With a likeable veteran cast, “Red” was something of a pleasant surprise when it was released in 2010. Like a more refined version of “The Expendables”, it brought together a classy group of actors to kick butt in a lightweight, fun and action packed spy caper involving the obligatory high level conspiracies and long buried secrets.
It should come as no surprise then, that “Red 2” delivers more of the same. In come Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Byung-hun Lee to join returning cast members Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker and Helen Mirren while the action, as this is a sequel, goes international and raises the stakes somewhat, with a lost nuclear bomb threatening to kill millions.
While Willis isn’t at his most effervescent here, Malkovich, Parker and Mirren bring charm by the bucket load, while Zeta-Jones vamps it up fabulously as a Russian agent. Anthony Hopkins especially seems to be enjoying himself enormously and in the end it’s the chemistry of the cast that overcome the slightly grumpy drag factor of Willis and get this film across the finish line.
This is undemanding, ‘comfort food’ filmmaking, the perfect kind of movie to curl up on the sofa and spend a rainy Saturday afternoon watching. It’s never going to win awards, or vast critical acclaim, but it’s funny, action-packed and has a decent plot with just enough twists and turns to keep your attention. What’s not to love?