Sloppy, cartoonishly violent sequel fails to match original.
What parents need to know
Positive role models
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that action/comedy Red 2 is the (disappointing) sequel to 2010's successful Red, and many of the characters (played by Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Mary-Louise Parker and others) return. Violence is again the main issue, with crazy, explosive, cartoonish action/fighting/shooting scenes throughout. Characters are stabbed, shot, and killed; there are bloody martial arts fights and lots of crashes and explosions. The good guys face no repercussions for any of the violent acts they're involved in. Language is fairly minor, with a few uses of "s--t" and "bitch." Expect some brief sexual references and situations; hard drugs (LSD and acid) are also mentioned, and characters drink vodka in one scene. Commercialism is fairly strong, with several brands featured onscreen.
What's the story?
Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is now in a committed relationship with Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker). He wants to keep her safe, but she longs for more adventure, and Frank's buddy Marvin (John Malkovich) tries to encourage him to liven things up. Sarah gets her wish with Frank and Marvin suddenly find themselves labeled as international terrorists, with top killers out to get them. These include old friends like Victoria (Helen Mirren), as well as the deadly Han Cho Bai (Byung-hun Lee) and Frank's old flame, Katja (Catherine Zeta-Jones). If our heroes can locate a secret weapon stashed somewhere in Russia, they can clear their names. But this effort depends on finding a scientist long thought to be dead, as well as avoiding gunfire everywhere they go.
Is it any good?
Following up 2010's successful and enjoyable Red, RED 2 has a new director and some fresh cast members, but overall the sense is of a general lack of care. The movie clearly doesn't have much going on, so director Dean Parisot moves things quickly in a vain effort to keep viewers from noticing. The plot jumps back and forth between major cities all over the world with little logic.
The general rhythm also suffers, with great lurches and cheats all over the place. This subsequently affects the performances. Willis tries some aggravated double-takes that are cut short, and Parker's broad performance almost resembles an old-time comic drunk. Only Malkovich slides underneath the movie's messy fabric for some smooth one-liners. But perhaps most disturbing is Red 2's chaotic, cartoonish violence. No one here seems to care whether innocent people die as they go about their quest to save the world.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about Red 2's violence. Why is it so over the top? Does the humor that accompanies it affect its impact?
- When Sarah makes her first kill, how does she react? What are the consequences of her actions?
- How does this sequel compare to the original?
|Theatrical release date:||July 19, 2013|
|DVD/Streaming release date:||November 26, 2013|
|Cast:||Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker|
|Run time:||116 minutes|
|MPAA explanation:||pervasive action and violence including frenetic gunplay, and for some language and drug material|
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