July 21, 2013 -- A couple of years ago “Red” was a big success. As a consequence we find this crazy bunch of over-the-hill spies back at it again. I actually liked this sequel better than the original, perhaps because I had such low expectations for it. My view is in the minority. Most critics liked the first one better.
The premise is common for this type of movie: The world hangs in the balance and all the top spy agencies in the world are not only incompetent to handle this dire situation, they are actually causing more harm than good. The only group who can stop armageddon is composed of geriatric spies who have all been targeted for death by those same incompetent spy agencies. Not only do they have to stop a plot to blow up Moscow, but they have to elude some skilled assassins as well. In other words it is very similar to the plot of “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.”
A whole lot of action is set in motion by an internet post about a top secret project called “Nightshade.” This was a plot by the West to smuggle a bomb into Moscow during the Cold War. Those incompetent Western spy agencies link to document to Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) and Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich, both reprising their roles from the first film). Frank and Marvin are targeted for death by at least two spy agencies.
Frank and Marvin go on the run with Frank's girlfriend Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker, also reprising her role). Other characters returning from the first film include Victoria (Helen Mirren) and Russian spy Ivan Simanov (Brian Cox). The Red team decides to get Dr. Edward Bailey (Anthony Hopkins of “Thor”) away from the custody of the British spy agency MI6 because Bailey is the creator of the Nightshade bomb.
With Bailey's help, the Red team manages to find the Nightshade bomb hidden in Moscow, but that is the start of even bigger problems when an unforseen threat arises. They are also being stalked by a ruthless murdering operative, Jack Horton (Neal McDonough of “Captain America: The First Avenger”) and by a deadly assassin, Han Cho Bai (Byung-hun Lee of “G.I. Joe: Retaliation”).
This film is loaded with top acting talent. There is also plenty of action and the pace of the film is fast. There are strong characters and a breezy humor to lighten the mood. This is an enjoyable, entertaining summer film. It rates a B.
Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.