Skip to main content

Movie Review: Red 2 (2013)

Grab the popcorn and suspend your disbelief -- the retirees are back, and they're just as outrageous this time around. The first film was a blast and so is this one. Red 2 is a tongue-in-cheek action fest that uses the predictable plot as a frame for over-the-top shootings, chases, and stunts. The only jarring part was the comic-style scene/location transitions, which I found terrifying in the sequel because of the way the humans looked. Red just had postcards. It goes to show: don't change the formula!

Bruce Willis, Dame Helen Mirren, and John Malkovich are back as the Retired, Extremely Dangerous folks who regularly beat up anyone foolish enough to take them on. Mary-Louise Parker is still around as Frank's (Willis) girlfriend Sarah, and she does a great job of being girlishly enthusiastic without being annoying. A running gag in the film is how everyone -- from Malkovich's unhinged Marvin to a corpse-dissolving Victoria (Mirren) to Frank's old nemesis played by Byung-hun Lee (you will have wiped him from your memory as Storm Shadow from GI Joe) -- gives even-keeled Frank unsolicited advice about how to manage his relationship with the high-spirited Sarah. Frank tries to be a good sport about it while fending off the latest threat to their lives.

The story this time has to do with a rumored nuclear weapon hidden in a major city that Frank and Marvin supposedly know something about. The US government gamely sends another team to go after Frank, Sarah, and Marvin, and it is dispatched before the trio flee. Catherine Zeta-Jones shows up to complicate matters, and also to ensure the film meets its quota of two actresses with hyphenated names. As a bonus, the world's best-known cannibal makes an appearance, and he is key to finding the weapon and proving the stateside RED group's innocence.

Savvy viewers will see all the twists coming, but Red 2 keeps it all light and refreshing so we look past that. This movie is not trying to explore the vagaries of the human condition -- it aims to entertain, and that's what it does. My favorite scene is the car chase sequence with Mirren and Lee, where she goes, "Show me something," and he jerks the wheel and it's all slo-mo and she shoots and...excuse me while I wipe the drool off my chin. Here, watch this clip to see what I'm talking about.

Conclusion: Heck yeah go watch it!

This post brought to you by tap water. Tap water: instant classy, just add lemon!

Popular posts from this blog

Paint Nite!

Last night I joined the "Oops" Paint Nite event hosted by the Club Cafe in Back Bay. About 12+ people came to relax and have two artists guide them through painting this original work:

The point was not to slavishly duplicate "Oops" -- we were instructed to make it our own, to relax, and not to utter the words, "Mine sucks," "Can you do this for me?" or "I thought this was paint-by-numbers!"

Speaking of dashed hopes, I had assumed that wine was included. I had done something like this before, only it was in the morning and we all got mimosas. Not so here! While the artists were setting up, I schlepped over to the bar and was rewarded with a generous pour of Cabernet. Now I was ready.

The setup: Everyone got a 16" x 20" canvas, three paint brushes, and a palette (a paper plate) with red, yellow, blue, and white paint. One artist (Brian) had the microphone and would paint with us, while the other was the assistant (Kory) who wo…

An International Women's Day Miracle!

Truly, International Women's Day is a special day. No, not because multitudes are out there rallying for our rights and giving voice to the powerless. It is because I won a gift card from a company raffle!

Let me explain why this counts as a minor miracle. You see, I never win anything. I answer every damned survey sent my way, participate in all the raffles, buy lottery tickets -- to no avail. This particular raffle occurred monthly, and I had been faithfully entering my name every month for two years, with no results. Finally, last month, I declared: "No more!" and unsubscribed from the mailing list -- but not before entering one final time, because why not.


There's also some déjà vu at play here. You see, four years ago, I won a gift card from a company raffle. The one fracking time I won anything! I was elated! Shortly thereafter, also on International Women's Day, I was laid off from my job.

Sooooo...since the day's almost over, I guess I'm not…

Get Out (2017)

Get Out has a charismatic lead, a terrific soundtrack, and damn good cinematography. While it’s described as horror/comedy, it’s more disturbing/cringe-y than scary, and I mean that in a good way. This is an entertaining movie that’s also pretty effective as social commentary.

The film stars Daniel Kaluuya as Chris, a photographer who’s about to spend the weekend at his girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) parent’s house. Naturally, it’s in a secluded spot in the woods. When they get there, the awkwardness that might be expected from a first-time meeting gives way to a series of bizarre behaviors and interactions. While Chris initially takes it all in stride, it eventually becomes clear that there’s something sinister going on behind the scenes.

The acting and dialogue are highlights of the film, as is the camera work. In particular, Kaluuya’s eyebrows and head tilts are so expressive that the audience knows what’s going on in his head even as he politely brushes off eccentricities. A…