RED hit the theaters a couple of years ago, it was an immediate hit with our fam. My wife especially loved it and it's been one of her favorite flicks in recent years. So naturally, we were very excited to hear news about a sequel. Still, as always, we approached the sequel with a little anxiety that it might not live up to the original or (worse) it might fall flat. Paul Hogan (of Crocodile Dundee fame) once said that if a sequel is not at least 250% better than the original, you shouldn't make the sequel. We were a little bummed that Morgan Freeman wasn't being resurrected for this movie but we were intrigued to see how Hopkins and Lee would do (we were a little skeptical about Zeta-Jones).
The movie starts out pretty much as the trailer would lead you to expect. Frank (Bruce Willis's character) is trying to live a normal live and keep his muggle girlfriend Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) safe. Sarah is bored and really wants to get back in the excitement so when Marvin (John Malkovich) shows up, she is super eager to hop back into the action. Right from the start (and throughout the film) you'll notice that a lot of the gags are rehashes from the first film or consist of one-liners shown in the trailer. So yes, you've already seen a fair amount of the humor already. Still, there are plenty of fun and unique moments that may catch your giggle-reflex off guard and get you laughing.
Amid the action and espionage of the film, the other core story plot centers around Frank's relationship with Sarah. There's a lot of tension between the two characters as Frank tries to shelter her from the action and danger that she wants to be a part of. Marvin and Victoria (Helen Mirren) provide some sage yet strangely formulated relationship advice that is both sentimental and funny.
To a large extent, it seemed that Catherine Zeta-Jones's character existed in the plot solely to create tension between Frank and Sarah. At times it really felt like the romantic comedy story was trying to upstage the action adventure movie that was going on. The juxtaposition generally worked but it resulted in a few off-balance sequences that felt a little strained.
3.5 out of 5 stars