later on, we also see Victoria making use of her weapon arsenal, and in true stellar fashion, Mirren’s entrance doesn’t disappoint (the timing is impeccable). Somewhere between the gang stealing a plane and Sarah’s awkward attempts to compete with Katja, there is more excitement than any one person can gush over. One of the things that I love about this movie is all the globe-trotting. Watching as the adventure spans so many continents from adds more adventure and “betters” its first script nicely.

If you like Red, you’ll enjoy its equally entertaining sequel. I do think some of the first blush humor wears off because viewers already experienced meeting these unlikely super spies. That being said, filmmakers did it right getting back its principle cast and the comic book stills between the frames was cute, all of which endears this as one flick I’ll end up owning and enjoying repeats of – whether I am the target audience or not.

CONTENT: There are some cheeky references to an unmarried couple’s sex life [all minor], and the script has some profanity – one use of the f-word is present along with sh*t, h*ll, da*n and crudities like b*tch or a**. There’s a shot of a man naked [waist up]. There is explosions, some with deadly results – several people are shot and killed or are on the receiving end of a machine gun spray. Red 2 is PG13.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. This is definitely on my list of movies to watch! So glad to hear it's good :). I loved loved loved the first one (I barely buy DVDs these days and that one was definitely purchased), so ready to watch this one! I might need to go this weekend even. :)

    1. You can say that times two, Jamie! I LOVED Red also. It has a fabulous cast plus great humor and that makes it brilliant!

      Hope you enjoy Red 2! Let me know if you get to see it. :)

  2. Cool! I think I'll be watching this. I actually watched the first Red movie because of your review on it, and I enjoyed it a lot. :D My sisters and I had a great time fawning over Karl Urban, particularly. I'm actually interested in seeing Lee Byung-hun in this movie – I watch a lot of Korean TV and movies and recently saw him in the Korean movie: The Masquerade.

    1. Aw, neat, Fayehope! I am delighted to know that the Red review resulted in a positive viewing for you and your sisters. It is a fun franchise, isn't it!? :)

      You know while I was reviewing this, I was reminded that Karl was in the first and not the second. That being said, Lee and the rest of the new faces more than compensated for that – and in particular I liked who Lee's character became.

      Hope you enjoy the sequel, Fayehope – and thank you for sharing. :)

  3. I loved this movie! We saw it in a retirement community so the age of the audience was definitely an older lot. My husband and I sat next to a group of 6 women and they were laughing out loud just like us during the whole thing. I think this is the type of movie that transcends age and is just pure fun!

    1. Me, too, Julie! My family watched the first one and laughed our heads off. I giggled knowing that I was one of the youngest members in the audiences (there ended up being some kids there) for the sequel since my peers are so "into" the end-of-the-world movies. It's their loss. ;)

      Love your last line: This movie *is* pure fun!

  4. My family just had the opportunity to watch the first one- we loved it! My goodness, we laughed pretty much the whole thing. I loved Karl Urban in it too.

    I'm glad to see the sequel gets a good review from you- I've heard so many mixed things about it. :)

    1. Aw, yay! Glad your family enjoyed Red, Rosie – that's one my family watches often. It's a good one. :) Karl was good in that movie – alas he isn't back in the sequel, however the new character's make up for it.

      Hope your family enjoys this movie as well as the first; though some of the funny-ness has worn off (meaning, we already experienced the initial comedy of this unlikely band), it was still good. :)

  5. So glad you enjoyed it! Alas, I was out of town when it hit theaters, and now it's… gone already? Whoa. Blink and you miss these summer movies, I guess. So now I'm eagerly awaiting its arrival at Redbox :-) Thanks for the enthusiastic review — it sounds like it's loads of fun, like the first movie.

    1. Thanks, Hamlette – so am I!

      Sadly, many of the summertime flicks didn't put up the numbers studios wished for, so that meant that many didn't get a prolonged run in theaters. Hopefully this fall, there will be some better scripted movies. :)

      Hope you enjoy Red 2; even without the same "initial" funny-ness, this was a good and fun movie. :)

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