Movie Review: RED (2010) and RED 2 (2013)
I decided to make a single review for these two films; after all I did get to watch the first one only a few weeks before the sequel was released in cinemas.
Anyway, these comedy-action packed films didn’t disappoint me. We’ll get to comparing the films later, but for now I would just like to appreciate the fact that these films writers were able to create a story with Bruce Willis in it which acknowledges the fact that he’s a bit old already: thus the title Retired, Extremely Dangerous. We can also talk about the Die Hard films, but I’ll save that for another post.
The cast is explosive in wonderful. I really had a lot of fun watching RED because of John Malkovich’s character: a conspiracy theory-fanatic who lives in an underground lair. You can’t blame him though, he was given LSD (unknowingly) for eleven years, and he’s still pretty badass.
I was able to appreciate Helen Mirren’s character more in RED 2 rather than in the first one - don’t get me wrong, she was badass all throughout - but because she had more screen time and her car-helicopter chase scene with Lee Byung Hun was one of my favorites.
You’d be a bit crazy if you decide watching the sequel first, because I think it will affect how you absorb the first. Here’s why: RED 2 has more cast (hello, Catherine Zeta-Jones’ bangs and Lee Byung Hun’s abs) and is more global and explosive in perspective.
The plot of RED revolves around the gang going from one state to another (picking one member each way), while trying to figure out who wants to kill them. In RED 2, the plot becomes more complicated: Bruce Willis’ and John Malkovich’s characters are being hunted by two different agencies (the CIA through Lee and the MI6 through Mirren), all the while trying to figure out why (again) they are being killed.
Anthony Hopkins’ eccentric, too predicable character enters the picture. David Thewlis is also there, and in the end (spoiler alert) Catherine Zeta Jones gets killed. Basically it’s a mish-mash of a lot of things, that’s why if you watch RED 2 before the first one, RED will become underwhelming. If you watch it the right way, it’s actually the opposite - the plot of RED is simple, but it is clean cut and clear. RED 2 decides to put in four different plots and you will feel overwhelmed by the events.
Nevertheless, both films definitely do not disappoint. All actors are wonderful and the touch of comedy and the reluctant, ass-kicking Frank Moses is fun to watch. There will be a third installment, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be the first in line to see it.