When "RED" was released in 2010, the cast never thought it would become a franchise. However, after the huge success of the first film, the second film was immediately green lit and it does not disappoint. Picking up right where the original leaves off, "RED 2" reunites Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) and his now girlfriend Sara Ross (Mary-Louise Parker) with Moses' team of Retired and Extremely Dangerous operatives to recover a long-lost nuclear device in Russia. Moses is hesitant at first but he is dragged back in action by his best friend Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich), and Ross, who is bored by the lack of action and adventure in their life.
The screenwriting sibling duo of Jon and Erich Hoebler who wrote the original and the sequel and have been contracted to write a third, take the original concept of old CIA operatives still capable of incredible action feats to new heights. After having established in the original that this group of seniors is a lethal bunch, the Hoebler's use the sequel to allow each character to flex their comedic muscles.
The "RED" films are great for three reasons. First as my mom would say they are just FUN films. The action stunts are completely ridiculous and would never happen in real life but they are just fun to watch. A blend between "The Matrix", the best of James Bond with a little bit of the slapstick comedies of the 1980s sprinkled in between, "RED 2" will keep you laughing at the ridiculousness of the action sequences yet at the same time you will be begging to see it again.
Second, how much fun is it to see old people really kicking butt? As newcomer Dr. Edward Bailey (Anthony Hopkins) says on a few occasions throughout the film, "Bet you didn't see that one coming." And the truth is that often you don't. In an age where ripped abs and muscles are the norm for male action heroes, characters such as the paranoid Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich) with his plaid shorts and knee high socks along with his bowler hat to complete the ensemble are eye candy for the audience as they will just be along for the ride to see what craziness comes out of his mouth next.
Third, relationships continue to evolve in the midst of chaos and the international cat and mouse game taking place. Helen Mirren returns as British operative Victoria Winters as does Brian Cox as Ivan Simanov. Their wonderful give and take at a key moment in the film when the rest of the operatives seem to be in the most trouble is quite possibly the highlight of the film. The cast is joined by Catherine Zeta-Jones, a Russian operative and former love interest for Moses. The jealousy felt by Parker's character for the woman referred to as "Frank's kryptonite" has funny consequences throughout the film and further broadens the relationship between Frank and Sara.
Whereas the original "RED" takes moviegoers on a cross-country chase, the sequel takes you across Europe visiting sites often shrouded in secrecy, such as the Kremlin in Russia. With the retired operatives on the run and searching for the lost nuclear device and the best current operatives on their trail after being offered contracts to kill them all, "RED 2" stays true to its tagline of "The best never rest."
"RED 2" is rated PG-13 for pervasive action and violence including frenetic gunplay, and for some language and drug material.